Film is my medium to make a difference, to touch lives and bridge the gap between people and cultures. Born and raised in South Texas, I moved to Los Angeles to pursue a dream in filmmaking. Nature has the most influence on my style because I believe it is the purest thing on Earth. I hope that when people see Freedom they feel a sense of understanding and connection to the World around them. For those that feel silenced, I hope this film gives you a voice and makes you feel seen.
WRITER, ACTOR, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Vidushi Chadha is an actor, writer and spoken word artist. Born and raised in New Delhi India, Vidushi found a way to break the chains of patriarchy and fully embrace her voice through her art. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Acting from CalArts and has been living in Los Angeles for the last two years. This has led her to investigate her identity as a woman of colour and deepen her understanding of intersectional feminism. Her short film Freedom – a spoken word music video, is an all WOC production, highlighting issues of race, gender and sexuality. She loves to eat curry, but cannot cook at all.
Production designer, Architect and now Producer, Rashi Jain has been working in the industry for over 4 years. Born and bred in the heart of Bollywood, Mumbai, India, Rashi has quickly not only adapted to but held her ground in the music video and film world of Hollywood. Soon after graduating from CalArts, she started working on a number of music videos and short films and collaborated with artists from all over the world including Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Bad Bunny, Eminem and The Weekend!
Working on incredible shoots but being almost the only woman present (let alone a woman of color), Rashi is excited to be working with an all women cast and crew. The idea of crafting imagination into reality intrigues her and she is ecstatic to be a part of making this powerful piece come to life.
Rabia Sultana is a NYC/LA based Filmmaker. Born and raised in East London, she performed on stage at the renowned Stratford Theatre and Criterion Theatre
Select credits include: “Angelfish” (TIFF Next Wave, rapper Princess Nokia’s feature film debut); "Extra Innings" (Winner Best Feature Manhattan Film Festival); “Interference” (NBC/Universal Film Festival, BamCinematek New Voices in Black Cinema Festival); “Friendly Neighborhood Coven” (DUMBO Film Festival, Golden State Film Festival), “Ladies Lounge” (Winner Los Angeles Cinefest, Oaxaca Film Festival). She also worked on the 2019 Cannes Film Festival Un Certain Regard winner, “The Climb” and produced comedy films “Are You Happy Now” (Josh Ruben, Catherine Curtin, Danny Johnson), and “The Truth About Santa Claus” (Michael Winslow, Kevin Brown, Kevin Farley, Judy Gold). Rabia most recently co-produced "On Our Way" starring Michael Richardson, Jordana Brewster, and Jari Jones. Her TV credits include Chillin Island, produced by Elara Pictures/Drake's Dreamteam.
Rabia believes a multicultural catalogue of film is crucial to society's health, as each culture has its own special ingredient of wisdom. She is attracted to projects that widen this perspective and engages with stories outside of the mainstream.
Jolene Mendes is a producer from Trinidad and Tobago, currently based in Los Angeles.She has produced a number of films including “She Paradise” (AFI, Tribeca Film Festival); “Anna Karenina” (Accolade Global Film Competition, Winner at SoHo International Film Festival, European International Film Festival); “Extra Innings” (Winner of Best Feature at both Manhattan Film Festival and Jersey Shore Film Festival, now available on VOD).
She has also produced videos for Atlantic Records, Warner Music Group as well as various international commercial clients, both in the U.S and Caribbean.Jolene believes that media is one of the most effective ways to make a difference and continues to produce content that has the potential to inspire.
ACTOR & CHOREOGRAPHER
Sierra is a choreographer, actor, shadow chaser, dog/cat/plant mom from Texas. She is in her final year of the MFA Acting program at CalArts. She loves her friends fiercely and is grateful for the opportunity to be part of the Freedom family. Vive tu vida. Eat the ricos!
Likun Jing is a Chinese Actress, born and raised in China. She appreciates the Chinese culture and her upbringing environment for building her a character. Years of Studying abroad also molds her personality and broadens her vision. Her understanding of freedom has been a fluid transition and it stays ever evolving. She has worked with California Repertory Theatre, Zhejiang Satalite TV and Inner Mongolia Symphony Orchestra for her Concert debut. Select Credits: Pieces and Bits (2019, Toronto Independent Film Festival); Casualties of War (2019, Hollywood Fringe Festival); A Room By The Fire (2020)
Sarahjeen François is an LA based Haitian-American performer and playwrightfrom Miami, Fl. Her creative work is an exploration of the Afro-mythic and participates in the rich, cultural story-telling practices derived from traditional and contemporary African ideologies. An MFA Acting graduate from the CalArts School of
Theater, Sarahjeen’s artistic endeavors have led her to work with The Playwrights’ Center, The Atlantic Center for the Arts, Castello San Basilio, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, CalArts Center for New Performance, Teatro Línea de Sombra, Horizon Theatre Company, Peach State Opera, and Out Front Theatre Company.
Danesh Naghibzad is an actor and singer from Scottsdale, Arizona. She is currently finishing up her graduate degree at California Institute of the Arts, where she is an MFA student in the acting program. She is excited to be back working on Freedom with everyone again!
Mykaila Williams (she/her) joins us from Miami FL and received her BFA from the University of Southern California in Film & Television Production. A champion for black scholarship and activism, she held roles at USC such as Director of Diversity Affairs and Black Student Assembly Director. In current day, Mykaila is a member of Delta Sigma Theta, Incorporated, a homie in The Homiez Collective, and Assistant Director of Outlast Arts & Education. Outside of those roles, Mykaila spends her time producing and DP'ing Black stories for the screen and generally building community. She is ecstatic to be working on Freedom and can’t wait to see what this journey will bring.
Saloni Mahajan is a LA/ Hawai'i based costume designer, stylist, artist, and scholar. Born and raised in New Delhi, Saloni constantly thrives in diving deep into the many layers of culture, fabrics, and stories. Her background lies in fashion styling and image design. After working in the fashion industry in Delhi, she moved to Mumbai to follow her Bollywood dream. As part of several Hindi-speaking blockbuster films in India, she was certain to study costume design for entertainment productions and be trained in the art-form. To evolve her skills extensively, she got her Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles. Saloni designed many short films, theater productions, and music videos in Los Angeles.
While costume design remains an essential part of her career, she aims to leverage academia to gain recognition for the field. Saloni Mahajan is a scholar currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Performance Studies. She actively investigates the costumes, composition, and history of Indian performances. Her research aims to build upon ancient historical, textual, and visual evidence, all the way to modern Bollywood performances, primarily focusing on alankara (ornament and clothes) and shringara (adornment). Her practice as an artist and her research aims to diversify the field of Performance Studies at large.
EM MICHELLE GONZALES
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Em Michelle Gonzales is a Los Angeles based Cinematographer & Camera Operator originally from NM.
She has worked in the camera department and studied under cinematographers such as Eric Steelberg ASC, Claudio Miranda ASC, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Chris Manley ASC
She is currently a camera operator on The Wilmore Show starring Larry Wilmore. Her previous credits include Dolemite is My Name, Insecure, Better Call Saul, Waco,12 Strong and many more
Janhavi Naik is an Architect, Production Designer, Scenic Artist currently living in Los Angeles, CA and is originally from Mumbai, India. She has done her Masters in Fine arts in Applied Design from California institute of the Arts.
Janhavi has worked on a variety of projects that showcase her artistic knowledge through film/television sets and scenic art. Her work experience includes designing for various short films, music videos, commercials and theatre productions. The amalgamation of Architecture and Fine arts makes her work believable yet interesting.
Born and raised in Mumbai, the city of the Hindi Movie industry, Ritika was always enticed by films and television. After finishing her undergrad in Architecture, she moved to LA to pursue production design and explore the various facets of art and design. She uses her architectural background as a backbone and transforms ideas and words into meaningful spaces. She enjoys how every story, every script, every scene has such a broad scope to visualize and loves bringing that vision to reality. She says, "As a Production Designer, there is something very rewarding and fulfilling in the work I do. It is insanely demanding but an exhilarating area of work. Today I work as a freelance Production Designer/Art Director in Los Angeles. I have worked on a bunch of short films, music videos, commercials, theatre in the past three years along with amazing filmmakers who have enriched my way of work and developed my thinking as a designer." For Ritika, designing is her love, dancing is her passion. She is a trained Indian classical dancer. After briefly stopping to dance, she has gotten back to it full blown and performs all kinds of styles, especially Bollywood and semi-classical.
Sofie Lebow (she/her) is a writer-director raised in Santa Barbara, Ca. She strives to make all her films sustainable, and her work explores themes related to mental health and the female experience. Sofie recently graduated from Colorado College where she founded Colorado College Productions, a student-run club structured like a film production company. The most informative part of her film career so far was studying at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where she created a 16mm short film that placed 2nd at the UPenn film festival. She is currently submitting her screenplays to festivals and is excited to be a part of the FREEDOM team and what it stands for.
MUSIC PRODUCER , SOUND PRODUCER
Edgar Kincaid is a Record producer - Singer/songwriter from Mexico.
He has been working in the music industry for 18 years. Latin Grammy winner / Grammy nominee.
He has been producing in Los Angeles since the last 2 years. Producing his project “The Female Side”.
He’s honored and exited to work on an all woman production.
PRE - PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Ishika is an actor, singer, dancer, director, and storyteller, pursuing her BFA in Acting at CalArts! She has been training in the performing arts for the past 15 years, creating, directing, producing, and performing in multi-lingual productions and films, her work tending towards theatre for social change because of her passion for civic engagement. Some of Ishika’s favorite roles to date include Gloucester in King Lear (A Noise Within), Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods (Centre Stage Inc.), Mira in the short film Tempo, and Dancer/Actor in the devised dance-theatre show Dear Mother Moon (Edinburgh Fringe Festival). You can find more of her work at her website: www.ishikamuchhal.com