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Surbhi Dewan

Independent Filmmaker
Co-founder & Creative Producer at Painted Tree Pictures

Surbhi Dewan is an independent film director, writer & producer. Her films explore intersections between socio-political conflict, displacement, memory and personhood. She uses a combination of live-action and animation techniques to create poetic, intimate and engaging narratives. She is deeply committed to presenting unique perspectives and humanizing ‘the other’ through her films.

Surbhi’s most recent film TRANS KASHMIR (2022) premiered at the KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival as the Indian Documentary Centrepiece film (winner Best Documentary Film at UK Asian Film Festival 2023, Pune International Queer Film Festival & SiGNS Film Festival). She wrote and directed her first fiction short AN OPEN SKY (2020) during the lockdown. Her other notable films include DAUGHTER OF NEPAL (2018) - the filmmaker discovers an incredible story of a friend who spent her childhood in exile during the People’s War in Nepal (winner of Best Documentary & Best Director Award at SPIFF; official selection at IAWRT Asian Women's Film Festival, UK Asian Film Festival, IDSFFK 2019); and A THIN WALL (2015) - personal narratives from the partition of India, shot on both sides of the India-Pakistan border (winner of ‘Special Jury Prize’ at Amsterdam Film Festival; official selection at South Asian Film Festival of Montréal, New York Indian Film Festival, San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival, Seattle South Asian Film Festival 2015).

Surbhi has also produced award-winning social and commercial audio-visual content with her New Delhi-based production company, Painted Tree Pictures. She writes for Inplainspeak, a digital magazine on sexuality in the Global South, and Women’s Web, a leading portal for Indian women. Surbhi is a member of the International Association of Women in Radio & Television, India chapter. She graduated with an MFA in film from Rochester Institute of Technology, New York, and received her BA degree in Political Science from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University.

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Director Work Sample

Music Video: Zindagi Bitani

Music Video: Zindagi Bitani

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