Program Head of Film and New Media, Assistant Professor of Practice
Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi
Education: BA St. Xaviers College, Mumbai; Film Direction at the Film and Television Institute of India
Research Areas: Music, Migration in Cities, Labour and Globalisation, Gender and Health,
Surabhi has been an independent filmmaker making feature-length documentaries and short films since 2000. Her documentaries, fiction, and video installations engage with cities in transition using the lens of labor, music, and migration. Surabhi’s films have been screened and awarded at international film festivals and are included in teaching curricula in universities in North America and India. Her works include: Returning to the First Beat (2017); Bidesia in Bambai (2013); Jahaji Music: India in the Caribbean (2007); Above the Din of Sewing Machines (2004); Aamakaar, The Turtle People (2002); and Jari Mari: Of Cloth and Other Stories (2001). Her works have been screened at International Film Festivals like Dubai International Film Festival, Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, MAMI Mumbai Film Festival amongst others. She has also created video installations including Airplane descending over Jari Mari (2008), Tracing Bylanes (2011) ,Enactment of Exile in MigrantMumbai (2012) and a 5-channel video installation Riyaaz (2016) that have been exhibited at the Serpentine Gallery, London; nGbK, Berlin, Shenzhen and Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture and the 11th Shanghai Biennale (2016).
Surabhi is visiting faculty at the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad; Whistling Woods International, Mumbai; Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai and K.R. Narayanan National Institute of Visual Science and Arts, Kerala. She has conducted intensive workshops on documentary filmmaking at design and film schools in India and is a Mentor for The Documentary Resource Initiative India.
She was awarded The Motion Picture Association – Asia Pacific Screen Awards (MPA-APSA) Academy Film Fund, Brisbane, Australia for her ongoing documentary film project Music in a Village Named 1 PB. She has received grants and fellowships from Ford Foundation, Majlis Cultural Centre and the Brit-Doc Foundation. Her films have been recognized and awarded at the 8th Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Brisbane 2016; Eco-Cinema, Greece 2003 (The Ramsar-Medwet Award), Film South Asia, Kathmandu 2001; Karachi Film Festival 2002; and The Festival of Three Continents, Buenos Aires 2002.