June 13, 2024
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About Us

Desipina (day-see-pee-nah):

(adj.) A slang term describing a person of South Asian (desi) and Filipina (pina) descent; (n.) a group that embraces multiracial identities and fusion lifestyles; (v.) to check outside the box.

About Desipina & Co.:

We are a fusion arts company focusing in film and theatre and are firmly dedicated to promoting cross-pollinations of artistic, political, and cultural dialogues.

Desipina & Co. exists to:

Acknowledge the unique differences that exist within the Asian-American communities, which in itself is divided by race, religion, social and economic status. We wish to use these differences to promote understanding and to blur the self-imposed boundaries placed upon the vastly diverse minority group that makes up a growing percentage of the current US population. Through the use of self-definition, we wish to nurture the works of underrepresented multi-ethnic individuals, as well as empower female artists to tell their stories.

Desipina & Co.’s History:

Desipina & Co. was founded by two sisters, Rehana Mirza and Rohi Mirza Pandya, who quickly discovered that the stories of Asian American women were too often judged through the traditions of existing European, patriarchal standards. Deciding to create their own tradition, the two siblings formed Desipina & Co. in order to produce their first project, Barriers, a pan-Asian family drama that deals with the loss, as well as the backlash and prejudice that arose towards South Asians from the WTC tragedy.

Desipina & Co. Board of Directors and Staff

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR:

Rehana Mirza is a screenwriter and playwright whose work has been featured and distributed worldwide. Her full-length play, Barriers, first premiered at HERE Arts Center (NYC) before going on to be produced by the Asian American Theatre Company in SF/LA. The play has received write-ups in the New York Times, NYTheatre.com, Newsday, San Francisco Chronicle, India Abroad, Pakistan Dawn, Theatremania and has been published with the Alexander Street Press and is awaiting publication with Temple University Press. Rehana’s stageplays have also been workshopped and presented by the Asian American Centre (Philadelphia), Rasik Arts (Toronto), Artwallah (LA), Arth (DC), HERE (NYC), Indo-Center (NYC), and Tenement Museum Theatre (NYC).

Rehana has also written and directed a group of five experimental short films, as well as the experimental feature film, Fillum Star: The Peter Patel Story, which was released worldwide in spring 2004. Other screenwriting credits include: Far From Home (Sundance Feature Film Lab Finalist), Paradise, Signs of Love (Pundit Films), and Tiger Meat (LightHouse Productions). She was a 2002 Independent Feature Project trainee and an LMCC Artist Grant Recipient. Rehana graduated with honors from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Dramatic Writing and a minor in Asian Pacific American Studies. She is currently an MFA Candidate in Playwriting at Columbia University.

PRODUCING DIRECTOR:

Rohi Mirza Pandya As a multimedia producer and event organizer, Ms. Pandya has garnered attention for her numerous accomplishments in both the film and theater industries, spearheading events and productions on a national level. In particular, she has organized countless film screenings and movie release premiere parties of South Asian-themed films and popular hits such as Monsoon Wedding, The Guru, and Bend It Like Beckham. Ms. Pandya also produced the experimental feature film, Fillum Star: The Peter Patel Story, which was released worldwide in spring 2004. Her other theatre production credits include Dido: Queen of Carthage (Target Margin, NYC), On Caring for the Beast (Disha Theatre, NYC), and LoveStory/ArrangedMarriage (ArthArts, DC). Ms. Pandya obtained her MBA from the University of Colorado and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science from Rutgers University.

ASSOCIATE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR:

Ashok Sinha received his BA in Theater from the University of Maryland – College Park and his MFA in Acting from the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles. In New York, as an actor he has performed off- and off-off Broadway at such venues as the Salon, Manhattan Theatre Source, The New York Theatre Workshop, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and The Joseph Papp Public Theatre. He also appeared as Dilip in the Philadelphia premiere of Indian Ink at the Wilma Theatre.
As a director, he directed the premiere of Artistic Director Rehana Mirza’s Barriers at HERE Arts Center and Sarovar Banka’s Moral Implications of Time Travel for the 2002 Indian Diaspora Playwrights Festival at the Lark Theatre. While at CalArts, he was the Producing Artistic Director for the 1998 New Plays Festival.

DIRECTOR OF MEDIA RELATIONS:

Gitesh Pandya is the producer of the Indian-American comedy, American Desi which was released internationally in 2001. He is also a South Asian media consultant whose clients have included Universal Pictures, Fox Searchlight, and USA Films. Pandya is also the editor of BoxOfficeGuru.com and the box office analyst for CNN Financial News hosting a weekly movie preview segment every Friday. His industry analysis is frequently quoted in USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, and other major publications.