SIKH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2009: JUDGES
Sabrina Dhawan - Writer Monsoon Wedding & Director Saanjh
Sabrina Dhawan is most well known for her postmodern depiction of India in Monsoon Wedding, a 2001 film directed by Mira Nair.
Dhawan wrote Monsoon Wedding for director Mira Nair while pursuing her graduate degree in film from Columbia University. Monsoon Wedding received the Golden Lion at Venice and was released internationally to great acclaim. She subsequently scripted Nair's contribution to the omnibus project 09'11'01 for Arte as well as Cosmopolitan for PBS. Dhawan is currently writing a screenplay for Christine Vachon's Killer Films and is in development on a comedy series for HBO, with Brad Grey set to produce.
Sabrina Dhawan grew up in New Delhi, India, where she worked until 1996. She subsequently graduated from Columbia University's graduate film program, where she met Mira Nair and became her teaching assistant. Dhawan's thesis short film "Saanjh - As Night Falls" was a finalist for the Student Academy Award. Saanjh also received the award for most original film at the Polo Ralph Lauren New Works Festival 2000 and was cited as Best of the Festival at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Monsoon Wedding is Dhawan's first produced feature screenplay. She has a brief cameo in Monsoon Wedding as a wedding guest.
The Monsoon Wedding script stands out for Dhawan's blend of Hindi, Punjabi, and English -- as she says "that's the way we speak at home in Delhi".
She currently lives in New York with her husband, Steve Cohen, and their son. She is also a professor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, in the Department of Dramatic Writing.