Senain Kheshgi

Senain Kheshgi is a Pakistani-American journalist and filmmaker who has produced, written and directed projects for numerous networks including, CNN, ABC NEWS, PBS, Discovery, as well as The BBC AND CHANNEL 4 in the UK.

Senain co-produced her first feature documentary, The First Year with Academy Award winning director, Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) which was broadcast on PBS in 2001 and was awarded the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award. She has also produced and developed projects with Academy Award winner, Ross Kauffman, Shari Berman and Robert Pulcini (directors of Sundance Award Winner, American Splendor) as well as with Sophie Fiennes (sister of Ralph and Joseph Fiennes and director of the BBC film, Hoover Street Revival)

Senain has a keen interest in exploring the intersection of faith and politics, as well as religious and cultural conflict, human rights, and interfaith dialogue through film and media.

In 2001, Senain directed Family Recipe, a short film about the legacy of Partition and its effect on her family for the Queen’s Museum of Art in New York and in 2008, she directed Kitchen Diplomacy, a film commissioned by Morgan Spurlock’s documentary company, CINELAN.  The film was one of four films made by American documentary filmmakers about the historic US elections.

She recently completed Project Kashmir, a feature documentary filmed by Ross Kauffman (Oscar-winner for Born Into Brothels) in which she and her Indian-American friend investigate the war in the Kashmir Valley and find their friendship tested over deeply rooted religious and cultural divides. The film interweaves deeply moving personal stories of Kashmiris in India with those of the two American women, who strive to reconcile their ethnic and religious heritage with the violence that haunts their homeland. Project Kashmir has been awarded grants from ITVS/PBS, The Sundance Institute, Cinereach, The Fledgling Fund, The Center for Asian American Media among others.  Project Kashmir premiered at the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival in New York in 2008 and will continue to screen internationally with a US broadcast scheduled on PBS in 2010. The film has also been selected by the US State Department to be screened at over 55 embassies and consulates around the world.

Senain was a Tribeca All Access Fellow in 2005, a Sundance Institute Fellow in 2006, where she attended the Documentary Editing, Composer and Producing Labs and she is a recipient of the Rockefeller Foundation’s ReNew Media Film Fellowship.  Senain was recently awarded a prestigious Asia 21 Fellowship from The Asia Society, which aims to help prepare young leaders for the challenges and responsibilities of global citizenship. In 2008, she was selected as a Filmmaking Fellow for Jehane Noujaim’s global, Pangea Day. Senain has served on the selection committee for the International Documentary Association’s DocuWeek Documentary Showcase which helps qualify documentaries for Oscar® Consideration and she frequently speaks on panels and conducts workshops on ways to incorporate social justice engagement and documentary filmmaking.  She serves on the Board of Directors of Ciné, an art and cultural institution in her hometown of Athens, Georgia and is also on the Board of Directors of The International Documentary Association in Los Angeles.

Senain is currently directing and producing a multi-part film project in Pakistan with acclaimed filmmaker, James Longley (Iraq in Fragments).