MISSION & VISION –
Touching Lives Media & Film Initiative aims to educate the children and young adults on hands-on skill building in Media & Film-making, use cinema for therapy and literacy in the classrooms and communities, empower them with tools to produce content that connects and nurtures the generations and lastly, build a platform to bring the work of children and youth across the globe through signature film festival.
Objectives covered in the process –
Sonia Mackwani is a Founder-Director of Touching Lives Welfare Trust. She has a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology from University of Mumbai and Masters in Hypnotherapy from California Hypnosis Institute of India. She is a writer, authoring four books – ‘Tales from Indian Mythology: Mahabharata, Ramayana Tales’, ‘Everyone Can Heal’ and ‘The Rocket Science called Love’. She is an independent filmmaker producing content for corporate and assisting in a feature length documentary ‘Child of Nature’ with a Brazilian Filmmaker. Her short-film SPACE won accolades and screening in many film festivals across the globe. She is a Psychic Healer and channels healing processes, conducts healing and expressive art workshops to support the journeys of people. She is a mentor and trainer and does corporate workshops. She has won several accolades for her work, including #100 Women initiative by Ministry of Women and Child Development felicitated at Rashtrapati Bhavan by Shri. Pranab Mukherjee, Hon. President of India and Noble Laureate Award – Karmaveer Puraskaar by iCongo – CNBC Young Turk Transformer – Social Entrepreneur. Her motto in life is Self-Work, Seva & Sadhana.
Masa Hilcisin is an educator, visual artist, and community art activist. She teaches film directing, documentary film production and experimental cinema at Prague Film School, and runs Creative Media Production Programme at Prague College. A PhD graduate in Film Studies and Audiovisual Culture from Masaryk University, she has been committed to making films on social issues and human rights violation for over a decade, and her documentary films have been screened at film festivals around the world. She is co-founder of SWAN, an international women’s art festival in Prague. Masa has been delivering visual storytelling workshops for women and girls for a variety of communities in the Czech Republic and abroad. Currently, Masa is studying Holistic Integrated Creative Arts Therapy at Holistic Health College, and Somatic Movement Dance Therapy programme with DanceLab in Prague.
Prague Film School is an international school providing professional-level training in the core disciplines of film making and film acting. Founded in 2003, the school has been training aspiring filmmakers and actors to become film professionals. Currently Prague Film School has 124 students and a faculty of 24 teachers, all coming from different parts of the world, 32 countries in total. The school follows European art-house and American independent cinema values. The language of instruction is English.
Studies at Prague Film School are one to two years long, full-time and organized into semesters. During the first semester, all students receive instruction in all core areas of film. Starting the second semester, specialization is available in screenwriting, directing fiction, directing documentary, cinematography, post-production and film acting.
Students are required to complete 16 credits per semester to pass. All programs are praxis-oriented, each student participates in 20-30 productions per year; over 200 short films are shot at the school each year. The school provides all film making facilities and equipment.
In additional to regular year-long programs, the school offers four-week summer workshops for beginning filmmakers.
BIKAS RAJAN MISHRA – Indian Film Director | Screenwriter | Member of Screenwriters Association of India
Award-winning writer-director Bikas Mishra’s debut feature “Chauranga” won Grand Jury Prize at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles and was declared Best Indian Feature at Mumbai Film Festival (MAMI). His short film “Naach Ganesh” (Dance of Ganesha) widely travelled to prestigious festivals including Clermont Ferrand (France), Rotterdam (The Netherlands), Busan (South Korea) and IFFLA (Los Angeles). He adapted and directed Badal Sarkar’s classic play “Pagla Ghoda” for HotStar. An alumnus of ScriptStation, Berlin and Binger Film Lab, Amsterdam, Bikas has received prsestigious Hubert Bals Fund for his upcoming project. He teaches screenwriting at Mumbai University’s Ramesh Sippy Academy of Cinema and Entertainment and mentors writers at NFDC’s Screenwriters’ Lab. He was invited on the Visionary Jury of Cannes Film Festival’s Critics’ Week in 2012.
MEDIA CORE TEAM
SADIK KESHWANI – Switzerland
Sadik is a volunteer at Touching Lives Welfare Trust, and has been associated with the NGO since it’s inception in 2003. He did Master of Science (MS) in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University, Kingsville Texas, and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Babson College, Boston Massachusetts and has been working in Financial and Pharmaceutical sector for over a decade in the field of Automation, Service Delivery, and Project Management. He is a healer and conducts workshops to raise funds for Touching Lives. He is a trained ‘Matrix Energetics’ and ‘Birth into Being’ facilitator, and Tarot card reader. He is a paraglider pilot, amateur photographer and filmmaker. He directed his first short film, ‘Charlie’ at Prague Film School.
Life and career ingredients – 2 years of science, 3 years of IT and 2 years of MBA in marketing, a childhood full of playing and sports, a keen interest in the enormity of the digital world and a steady inclination and love towards arts, along with some amazing humans in my life! Today, a digital marketer with 5 yrs of experience, Sneha is living a typical agency life continuously trying to balance work-social life! She is a firm believer in kindness, goodness and hard work. Sneha is helping the team with her expertise in social media- to share the work at Touching Lives Learning Center with the world.
ADITI MEDIRATTA – Screenwriter | Author
Aditi holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism and Mass media and a Diploma in film making from Prague Film School. She has worked as an associate writer in Indian Hindi films like Once upon a time in Mumbai again, Azhar to name some. Aditi has also co-authored a fictional book with Neeta Shah – Stranger in Me.
Aditi Kanwar has been working with Touching Lives since 2010. She holds a Masters degree in Human Development and Post Graduation in Counseling Psychology. She is a healing practitioner for various modalities like Reiki, Access bars, Angel cards and Hypnotherapy. Currently she is our Project Head for Independent Learners, Social media lead, Human Resource Manager and Volunteer /Intern in-charge. Her expertise lies in curriculum planning, organizing events and creative thinking. She is full of life, a nature lover and is determined to bring values like kindness, forgiveness, gratitude, to children. She believes that what our world needs the most today, is LOVE and FORGIVENESS.
Poonam started her journey with Touching lives as a student in 2007 when she was in 5th grade. She has completed her graduation in Psychology from R D National College, Mumbai University. She is pursuing her Masters degree in Psychology from SNDT University. Since last 5 years she is working with Touching lives. She began working as a Community Leader where she went to slum communities and taught children. She mentored in the same community where she was a student once. She is currently working in the Media team of Touching lives – developing content and creating videos. She is also trained in Healing modalities such as Reiki and Access Consciousness.
Harkat is an international boutique arts studio with a passion for film, new media, community art spaces and contemporary art. Based in Mumbai and Berlin, it takes many forms and identities across disciplines and industries. It’s an alternative arts space, a video & film production house and an independent arts studio, all coexisting under one sustainable umbrella.
Harkat supports the new, unheard, upcoming, exciting, cutting edge, the political, the forgotten, nostalgic, melancholic, soul stirring, the beautiful & more. And that’s what Harkat is. A Harkat.