Ambika Samarthya has been a freelance producer and communications specialist for several years. After receiving her BSFS at Georgetown's School of Foreign Service, she founded a South Asian American theatre and film production company, Arth Arts (www.arthfilms.com), whose aim is to produce socially relevant work on marginalized issues. She holds an MFA from Columbia where she was awarded a fellowship for her work with filmmakers of color. In 200s she was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to study India’s film industry. She directed her thesis, Room for One, critiquing Bollywood after working as an assistant director in Bombay. Room for One was screened at the Anthology film archives as part of a Women in Film series, and screened by UN Women’s NGO film works. She was commissioned to produce a public service announcement, Apple a Day, addressing environmental issues in New York City. Her short, Promise, won at the 72 hour Asian American shoot-out in 2005.
Ambika first worked on HIV awareness programs in Bombay when she was 17 as part of VISIONS, a US based organization. She returned to film a short on India’s first HIV affected orphanage, Ashray, which won the Global Health Award at the Seventh Annual Media that Matters Film Festival as well as first place at My Heroes Film Festival. Her documentary shorts on topics such as visually impaired photographers and female cab drivers in India have been aired on Al Gore’s Current TV and she has done short films commissioned by Deepak Nayar’s (Bend it Like Beckham) Filmaka.
She recently worked on the Enhancing Nigeria's Response to HIV and AIDS project with the BBC World Service Trust in Abuja as a TV trainer, creating broadcast templates that are not being replicated around the country. Currently she is the Video and Communications Manager for a non-profit in New York City.