INDIRA S. SOMANI, Ph.D., M.F.A., M.S.J.
Indira S. Somani, Ph.D. expertise spans across disciplines including documentary filmmaking, broadcast journalism, and communication research. Somani has taught broadcast journalism for 18 years, most recently with Howard University’s Department of Media, Journalism and Film. Prior to teaching journalism, she was a television newscast producer for 10 years, mainly in local news including major markets, like Washington, D.C., and New York/New Jersey. Somani holds a Ph.D. in Journalism and Public Communication from the University of Maryland, an MFA in Directing/Production in Documentary film at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television, and an MSJ from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University.
Currently in production is a personal documentary about her role as a caregiver for her Mom who battles depression. The film reveals how much Somani and her mother rely on each other for emotional support. Other films Somani has directed and produced include Life on the Ganges (2017), a 10- minute documentary directed, produced and filmed in Varanasi, India, during Dev Diwali, when people from all over India travel there to bathe in the Ganges River. The film screened in film festivals in the U.S., India and Europe and won Best Short Documentary at the Berlin Independent Film Festival, and the Cannes Short Film Festival. Another film Somani directed, produced and wrote was, Crossing Lines (2007), a 30-minute personal essay documentary about her struggle to stay connected to India after the loss of her father and to maintain and preserve her Indian cultural identity. The film won numerous awards, screened in film festivals nationally and internationally, aired on PBS affiliates through NETA from 2008-2011, and has been used by more than 200 universities as a tool to teach intercultural communication in the classroom. Both films are in distribution through New Day films.