​A pre-jury of more than 30 local science education and science communication professionals from the participating countries are closely involved in the selection of the films.

In South Asia the pre-jury in 2021 consisted of the following members:
Alisha Sadikot

Alisha Sadikot is a public historian and educator who uses walking tours, both physical and virtual, as a tool to encourage creative and critical public engagement with Mumbai's urban histories, art and museum collections. Her practice focuses on broadening and deepening art, museum and heritage conversations through the Inheritage Project (since 2015) and Art Walks Mumbai, which she co-founded in 2017. Formerly, Alisha was Curator, Education & Outreach, at the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum from 2012 to 2015 where she helped develop the museum’s popular learning programme. She continues to work with the museum part time as outreach and education consultant.

Science Film Festival 2021 - Pre-jury - SAS - Alisha Sadikot

Public Historian and Educator

Yoshida Menon

Yoshida Menon is an independent educator who believes in making science relevant, engaging and accessible to children while making connections to the larger picture of a sustainable planet. She completed her Post Graduation in Physics and worked as a software analyst, developing and implementing supply chain solutions in the US and UK for 10 years. She later joined the school system and took roles teaching Computer Science and collaborating with schools across the world as part of global school partnership programmes. She is passionate about equipping students of today with the skills to enrich their lives and adopt sustainable lifestyles in an increasingly globalised world. She has worked with schools, NGOs and institutions on Education for Sustainability initiatives that bring together subject experts, teachers, students and the local community. She has also worked with an international organisation on a programme for school children that aimed to develop an attitude of respect, the ability to keep an open mind and engage in dialogue as a means of conflict resolution.

Yoshida Menon

Independent Educator

Preveena Nandakumar

Preveena Nandakumar is an architect, glass artist and an independent education professional focusing on creating and delivering information on science and sustainability. She started her career as an architect in Bangalore and worked on a variety of projects including the Tsunami rehabilitation project in Puducherry. She was part of a study, analysis and execution of a Sustainable Earth Dome construction in Auroville along with a team of Architects. While living in London, she studied Art & Design (Glass), where she used recycled glass to elevate them into meaningful art. Currently, she works on Education for Sustainability focusing on curiosity based exploration. She also undertakes freelance architectural and interior design projects. Her keen interest in reclaiming, reusing and reimagining has given her opportunities to add value to mind, material and space.

Science Film Festival 2021 - Pre-Jury - SAS: Preveena Nandakumar

Architect, Glass artist and an Independent education Professional

Bipuljit Basu

Bipuljit Basu is a Social impact writer-film maker, Film Business strategist and Indian TV non-fiction director for Indian language cinema and media project. He works with the leading media houses for promoting and producing less known Indian marginal stories in mainstream cinema and media creatively in India.
He has collaborated with 13 Bengali feature length cinema to distribute them in theater worldwide from 2017 to 2020.
He also works as a TV Episode Director in India’s National TV channel Doordarshan.
Bipuljit has been working as a Programmer for Bengali Film Festival, Dallas (USA) since 2016.
He is mentee under MartijnTe pas, the senior programmer, International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA) & Nordisk Panorama, Europe under the impact film making programme.
He has directed ‘Midnight Blues’ a participatory hybrid documentary film on the sex workers’ children, engaging the sex workers community as a Line Producer and technicians in this film.
Presently he is directing an Indo-European co-production feature length documentary film ‘Redlight to Limelight’.  He is the founder of ‘Bindubot Communication’ that produces and distributes Indian language cinema and documentaries globally.

Science Film Festival 2021 - Pre-Jury - SAS: Bipuljit Basu

Social impact writer-film maker, Film Business strategist and Indian TV non-fiction director for Indian language cinema and media project

Nandita Tabassum Khan

Nandita Tabassum Khan, a film researcher by her nature, teaches in the Department of Media Studies and Journalism at University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh. She provides mentorship to the students of the film based apprenticeship program of the department, Cinema Scope. Along with her recent journal articles on the construction of national culture in Bangladeshi commercial cinema, she won a fellowship grant from the Bangladesh Film Archive, Information Ministry to publish a research book on representation of Baul saint Lalan Shai in Bengali Cinema. Her scholarly focuses are on visual representation, gender, culture and nation state. In her undergrad days she directed a short documentary on national math Olympiad and acted as the assistant director for a documentary on women empowerment.

Science Film Festival 2021 - Pre-jury - SAS: Nandita Tabassum Khan

Senior Lecturer Department of Media Studies and Journalism University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh

Sameera Tilakawardana

Lecturer, The Open University of Sri Lanka
Director Academic Programmes, Sri Lanka National Film Corporation in the field of Science related documentaries.
Visiting Lecturer, University of Moratuwa and University of Peradeniya
Former Consultant Director, Department of Government information
Independent Filmmaker (writer /director) for documentaries, corporate videos and commercials.

Science Film Festival 2021 - Pre Jury - SAS: Sameera Tilakawardana

​Lecturer, The Open University of Sri Lanka

Jawad Kureishi

A STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) enthusiast / advisor, business manager, trainer, motivational speaker and a seasoned professional with 18 years of experience; Jawad is zealous about helping people reach their true potential and become their best selves. He has been into STEM Education field and is very passionate about spreading STEM awareness in Pakistan. He has managed Robotics Labs as a General Manager Operations before launching his dream project, STEM360. He is passionate about training and development and has so far trained 84,000 students for STEM Education and 14,000 + professionals for Effective Communication, Customer Services & Creative Problem Solving. He has also conceptualized, produced and delivered courses such as Game Development, Python, Cyber Robotics, Mind Math (Soroban Abacus), 3D Design & Printing & Science Workshops.).

Jawad is an invited Judge for Global Robotics Championships of FIRST Lego League, FIRST Global and the National Organizer for World Robot Olympiad. He is honoured to represent Pakistan in United States, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Thailand, UAE, United Kingdom & Turkey. He is also the National Partner for AIRBUS little engineer program, specially designed for students to gain Space Science knowledge. His top priority remains: bringing about behavioural change and enhancement of performance by proper guidance and professional training. He is actively involved in creating awareness about STEM Education throughout Pakistan and has plans to work with strategic partners to create an impact leading towards a meaningful contribution. Jawad holds a Masters Degree in Business and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from Middlesex College, London, United Kingdom. He was invited at TEDxSZABIST as a speaker in 2016 to highlight the importance of STEM Education in Pakistan.

Science Film Festival 2021 - Pre Jury - SAS: Jawad Kureishi

Chief Operating Officer STEM360 (Pvt.) Ltd.