The Production Team

VIVEK BALD: Director, Producer, Writer Vivek Bald is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, digital media producer, and scholar. His work over the past twenty-five years has explored the stories and experiences of South Asians in the U.S. and Britain. Bald’s first documentary, Taxi-vala/Auto-biography (1994) examined the lives, struggles, and activism of New York City taxi drivers from Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. Taxi-vala premiered at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival in 1994, featured in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s exhibition, New Directions in Indian American Film, and was broadcast by PBS in 1996. Bald’s second film, Mutiny: Asians Storm British Music (2003) focused on South Asian youth, music, and anti-racist politics in 1970s-90s Britain. It premiered in New York as part of Lincoln Center’s Independents Night series. It screened at two dozen film festivals in thirteen countries, from the United Kingdom to Australia to Brazil, Norway, and the Czech Republic. In 2020, Bald consulted upon and appeared in the Peabody Award winning PBS documentary series, Asian Americans. He is the author of Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America (Harvard University Press, 2013) and is the faculty Director of MIT’s Open Documentary Lab, a unit devoted to the analysis and incubation of new forms of documentary: VR, AR & web-based; crowd-sourced; interactive and immersive. He is also developing “The Lost Histories Project,” an interactive documentary and participatory oral history that will build upon and extend the Bengali Harlem film and book. [Email: vbald at mit dot edu]

ALAUDIN ULLAH: Director, Producer, Writer Alaudin Ullah is a trailblazing entertainer — one of the first South Asian comedians featured nationally on HBO, MTV, BET, PBS, and Comedy Central in a career that has spanned three decades. Limited by negative stereotypes, with little to no representation of his people, Ullah turned from acting to writing. As a member of the Public Theater’s inaugural Emerging Writers Group, he wrote plays about Harlem and Bangladesh, then pursued his craft in Columbia University’s prestigious MFA Playwrighting Program, where he graduated in 2022. In the 2022 season, his solo play, Dishwasher Dreams, premiered in Chicago and at Hartford Stage, where he won the Connecticut Critics Circle award for best Solo Performance. On screen, Ullah co-starred in the film American Desi, and did several voices for the award-winning animated feature, Sita Sings the Blues. On television, he was featured in Uncle Morty’s Dub Shack (IATV). Vivek Bald’s book, Bengali Harlem, was inspired by Ullah’s plays and his family’s journey to America. He co-directed the award-winning documentary, In Search of Bengali Harlem, with Bald, which has screened in festivals across the U.S., including DocNYC, Cleveland International Film Festival, Portland Film Festival, Boston Asian American Film Festival, and the L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival. In Search of Bengali Harlem will air this season on PBS. Ullah’s ongoing dedication is to creating stories and characters that counter, challenge, and correct, the misperception of South Asians and Muslims.[Email: funnyaladdin at gmail dot com]

SUSANNAH LUDWIG: Producer Named a “visionary independent producer,” by The Sundance Film Institute when she was awarded the prestigious Mark Silverman Fellowship, Susannah Ludwig has had a varied and dynamic career in film production. Most recently, she produced Kings Point, which was nominated for an Academy Award and premiered on HBO in March 2013. Ludwig co-created and executive produced the docu-series Boomtown, about the effects of oil discovery on a small town in North Dakota. Boomtown aired on Discovery/Planet Green and won the prestigious IDA award for Best Documentary Series in 2011. Stolen, a feature documentary exploring the infamous 1990 art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, was released theatrically in 50 cities, distributed via Netflix and broadcast on the PBS series Independent Lens. Ludwig has produced numerous other documentaries such as Flat Daddy (iTunes, Hulu, and other digital platforms in November 2012) Animas Perdidas (Lost Souls) (PBS); My Mother’s Garden (MSNBC); Close Up: Photographers at Work (Ovation TV); and Self Portrait With Cows Going Home and Other Works: A Portrait of Sylvia Plachy (Ovation TV). She serves on the board of Kids in Need Foundation, a nonprofit which provides school supplies to children who cannot afford them. [Email: suzlud at gmail dot com]

BEYZA BOYACIOGLU: Editor, Writer Beyza Boyacıoğlu is an award-winning documentarian and film editor from Istanbul, currently based in Brooklyn. Her work has been exhibited at MoMA, IDFA, Anthology Film Archives, RIDM, MoMA PS1, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Venice Biennial, Creative Time Summit, Barbican Centre, UnionDocs, Maysles Cinema, Morelia International Film Festival, !f Istanbul and many others. Her work as an editor includes feature documentaries In Search of Bengali Harlem and Black Lives Matter: A Global Reckoning – Italy (directed by Nicole Bozorgmir for VICE Media). She is a long-time collaborator of Upstander Project that produces documentary films to encourage decolonization; she edited two shorts from their Reciprocity Project as well as Bounty. Most recently, she was an editor on Season 2 of Counter Space by VICE Media featuring chef Sophia Roe. Her clients include BBC, VICE, American Express, Harvard University, MIT, Vivid Story, Swissnex, Creative Time, athenahealth and Eyebeam. She was a Karen Schmeer Diversity in the Edit Room mentee between 2019-2020. As a director, she has received fellowships and grants from Chicken & Egg, Flaherty Seminar, Greenhouse (now Close-Up) program for Middle Eastern and North African filmmakers, LEF Foundation, Council for the Arts at MIT and SALT Research. She created the interactive documentary Zeki Müren Hotline at the MIT Open Documentary Lab with Jeff Soyk and directed the short film Toñita’s at UnionDocs with Sebastian Diaz.