Insia Dariwala Pandey is an Indian Director, Screenplay writer, Producer and Story Writer. She has a Muslim father, a Catholic mother (Denise Pereira) and a husband who is a Hindu Brahmin (
) due to which she has an extremely liberal and unbiased view and does not affiliate with any religion. She studied at St. Anthony High School and graduated from the esteemed Fashion Institute of Technology,
, earning a degree in Advertising and Mass Communication.
She then experimented with some career options, like in an ad agency called Bleecker & Sullivan where she worked as a copywriter and even as an assistant perfumer. She finally figured out that she was meant to weave stories and began to work for the same. She spent eleven years in New York but finally decided to relocate to India to pursue her ambitions. On coming to India, she put her copywriting experience to use and landed a job at a small ad agency named AB&U.
Her ads for Esselworld garnered fame and went ahead to win an award at the New York One under the Best Outdoor category. She started her film career as an Assistant Director while she also worked as a scriptwriter for Mrs. India 2010, ‘Ajeeb’ and Radha ki Betiyan. She received the “Best Thriller” award for her work on “Ajeeb” that aired on 9X channel. She made her debut as a lyricist and director was the short film “The Candy Man”. She also was the writer for the same.
The short film dug into the taboo topic of Child Sexual Abuse and brought up the stark reality of it. She won two ‘Best Director’ awards for it in India and had also been nominated at the Barcelona International Film Festival and New York Short Film Festival in 2010. She also went on to independently direct a documentary for an Indian production house, the title of the documentary was “Surviving Deonar.” She co-directed the International documentary titled “We The People” that was released in 2013.
She even wrote the documentary “Indian Arms & Armor,” which premiered on DD Bharati. She has written for Himesh Reshammiya Productions. Her second short film, “Cock-Tale” took on the dominant topic of rape and was nominated for the Delhi International Film Festival. It was under the banner of Freak Productions Private Limited. The short film won a Golden Camera award at the Nashik International Film Festival.
She is an activist against sexual abuse of any form and has been very vocal about taking a stand against it. She continues to reside in Mumbai and is an active writer and writes for magazines like Books & More and TLF – Lifestyle & Travel. She is fluent in Gujarati, Marathi, Hindi and English.