Manjari is an Indian born Writer-Director-Producer based in Los Angeles. Her debut feature, SKATER GIRL about a teenage girl who comes-of-age through skateboarding was acquired by Netflix and released worldwide June 11, 2021. Her second feature SPIN is Disney Channel’s first to feature an Indian American lead in an Original Movie. Spin debuted on August 13th, 2021 starring Avantika as Rhea, an Indian American teen who learns she has a passion for creating DJ mixes. SPIN also released on Disney Plus worldwide.
Manjari was one of eight directors selected for the prestigious AFI DWW Program (American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women) She was the second Indian woman to be part of the program since its inception in 1974. Following that she was handpicked to participate in Hollywood studio programs like the Universal Pictures Directors Intensive and the Fox Filmmakers Lab.
She currently filming SKATE BASTI, a feature documentary that tracks the impact of skateboarding on the lives of rural kids after they get one of India’s largest skateparks built in their remote village.
With over 12 years of experience in the industry, her journey as a director started with three critically acclaimed short films, I SEE YOU, THE CORNER TABLE and THE LAST MARBLE.
Her films have won awards in India, USA, Europe and Australia and have played in festivals like Clermont Ferrand, Rochester Int’l Film Festival, Asian American International Film Festival and at the Emerging Filmmakers showcase at the American Pavilion in Cannes. She’s a recipient of the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation Grant for her AFI DWW short.
At UCLA’s Professional Program in Screenwriting, one of her feature scripts, CITY OF GOLD, was nominated for the Nate Wilson Award in 2015.
She’s had the opportunity to work for incredible filmmakers like Christopher Nolan on DUNKIRK & THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, Patty Jenkins on WONDER WOMAN as well as A-list Indian filmmakers like Vishal Bhardwaj on SAAT KHOON MAAF starring Priyanka Chopra. Her credits as an Assistant Director include THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE-4 and Bollywood features like WAKE UP SID and GANDHI OF THE MONTH starring Harvey Keitel.
Makijany comes from a film family of actors and filmmakers in Mumbai and had set her mind on directing early on. Her vision for storytelling and her diverse film experience, both in India and America, has served as a fertile ground to craft her unique voice as a filmmaker. She heads a boutique production company in Los Angeles, Skatepark Films, with her husband and producing partner, Emmanuel Pappas.
AWARDS & GRANTS
- WINNER – Asian American International Film Festival (NYC, 2017)
- NOMINATED for Best Short Film – New York Indian Film Festival (2014)
- BEST OF FEST – Clermont Ferrand Film Festival, (2013)
- BEST SHORT from India-Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2012
- NOMINATED – Excellence in Short Film – Asian American Int’l Film Festival (New York, 2012)
- JURY AWARD of Excellence for Women Filmmakers – Best Shorts Competition (2012)
- Recipient of the 2016 Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation Grant and the Adrienne Shelly Foundation Grant
- WINNER BEST ACTOR – Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival (2014)
- JURY AWARD – Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival (2014)
- WINNER – Rochester International Film Festival (2013)
- 3rd in NARRATIVE SHORTS – My Hero International Film Festival, (Los Angeles,2014)
- BEST OF FEST – Tumbleweed Film Festival (Washington State, 2012)
- American Pavilion, Emerging Filmmakers Showcase, Cannes (2014)
- Cannes Court Metrage (Short Film Corner, 2014)
- New York Indian Film Festival (2014)
- Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival (2014)
- Boston Asian American Film Festival (2014)
- My Hero International Film Festival, (Los Angeles, 2014)
- In-Flight Entertainment-Alaska Airlines via SIFF Short Film Channel(2014)
- Festival of Hope (San Francisco, 2014)
- Pantry Shorts Film Nights (Mumbai, India 2014)
- PBS Shorts Showcase Satellite Screening (Southern California, 2014)
- Shorts Showcase Film Festival (2014)
- Educational Screenings for Rencontres Audiovisuelles (Belgium, France,2013-2014)
- The North Carolina Global Film Festival (2014)
- Short Busters (Bangalore,India 2013)
- Seoul International Extreme Film Festival (Seoul, South Korea 2013)
- Abycine International Film Festival (Spain, 2013)
- Altkirch International Film Festival (Altkirch, 2013)
- Rochester International Film Festival (Rochester, 2013)
- Jaipur International Film Festival (Jaipur,India 2013)
- Clermont Ferrand Film Festival (Clermont Ferrand,France 2013)
- Palm Springs International Shortsfest Market (2014)
- Indian Film Festival, The Hague (2014)
- Indian Film Festival, Stuttgart (2014)
- Arizona International Film Festival (2014)
- Tall Grass Film Festival (Wichita, KS 2012)
- Best Shorts Competition (2012)
- Seven Island International Film Festival (Chennai,India 2012)
- Brisbane International Film Festival (Brisbane,Australia 2012)
- Show Me Shorts Film Festival (New Zealand, 2012)
- Bangalore Shorts Film Festival (Bangalore, India 2012)
- New Jersey Independent South Asian Cinema Festival (New Jersey, 2012)
- 1 Reel Film Festival (Seattle, 2012)
- Tumbleweed Film Festival (Seattle, 2012)
- East Side Story Film Exhibition (Pune, India 2012)
- Costa Rica International Film Festival (Costa Rica, 2012)
- Chicago South Asian Film Festival (Chicago, 2012)
- Indian Film Festival of Stuttgart (Stuttgart, Germany 2012)
- Asian American International Film Festival (New York, 2012)
- India-Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (Melbourne, Australia 2012)
- Seattle International Film Festival, SIFF World Premiere (Seattle, 2012)
Behind the Scenes
DJs and Skater Girls: Manjari Makijany Has Stories to Tell
Writer/director Manjari Makijany talks about the process of building a skate park in India for Skater Girl, how excited ...
Waheeda Rehman reminisces Guide days as she returns to Udaipur
More than 50 years after shooting for classic Guide in Udaipur, veteran actor Waheeda Rehman is taking a trip back to the city of ...
Mac Mohan’s daughters Manjari and Vinati enter Bollywood with India’s first film on skateboarding.
Arre O Sambha…, the character from Ramesh Sippy’s Sholay, played by the late Mac Mohan, remains memorable even after four ...
From Wonder Woman to Dark Knight, Meet the Indian Woman Making Waves in Hollywood
Eldest daughter of Mac Mohan who had forever immortalised the role of Samba in the film Sholay, Manjari has been venturing into ...