Board of Directors
Ira Azulay is a founding partner of Immigration Attorneys, LLP and oversees the business and operations of the firm, including its expansion strategy. He sits on the Board of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, a member of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.
In addition to practicing law, Ira previously co-founded an independent film production company, Fusefilter Pictures, Inc. Ira also headed business development for Vivcom, Inc., a company that pioneered a then new way to index video utilizing MPEG-7. Prior to that, he was vice president of Wired Planet, Inc., an online entertainment company, and ran its business, legal and financial operations.
Nilesh aka Kayenn Coco May’s media and entertainment career has spanned more than twenty years. Starting young in the world of advertising as a visualizer he went on to become a creative director and eventually a Producer of several noteworthy advertising commercials both in India and in the US.
He was also the co-founder of Hakuna Matata Entertainment, which brought some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters to over 2 billion people worldwide. As CEO & President at Argeli Vicar Inc. a Chicago based new Media company, he helped assemble & create a community of finest Film Technicians, Writers & Actors.
He is currently Managing Partner at Rust Belt Entertainment LLP a Chicago/LA based boutique film production company.
Ketki studied at the prestigious Darpana Academy in Ahmadabad, India. There, she became intimately engaged in both the performance and theories of artistic expression through dance and drama.
After moving to the United States, she founded, Vachikam and was instrumental in bringing acclaimed Indian theatrical plays to the U.S. including the recent Shabana Azmi play Broken Images and Girish Karnad’s The Wedding Album.
Additionally, Ketki is a strong and active supporter of the Indian community. She serves as a board member of Apna Ghar, a domestic violence shelter in Chicago serving Asian women and children, where she organized several high profile charity events including including the Taste for Life. Ketki is a co-founder of the Festival.
Amit Rana graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and worked as a software consultant and project manager at Accenture before he led the effort to found the Festival in 2010.
His creative pursuits include directing several short films including “Dawn of a New Day” for the 48 Hour Film Project; and studying acting and performing improvised comedy at the prestigious Second City Conservatory Program. He recently acted in the Nequa Studios feature ”Promiseland” and currently serves as the Festival Director.
Hamed Hashmy brings more than 17 years experience in retail, small business, government, and non-profit banking. He is currently Vice President of GNPH Business Banking at JP Morgan Chase.
Hamed is also the founder of ABCD Chicago, a premiere event planning and marketing company in the Midwest. He served as a committee member at the Chicago International Film Festival to promote the South Asian and Middle East programming.