Alexandra Shiva

Alexandra Elizabeth Shiva is an American film producer and director. Bombay Eunuch is her 2001 award-winning film, and in 2015 she showed How to Dance in Ohio at the Sundance Film Festival in the US Documentary Competition.[1] Shiva also founded a production studio called Gidalya Pictures.

Alexandra Shiva

Personal lifeEdit

Shiva was born in New York City, the daughter of Susan (née Stein) and Gil Shiva. Her grandfather was Jules Stein, founder of MCA, the film, television, and record company. She graduated Vassar College in 1995 with her BA in Art History.[2] In 2003, Shiva married writer Jonathan Marc Sherman, son of Dr. Ronald Sherman and Barbara Daniels Sherman.[3]

CareerEdit

Shiva's first directed documentary film was Bombay Eunuch (2001), which was also co-directed with Sean MacDonald and Michelle Gucovsky. The film was released by Shiva's production company Gidalya Pictures.[4] It examined the decline in the traditional status of eunuchs in India focusing on one family. Meena the leader of the family Shiva follows around allowed the filmmakers into the private world of hijras in hopes of improving the stigma around hijras.[5] Shiva accomplished gaining access to the private world of hijras, which has traditionally been inaccessible to journalists.[6] Thus allowing for a glimpse of a secretive, invisible world. The New Yorker commended the film for dignifying these outcasts and never condescending them.[7]

In 2006, Shiva directed her second documentary film Stagedoor. The film is about the Stagedoor Manor, a premier summer theatre camp for children ages 8 – 18.[8] The film follows extroverted, budding young actors at Stagedoor Manor, where her husband also attended as a boy.

Shiva continued to be interested in the theme of people who felt like they didn't belong but find communities where they do, with her third film How to Dance in Ohio (2015). The film takes place in Columbus, Ohio following the story of three teenage girls who have autism preparing to go to the prom.[9] It shows the courage of people facing their fears and entering the adult world.[10] This was Shiva's first film she created after her children were born. She intended to make it in NYC, but her research led her to Ohio where she discovered Emilio Amigo, a psychologist working with autistic children.[11]

The US TV rights for How to Dance in Ohio were acquired by HBO Documentary Films.[12] The film premiered at 2015 Sundance Film Festival and will appear on HBO later in 2015.

FilmographyEdit

Director and ProducerEdit

  • Bombay Eunuch (2001)
  • Stagedoor (2006)
  • How to Dance in Ohio (2015)
  • This Is Home: A Refugee Story (2018)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Press Sundance Institute." Sundance Institute. Accessed April 6, 2015. http://press.sundance.org/press?letter=h&page=2 Archived 2014-01-21 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "About Us." Gidalya Pictures. Accessed April 6, 2015. http://gidalyapictures.com/ bio.html.
  3. ^ "WEDDINGS/CELEBRATIONS; Alexandra Shiva, Jonathan Sherman." The New York Times. Last modified May 18, 2003. Accessed April 5, 2015.https://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/18/style/weddings-celebrations-alexandra-shiva-jonathan-sherman.html.
  4. ^ Holden, Stephen. "Bombay Eunuch (2001) FILM REVIEW; Out of the Rajah's Court To Plague Ridden Streets." The New York Times. Last modified November 16, 2001. Accessed April 6, 2015. https://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9C05E0D8173BF935A25752C1A9679C8B63.
  5. ^ Holden, Stephen. "Bombay Eunuch (2001) FILM REVIEW; Out of the Rajah's Court To Plague Ridden Streets." The New York Times. Last modified November 16, 2001. Accessed April 6, 2015. https://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9C05E0D8173BF935A25752C1A9679C8B63.
  6. ^ Holden, Stephen. "Bombay Eunuch (2001) FILM REVIEW; Out of the Rajah's Court To Plague Ridden Streets." The New York Times. Last modified November 16, 2001. Accessed April 6, 2015. https://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9C05E0D8173BF935A25752C1A9679C8B63.
  7. ^ Diones, Bruce. "The New Yorker: Bombay Eunuch." Gidalya Pictures. Last modified November 19, 2001. Accessed April 6, 2015. http://gidalyapictures.com/bombayeunuch-nyer.html Archived 2014-11-19 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Fox, Ken. "Stagedoor Review." TV Guide. http://www.tvguide.com/movies/stagedoor/review/280398/.
  9. ^ Heyman, Marshall. "Female Directors Shine at Sundance." The Wall Street Journal. Last modified January 20, 2015. Accessed April 5, 2015. https://www.wsj.com/ articles/female-directors-shine-at-sundance-1421799002.
  10. ^ http://www.sundance.org/projects/how-to-dance-in-ohio
  11. ^ "“My First Feature Film Since My Children were Born.'" Filmmaker Magazine. Last modified January 25, 2015. Accessed April 6, 2015. http://filmmakermagazine.com/92713-my-first-feature-film-since-my-children-were-born-how-to-dance-in-ohio-director-alexandra-shiva/.
  12. ^ Hipes, Patrick. "Sundance Pic ‘How To Dance In Ohio’ Shuffles To HBO." Deadline. Last modified January 14, 2015. Accessed April 6, 2015. http://deadline.com/2015/01/how-to-dance-in-ohio-hbo-sundance-film-festival-1201349993/#.