Meet the Inaugural Sriyanka Ray Grant Recipient from Bitchitra Collective and Brown Girls Doc Mafia

Lissa Deonarain • April 4, 2024

Bitchitra Collective: Indian Women in Documentary and Brown Girls Doc Mafia (BGDM) are excited to announce Dr. Moupia Mukherjee as the recipient of the 2024 Sriyanka Ray Grant for her film Murshida.

Moupia is an Indian woman with large square glasses, a yellow tunic and wavy brown hair down to her shoulders.

In memory of Sriyanka Ray, the late talented filmmaker and active member of both organizations, the grant provides $4,000 to a project that embodies Sriyanka’s passion for telling social justice stories and her commitment to support artists on the margins.

Dr. Moupia Mukherjee is an independent filmmaker, producer and writer based in Kolkata. She has a PhD and MPhil in Women’s Studies and M.A. in Comparative Literature. Her production house Moromiya Pictures received critical acclaim for the documentary Dui Dhuranir Golpo (‘In-Between Days’), and her directorial debut documentary, The Day I Became a Woman, premiered at the Kolkata International Film Festival in 2019. She is in production on her second documentary, Murshida.

“I am grateful for this much needed support. This is the first [grant] since I started trying for funding. [The] pandemic hit hard and slowed down the process. I am yet to recover the production cost fully, but this grant will help me to touch the finishing line soon.” - Dr. Mopia Mukherejee

In Murshida, situated in a village in West Bengal, Principal Murshida Khatun takes orthodoxy and religious bigotry head-on to impart life lessons to the girls of her Madrasah, motivating them to have their own identity and simultaneously deals with her personal ups and downs.

An Indian woman in a beige sari, stands amidst young Indian female students, while holding a microphone.

Dr. Mukherjee shares, “I met Sriyanka once [at] a Kolkata meet-up of Bitchitra Collective members and she stole my heart [with] her fun-loving, jovial self and positive attitude. All of us shared about our projects. She loved my project and encouraged me to proceed further. Hardly did I know how she would be there to support me, even [in] her physical absence!”

Lissa Deonarain
Lissa Deonarain

Lissa Deonarain (she/they) is a queer, disabled, multiracial Guyanese-American documentary filmmaker, editor, communications specialist and producer. She has produced films around the world, and worked with award-winning directors.