Earlier this month we had a chance to interview Nyna Pais Caputi, a director of the upcoming social impact documentary Petals in the Dust: Endangered Indian Girls which is set to have its world premier on June 6, 2015 in San Francisco.
Petals in the Dust examines themes of gender discrimination and violence against women---through the lens and stories of incredible individual women from India and across the diaspora. The project has been one of passion and commitment by Nyna, taking over 7 years to make into reality.
Nyna Pais Caputi has the incredible knack of taking Gandhi's quote "be the change you wish to see in the world" to heart. When her own journey led to her to explore adopting children from India, she was confronted with stark gender inequality norms and difficult realities such as infanticide. Instead of standing by, she began the epic project of writing, directing, producing, and releasing a documentary that explores the layers of gender inequality in India---and also tells the stories of women who have found ways to overcome difficult realities.
As she researched her film and learned about atrocities such as killing of women and girls in India and globally, she took a bold step to galvanize attention and community by founding the Global Walk for India's Missing Girls. Now in its fifth year, it has become an international awareness campaign on the violence and genocide of Indian women that has taken place in over 25 cities and five countries.
And again, when she moved to San Francisco and couldn't find a group for international women interested in pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors, she took it upon herself to launch "The Expat Woman" as a group where women can hear from other women, can showcase their own ventures and products, and (soon) can pitch their startups in a "Shark Tank"-like pitch event.
I had the chance to speak on one of Nyna's Expat Women panels focused on the experience of entrepreneurship in the SF Bay Area.
Nyna has been recognized for her leadership and tenacity with honors including selection as a "2015 Woman of Distinction" by Soroptimist International of Diablo and was selected for a "Women of the Year" award by the California State Assembly in 2015.