Founders

Meena and Chihiro at the Directors Guild of America during the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

Meena and Chihiro at the Directors Guild of America during the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival

 

Meena Srinivasan

Meena is a writer, edupreneur and thought leader in the field of Mindfulness and Social Emotional Learning. Meena began her career at the ABC Network’s hard news division in New York City after serving as an Associate Producer for an NBC affiliate in Western Massachusetts. Wanting to nurture her love of education Meena left the ABC Network to teach in secondary education. After a decade of experience in that field she is happily returning to the world of media to create films with her husband, Chihiro Wimbush. She sees mindful media as a wonderful next step in her career and journey as an educator committed to making the world a better place.

A contributor to United Nations’ publications on inclusive education, Meena was one of the youngest educators to be awarded the prestigious National Board Certification by the United States National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and she also holds an Administrative Services Credential and Social Science Single Subject Teaching Credential in the State of California. She earned a master’s degree in education from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Amherst College. Her international outlook on education was enhanced by spending her junior year studying abroad at the London School of Economics. She has taught middle and high school students in Brazil, India, and California and currently works as a Program Manager for the Oakland Unified School District’s Office of Social and Emotional Learning.

Meena is a dedicated student of Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Thich Nhat Hanh, and was involved in the creation of his bestselling book Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children. She served on the Board of Directors of the Mindfulness in Education Network, was Core Faculty of the Mindful Education Institute, and served on the Advisory Board of the San Francisco Asian Art Museum’s exhibit, Yoga: The Art of Transformation. Meena’s also a recipient of the Hemera Foundation’s Contemplative Education Fellowship. Her first book, Teach, Breathe, Learn: Mindfulness In and Out of the Classroom,  (Parallax Press, 2014) was recently featured on Edutopia. Meena offers a vast array of Professional Learning and Consulting services.

Chihiro Wimbush

Chihiro is an East-Bay Media Maker, specializing in documentary film, dedicated to sharing stories that inspire transformation. Chihiro is a 2016 Hatchlab participant, 2012 Sundance Creative Producing Institute invitee and a 2011 Bay Area Video Coalition Media Maker Fellow. He has worked on a wide range of projects around the world including baseball in Cambodia; AIDS orphans in South Africa; homeless bakers in Appalachia; students with disabilities in Guanzhou, China; and a conspiracy theorist’s journey seeking truth across the United States.

Most recently, Chihiro edited the documentary Changing Season, about the Japanese-American Masumoto peach-farming family battling prejudice and drought in the Central Valley of California, and co-directed and shot the documentary feature, Dogtown Redemption, following the lives of homeless shopping cart recyclers in West Oakland.  Both films won awards on the film festival circuit and went on to broadcast nationally on PBS in May of 2016.  He served as cinematographer and editor for the installation Bay Chronicles retracing the sails of Chinese shrimp fisherman that once dotted the Bay.  Currently, Chihiro is completing work on a short documentary, The People’s Hospital, on the new Chinese Hospital in San Francisco’s Chinatown, while producing and editing the documentary Aswat Nabila, on a group of Arab musicians in the Bay Area.  He is also launching a new multimedia project, Footprint, on the Refinery Corridor Healing Walks led by Native American grandmothers.

Chihiro and KPacific production partner Jim Choi have produced several short documentary films, most recently for the Center for Asian American Media with “Don’t Lose Your Soul,” honoring two godfathers of Asian American Jazz. The documentary had its broadcast premiere in San Francisco on KQED in 2013, premiering theatrically at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, and broadcasting nationally on PBS in May 2014 as part of the series “Japanese-American Lives” hosted by Kristi Yamaguchi.

Chihiro has also worked in narrative film; as writer/director he created two short films, “Cross Fader” and “Double Features,” both of which played at numerous festivals across North America. Chihiro served as a production manager/producer for three narrative feature films for the Center for Asian American Media, working with directors Wayne Wang, Richard Wong, and HP Mendoza.

Before focusing on filmmaking, Chihiro was a musician, DJ, as well as radio host and producer. He co-founded “APA Compass,” the Asian-American public affairs show of the Pacific Northwest and hosted the world music program, “Your Blue Room” for 8 years, sharing music and interviews from an international array of musicians, DJs and producers. He has a BA from Columbia University.

Chihiro is excited to work in partnership with his wife, Meena, on  “A Lens Inside.”  They are thrilled to share with the world their first project, Touching the Untouchable, a documentary short chronicling the lives of Dalits, the Untouchable caste, in Tamil Nadu, India and one woman’s unlikely journey to guide them towards self-empowerment.

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