Maheen Mirza is a cinematographer and independent filmmaker whose work has emphasised a collective and localized approach to cinema. Co-founder of Ektara Collective, she actively fosters collaboration among diverse individuals, both trained and untrained, to craft films deeply rooted in shared realities both in aesthetics and theme. Much of her work has located itself with women, children and people who usually hold adivasi, dalit, minority, queer, trans identities. It is the camaraderie which emanates from here that breathes life into her work. She has directed and cinematographed fiction and non fiction features and short films that have been awarded and recognised nationally and internationally. Her latest film Ek Jagah Apni (A Place of Our Own), was showcased as a part of NFDC’s Film Bazaar’s Goes to Cannes at the Marche du Film (Festival De Cannes) 2022 before premiering at the 35th Tokyo International Film Festival. Some of her other works include Agar Wo Desh Banati (If She Built a Country), Checkmate (Turup), Jaadui Machchi (Fishy Magic). Working closely with Muskaan, an educational organization with a firm belief in transformative storytelling, she has developed oral and written text and visuals that emerge organically from the contexts and life journeys of children from Denotified and Nomadic Tribes into stories that find a tangible existence in print.