The Shabistan Team

The Shabistan Film Archive is run by a group of dedicated volunteers, scattered across India and throughout the world. Each of us contributes distinct expertise, skills, and experience. Meet the members of our core team:

David Farris

Executive Director


David (Harvard ’01, UC Berkeley PhD ’11) is a mathematician at the National Center for Biological Sciences in Bangalore. He also researches the exhibition and distribution of Indian film, supported by the India Foundation for the Arts and the American Institute for Indian Studies.

Vibhushan Subba

Director of Acquisitions


Vibhushan is an independent media scholar working on new screen cultures, trash aesthetics and the modes of production and distribution of Indian low budget filmmaking, cult and para cinema. He is also an independent filmmaker.

David Boyk

David Boyk

Operations Director


David (UC Berkeley ’06, UC Berkeley PhD ’15) teaches in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at Northwestern University near Chicago. He works on South Asian urban and regional history and the history of Hindi-Urdu language and literature.


Vaibhav Singh

Fundraising Director


Vaibhav (IIT Bombay ’07, Reading ’11, Reading PhD ’17) is a designer, cinephile, and historian of design and technology. His research interests revolve broadly around printing, publishing and communication technologies in multilingual South Asian contexts.


Mrugank Inamdar

Finance Director


Mrugank (University of Pune ’04, XLRI ’06, INSEAD ’10) is a business professional with expertise in fund-raising and business management.

John Kostka

Chief Archivist


John (Chicago ’09, UCLA MIAS ’15) is a digital archivist at HBO in Santa Monica, California. He has previously worked in archiving and digital asset management at Sony Pictures, NBCUniversal, and at the New Beverly Cinema.

David Boyk

Academic Partnership Manager


David (UC Berkeley ’06, UC Berkeley PhD ’15) is a historian of modern South Asia. His research interests center on the cultural and social history of north Indian cities. He teaches at Northwestern University outside Chicago.

Ishaan Srivastava

Private Fundraiser


Ishaan is an undergraduate at Yale College in Connecticut, where he is studying modern South Asian history. His research interests center on the legal and intellectual history of development in postcolonial India.


Pujita Guha



Pujita is currently pursuing her PhD in Cinema Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University. She takes a keen interest in ecology, Southeast Asian cultures, and the world of image making.

Divakaran Divakaran

Film Researcher


Divakaran (Fergusson College ’07, Indian Institute of Science PhD ’15) is a Research Associate at the Informatics Forum, University of Edinburgh.

Dhanya Pilo

Collection Agent


Dhanya Pilo is a film maker and designer based in Mumbai. She founded “The Wall Project” in India in 2007, and in 2013, the project was included in the book titled Learning from Mumbai. She is alumnus of the prestigious National Institute of Design (Ahmedabad), Strelka (Moscow) & AIESEC (Mumbai).

Nate Cardozo

Legal Director


Nate (UC Santa Cruz ’03, UC Hastings JD ’08) is a Senior Staff Attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco. His work focuses on civil liberties and technology law.