Kalpna Singh-Chitnis is an Indian-American Poet, Filmmaker and Actor of East Indian descent based in the United States. She is also the President and Founder of “Silent River Film Festival” and Editor-in-Chief of “Life and Legends” literary magazine.
Born in Gaya, Bihar, India, where Buddha got enlightenment, Kalpna grew up with much influence of Buddhism on her, despite her Hindu background. Educated at Magadh University Bodhgaya and New York Film Academy in Universal Studios, Hollywood, she began her career as a writer and lecturer of Political Science. She also worked as an actress and a model, before turning to the film directing.
Author of the “Bare Soul” (a poetry collection in English) and three collections of poems in Hindi, Kalpna found success as a writer at a very young age and won the prestigious “Bihar Rajbhasha Award” (1986-87) for her first poetry collection “Chand Ka Paivand” (Patch of Moon) before age 21, and the title of ‘Bihar Shree’ (Jewel of Bihar) in 1987. She also received “Rajiv Gandhi Global Excellence Award” in 2014 in New Delhi, for her contributions to literature and film at national and international levels. She has been nominated for “HONOR OF YEAST LITTERAIRE” by French magazine “Levure Litterarie” in 2014, where she also serves on Editorial Board.
Kalpna’s poetry collections “Bare Soul”, “Tafteesh Jari Hai” (The Investigation Continues) and “Nishant” (The Dawn) have received praise from eminent writers, scholars and critics such as Nobel prize nominees Dr. Wazir Agha, Naseer Ahmad Nasir, Vaptsarov Award and Ordre des Arts et des Lettres winner poet Amreeta Pritam, Academy Award winning lyricist, poet and filmmaker Gulzar, Gyanpeeth Award winner poets Kedarnath Singh, Shaharyar and others.
Kalpna’s literary works have been widely published in the Indian Subcontinent, Europe and North America. Her poems have been featured in prominent journals like California Quarterly, Levure litteraire, The Enchanting Verses, World Poetry, Prairie Light Review, Hans, Kadambini, Dharamyug, Saptahik Hindustan, Indraprastha Bharti, Femina and Care, just to name a few. She has been interviewed on ABC Channel 7, Voice of America, LA 18, Doordarshan (India’s National Television), KPFK Radio, Aakashvani (India’s National Radio) and has made several headlines in newspapers like Telegraph, OC Register, Los Angeles Times (Daily Pilot), OC Weekly, Times of India, Navbharat Times, Prabhat Khabar, Indian Express and others.
Kalpna’s fourth poetry collection BARE SOUL was among the top 10 best selling American Poetry, and top 27th best selling World Poetry on Amazon Kindle in its first year of publication. Her poetry album TOUCHED BY THE DEVIL (poetry in paradox) published in 2011 is available online. Her audio poetry album “Ancient Love” and poetry collection “’Bare Soul” will be available in print in 2015.
Kalpna’s work as a film director was first recognized when her short film GIRL WITH AN ACCENT screened at many international film festivals and won “Silver Award” at SMTV Mumbai International Film Festival. Girl With An Accent later had its Television Premiere on LA18 TV in California and Hawaii in 2015. Her debut feature GOODBYE MY FRIEND (Adios Mi Amigo) world premiered at the Silent River Film Festival in the US, and had it’s South Asian premiere at the Dhaka International Film Festival in Bangladesh. Goodbye My Friend has also been officially selected at Guwahati International Film Festival (India), LUMS International Film Festival Lahore (Pakistan), Life Fest (Hollywood) and Broadway International Film Festival (Los Angeles) in the US.
Kalpna is currently working on developing the screenplay of her next feature film ALL ABOUT MY FATHER and shooting her next film “Dancing in the Rain” (based on a true story), to raise awareness about the issue of honor killing in Indian Sub-continent and Mid-East. www.kalpnasinghchitnis.com