Shebana Coelho is a writer, director and filmmaker, originally from India, now based in New Mexico.
Her work spans genres, from documentary to fiction, theatre to poetry.
She has written about and traveled in India, Mexico, Mongolia and Palestine, among others.
Awards include a Fiction Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), a Jerome Foundation Emerging Artist's Fellowship and a Fulbright grant to Mongolia to experience and record life in nomadic communities.
Her documentary work has been broadcast on American Public Television, National Public Radio, The Discovery Channel, Noggin/Nickelodeon and BBC Radio Four and has received a Telly award and a South Asian Journalists' Association (SAJA) Best Documentary Award TV projects include: producer/director of Desi, a documentary for PBS Channel 13 about the South Asian community in New York, story-editor of four episodes of On the Team, (Noggin/Nickelodeon) and co-producer of The Empire State Building (Discovery Channel.) Radio projects include Bollywood Goes Borscht, on the nostalgia for Indian films within the Russian emigré community and Calling Home, on pay phone centers, both for NPR's On the Media and Blyton in Bombay, a 30-minute BBC Radio Four program about the impact of British children's writer, Enid Blyton on generations of Indians. She has also edited pieces for NPR's Weekend Edition. Along with Shashwati Talukdar, she received the James T. Yee Mentorship Award from the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) for the short fiction feature, Ghosts, based on her short story.
Her poems and prose pieces have been published in Chronogram magazine, Word Riot, Sukoon, Lummox, Slice, Juked, Tinderbox Review, Santa Fe Review, Malpais Review, Entropy, Mizna, the Madcap Review, the Nottingham Review, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Wildness, Yes Poetry, New Mexico Mercury, NPR's On Being blog, the anthology, Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer's Disease (Kent University Press, foreword Tess Gallagher), Sin Fronteras journal and The Rag. She has written for Al Jazeera America, Howl Round, Theatre Communications Group's Blog, Vela, Time Out Mumbai and The O&P Edge.
Her essay, Snow in Mongolia, appears in the Best Women's Travel Writing, Volume 10 (editor, Lavinia Spalding).
It was translated into Swedish for the anthology, Gränslös (Limitless).
Other grants include a fiction award from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, and an Archie D. & Bertha Walker Scholarship from the Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, MA. She has received artists’ residency awards at Hedgebrook Colony, Jentel, Hall Center for the Arts, the New York Mills Cultural Center and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico.
She produced, shot and edited a multimedia documentation project for the Santa Fe-based Institute of American Indian Arts’ Center for Lifelong Education (CLE), edited a short documentary for Rivers Run Through Us and co-produced/edited a story video for Hamaatsa, an indigenous learning center and several short videos for non-profits and events (see Work for samples).
A half-hour radio documentary about Mongolian women, On the Move in Mongolia which she produced and edited, had its world radio premiere on KUNM (89.9 fm, Albuquerque) program Women's Hour in October 2012. The documentary was produced for Outer Voices with Story Consultant/Executive Producer, Stephanie Guyer-Stevens.
She completed a feature-length screenplay, Hogan Góó - Homeward with Diné storyteller, Sunny Dooley.
Her plays include: Undo, a one-act (The Players Club in NYC, April 2014), Greenland (part of an evening of staged readings at the Santa Fe Playhouse in November 2013), and the full length plays: When the Stars Trembled in Río Puerco, an oral history play, adapted from the work of Nasario García about life in four now ghost towns in Rio Puerco, New Mexico (April 2014, Teatro Paraguas, September 2014, National Hispanic Cultural Center), The Tree
(reading July 2013 at Teatro Paraguas) and Bless Me Father.
She received a CEC ArtsLink Project award to collaborate with ASHTAR Theater in Ramallah, Palestine on the multimedia project Land Out Loud which excavates creative expressions about land in different genres.
Most recently, she directed and produced, Nasario remembers the Rio Puerco, a profile of New Mexico folklorist Nasario García, as h e encounters landscape and memory in the abandoned villages of the Rio Puerco valley where he grew up. The film was broadcast on New Mexico PBS in October 2017.
She is currently working on The Good Manners of Colonized Subjects, a solo play featuring poetry and dance.
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