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Profile for download (doc file) ; Short bio for download (doc file)

After a Master's in Theatre and Television from the University of New Orleans, USA (1977 - 1979), Anita Ratnam enjoyed a successful ten-year tenure from 1981-1990 as an award winning television producer in New York.

Her TV shows on culture, society and current affairs, brought India into the homes of Indian-Americans across the USA. Besides securing Emmy (1987) and Ace (1986) award nominations for her media work in the USA, she has even been honoured as "Outstanding TV Ambassador" (1988) for enhancing American awareness of India.

"I realized how unimportant India was to the average American. We were either kings on elephants or beggars on the streets. I had to show them that Indians had much more to offer...

The weekly TV show which saw me wearing many hats as writer, producer, reporter, researcher and anchor made me acutely aware of being responsible for the words and images that were broadcast. For ten years I was constantly shifting emphasis, rearranging symbolism and attempting a synergy between the India I knew and the America I saw.

The decade of the eighties was a dramatic time for India and the United States. Assassinations, bloodshed, culture melas, dazzling pomp and glamour, community unrest and racial issues.

I was in the center of it all absorbing and storing the myriad images during that tumultuous time.

I realised the meaning of true democracy and the value of true collaboration. Whoever you are and whatever you do doesn't matter, everyone just rolls up their sleeves and gets down to work, to learn, to share and to grow together

Being in the media has taught me so many things, assimilating information very fast, thinking on my feet, working with so many people, significance of deadlines, but most important of all it has made me very observant of life. I also know what exactly the media needs from people. But ten years doing reporting, anchoring and hosting shows got me tired of nibbling at issues. All I ever got was two-three minutes on air. So I moved ahead." Anita Ratnam


In USA

Indigo (1987-1996)
- First weekly broadcast from Anita's studio in New York city
- For the Indian immigrant community in USA
- On Indian tourism and cultural traditions
- First nationally broadcast series on Indian culture

Cinema - Cinema (1981-1990)
- Weekly news and entertainment programme
- Uninterrupted broadcast of 10 years

Festival of India-USA (1985)
- Principal Correspondent to Doordarshan, India (India's state-owned TV Network)
- Acclaimed 26 part series, broadcast live to India via satellite - Viewed by 300 million throughout India
- Won Anita "TV Ambassador" award from the Federation of Indian Associations in USA
- Re-broadcast 4 times during 1986-'87


In India

Yantra Multimedia (1989)
- Established by Anita in Chennai (Madras), India
- To produce corporate videos, documentaries, programmes on culture, tourism, education and business

South India Bureau Chief (1990-1995)
- To Plus Channel (India's largest independent producer of television programmes)

Field Producer (1995)
- "Fireworks", an Emmy and Ace award nominated documentary by George Plimpton

Host (1996)
- "Emerging Powers", a series about the liberalisation in the Indian economy, produced for Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in the USA