( O U T ) C A S T E



When a manual scavenger cannot continue her work emptying
non-flushing outdoor toilets for upper caste villagers,
her 11-year-old daughter must assume the responsibility.

Shilpi Shikha Agrawal - Writer | Director | Cinematographer

Shilpi recently completed her MFA at the American Film Institute Conservatory. In 2016, she wrote, directed, & photographed a comedic horror 35mm short ‘Do Not Lose’, featuring Julieth Restrepo (Portland Film Festival, St. Louis International Film Festival, Las Vegas Film Festival, Hollyshorts, and others).

Previously, she photographed narrative indie feature film 'Millie and the Lords' (HBO Latino) and several narrative shorts while freelancing in New York as a cinematographer. She also worked as a set lighting technician, most notably on features 'Free the Nipple' (IFC/Sundance Selects) and ‘June Adrift’, and in the camera department for several years at the Sundance Directors Labs.

Shilpi grew up in Texas and was born in India (Jharkhand/Bihar, with roots in Kerala & Rajasthan).  Shilpi speaks Hindi, the language of (Out)caste.

Elena Aksenova - Producer

Elena is an emerging filmmaker and independent movie producer. She is a graduate of UCLA, where she studied Film Producing and Business and Management of Entertainment. She also earned a BA Degree in Corporate Management from Moscow State University.

Elena has produced near a dozen short films that have played at film festivals throughout the world and have won numerous awards. She is currently producing two feature films, a romantic comedy ‘Love on Tap’ (dir. Matthew Harrison, Sundance Jury Prize winner) and an American/Korean relationship drama ‘Blue. Then You’ (dir. Jaime Lee).

In addition to producing, Elena works as a director of Administration and Publicity at Los Angeles based film festival, Film Crash. She is also a senior programmer at Downtown LA Film Festival.

Knar Kitabjian - Editor

Knar has worked in post production for the past 15 years. Early in her career during University, she worked as assistant editor to Doug Pray on various projects including 'Scratch', a documentary feature about hip hop DJs and turntablism. (Sundance Film Festival 2001). Around the same time, Knar began in the Post Production department at Robert Redford's Sundance Institute Feature Film Program where she went on to work for 10 years.

After graduating University, Knar joined the Post Production team at Bruckheimer Films in 2004. She worked on films such as 'National Treasure' (dir. Jon Turtletaub) and 'Pirates of the Caribbean 2 & 3' (dir. Gore Verbinski). She continues to work in editorial on various films, such as Catherine Hardwicke's 'Miss You Already' and Christopher Guest's 'Mascots', as well as television series for Starz, HBO, Netflix, and Amazon, such as 'Looking' and 'Bosch'.

Knar edits independent projects, such as music videos, short narratives and documentaries. Several of these projects have premiered at Los Angeles Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival.

Knar graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Art in Sociology and a minor in Communication, with an emphasis in the Entertainment Industry/Film.

Suad Bushnaq - Composer

Suad Bushnaq is a musically multilingual Arab-Canadian film and concert composer whose music has been hailed as 'reflective and touching' (Nikki Bedi, BBC The Arts Hour), 'seriously beautiful' (John Welsman, award-winning Canadian composer), and 'sublime' (Toula Drimonis, CJAD Montréal).

Born in Amman, Jordan to a Syrian mother and a Bosnian-Palestinian father, she is one of a small handful of professional Arab women composers in the world. She is a member of both the Screen Composers Guild of Canada and the Alliance for Women Film Composers, and completed part of her music education at the Higher Institute of Music in Damascus, Syria.  She is the only Arab woman to receive an entrance scholarship award from the world-renowned music composition program at Canada's top music school, McGill University. 

Suad has composed film scores that earned critical acclaim for a number of award-winning filmmakers, the most noteworthy of which are Rifqi Assaf (The Curve), Niam Itani (Twice Upon a Time), Waref Abu Quba (Stadt, Licht, & Bewegung), and Kenneth J. Harvey (The Immigrant's Handbook). Significant concert works include her Suite for Orchestra 'Hakawaty' (The Storyteller of Damascus), of which one movement, 'Ghadan' (Tomorrow), was performed by the Syrian Expat Philharmonic Orchestra to sold out shows at Konzerthaus Berlin, Malmö Live Konserthaus, as well as at the season opening concert of the Berliner Philharmoniker (2016). Her discography includes two music albums, 'Thoughts' and 'From the Heart'.

You can read more about Suad Bushnaq on her website: www.suadbushnaq.com

Jenna Smolina - Costume Designer

Jenna comes from a diverse educational background which includes a B.A. in linguistics and a Fashion Design degree from the prestigious Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles.

She has previously worked for various apparel companies as technical and textile designer, sample maker and illustrator. Her love for story telling inspired her to completely shift her focus to the film industry.

Even though she is a newcomer in the field, she has already worked on a variety of short films, to include period and fantasy pieces, and recently completed her first feature film 'Mike Boy' as an independent costume designer.