In December 2022, we welcomed Award-winning Novelist & Musician Tanuja Desai Hidier as part of The 20/20 Series, created by NYFA’s Creative Director of Filmmaking and Cinematography, Liz Hinlein. Tanuja Desai Hidier was born in Bombay, India, and grew up in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. As an adult, the author/singer-songwriter moved to NYC, where she interned at The Paris Review and worked as a secretary for The Whitney Museum’s Film & Video Department. Hidier co-hosted the streaming music program DesiVibe and anchored an Indian news show. She met Liz Hinlein while working on a short film, The Test, at New York Film Academy.

Hidier was the frontwoman to the punk-pop band io, playing gigs at CBGBs, Mercury Lounge, the Elbow Room, and Bitter End. After moving to London, Hidier wrote “Born Confused,” her author debut, and is considered the first South Asian American YA novel. The novel was named an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults and is included on numerous best-of lists. The author/singer-songwriter also made two albums of original songs based on “Born Confused” and its award-winning sequel “Bombay Blues.” The video for her ode to Bombay, “Heptanesia,” is an MTV Indies BuzzPick. Hidier produced the Deep Blue She #Mutiny2Unity #MeToo WeMix music video PSA, an intersectionality project featuring 100+ artists/activists (mostly women of color). The author is based in Maine on indigenous Wabanaki land, where she serves on the Board of Directors of a youth literary nonprofit, The Telling Room. The nonprofit’s mission is to empower youth, including immigrants and refugees, through writing and sharing their voices with the world.

The 20/20 Series is a pop-up event that takes us into the homes, hubs, and workspaces of an array of dynamic creative visionaries to allow for relaxed, engaging conversations on craft, creation, and artistic vision. Each conversation with a creative visionary features 20 minutes of discussion with a moderator and a 20-minute Q&A from YOU, the audience.