ATIN MEHRA was born and raised in Varanasi, India and currently resides with his family in Los Angeles, CA. In 1999 Atin picked up his first camera and began taking photographs. Atin's uncanny ability to connect with individuals from behind the lens eventually led him into filmmaking. His own personal struggles with abuse and discrimination in India drew him to stories of underrepresented and marginalized communities.
One of the first films he worked on was about female victims of dowry burnings -- a project he was forced to abandon when he started receiving death threats. In 2002, Atin directed and shot his first short film, Mitti ke Jivan (The Cycle of Clay) about a potter from the Kumhar caste. Atin lived and worked in India until 2005, when he moved to the United States with his wife, Mae Thornton Mehra. In 2007 he started his own production company, Orange Kite Productions. Atin has worked as a director of photography, cameraperson, line producer, and/or production coordinator on numerous documentaries, TV series, music videos, short films, and commercials, produced by a wide range of companies, including Sony Television, MTV, Television Nacional de Chile (TVN), Essential Image - New Zealand, and New York University.
Mae Thornton Mehra is an oral historian and filmmaker who earned her MA in Islamic Studies at Columbia University in New York City in 2008. As a FLAS Scholar Mehra documented the life and poetry of Nazir Banarsi through her original translations and oral history interviews recorded within Nazir’s weaving community of Varanasi, India. Mae went on to pursue advanced level Hindi/Urdu as an American Institute of Indian Studies language fellow in Lucknow, India 2009-2010 where she continued to document the lives of ordinary people through oral history recordings.
Mae has collaborated with her husband and filmmaker, Atin Mehra on documentary film and other media projects at Orange Kite Productions since its inception in 2007. Mae brings oral history, language and historical expertise into the collaboration with Atin's photography and film experience. Mae is motivated to work with others to share untold stories with the world.
Mehra spends her time between her home in Los Angeles, CA and her home in Varanasi, India as the proud mother of her six-year-old daughter.