Sonali is a curator, writer, subtitler and cultural activist/practitioner based between Newcastle and London. At the core of her work lies a commitment to diversity, inclusivity and accessibility, particularly in relation to under-represented areas of cinema and visual arts. She has a PhD in Cinema Studies (University of Glasgow) and MA in Media & Communications (Goldsmiths, University of London). Sonali has spent extended periods abroad during her career, most recently in Tokyo, researching a major 3-year Japanese architecture/film project.
Sonali began her career in the film industry in the film programming department of Manchester’s vibrant arts centre Cornerhouse (now HOME), before moving into film distribution in Paris, then heading up the translation subtitling department of a London based post-production house.
She founded Day for Night in 2006, drawing together her interests in film festivals, distribution and access (subtitling, audio-description and translation), with audiences at the heart of its philosophy. Running film festivals, national film release campaigns and promoting accessibility in cinema and the arts, Sonali's work is rooted in enabling broader access to visual culture.
With cinemas and venues currently closed, festivals cancelled and productions halted, the creative industries are amongst the worst hit by Covid-19, with potential long-term impact on creators, arts professionals, venues and audiences alike. Having combined film and grassroots awareness initiatives during her career, Sonali drew on past experience to actively engage in lobbying for these sectors. This brought her together with two other like-minded small business owners to found ExcludedUK, with the express aim of offering an inclusive and otherwise crucially lacking support mechanism for individuals and businesses excluded from UK Government Covid-19 financial support.
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