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Pia Sawhney
Pia SAWHNEY is an award-winning reporter - and has collaborated on productions for PBS, the Los Angeles Times, Radio Free Europe and Voice of America. She completed a 3-year verité documentary project in 2006 on US Muslims detained and deported by American immigration authorities after 9/11.

That 66-minute film titled, OUT OF STATUS, was nominated for the Amnesty DOEN Award for Human Rights during its premiere at the Rotterdam Film Festival. It subsequently aired on Channel 4 TV (UK), played at film festivals worldwide and on several European television stations. OUT OF STATUS was reviewed by The New York Times, TV Guide, and Variety and had a theatrical run in New York City in August 2007. Pia and her co-producer on that film, Sanjna Singh, were nominated for ABC’s Talent Development Award.

Pia has also worked in multimedia communications and human rights. She is a PhD student in the political science department at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, and holds a Masters degree in international relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts.

Pia has written for the Huffington Post since 2008.


Her July 2012 essay, "Has The Data Revolution Hurt Democracy?" defined how the rise of the libertarian movement, the plethora of information online, and data consumption patterns were reshaping American politics.

A May 2013 paper describes how technology and globalization are starting to weaken strong states. The piece considers that Bahrain, a Persian Gulf nation with Shia and Sunni constituencies, is an especially relevant example. "Policy and Prejudice: Shia Divisionism in Bahrain" is posted here.


For work samples and more info, visit the Rotterdam Film Festival website and the site. For sales of OUT OF STATUS, contact WIDE MANAGEMENT (France).

Her documentary, RWANDA: TAKE TWO, commissioned by the Rotterdam Film Festival, premiered there in January 2010, was reviewed by Variety magazine, and played at festivals in Europe and in Rwanda. The film was also a finalist for "Outstanding Story" at the South Asian Journalists Convention in 2011. Watch it here:

Entries by Pia Sawhney

Blaming the Messenger: A Response to 'One Man's Rwanda' by Tristan McConnell

(4) Comments | Posted February 3, 2011 | 11:01 AM

Journalist Tristan McConnell is senior Africa correspondent for Global Post and East Africa correspondent for The Times of London. He recently took it upon himself to critique the work of American reporter Philip Gourevitch in "One Man's Rwanda," an article published in the Columbia Journalism Review. What...

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Fearless War Reporter's Legacy Prompts Discussion on Blacklisting In Current Context

(1) Comments | Posted April 20, 2010 | 12:26 PM

When filmmaker Arnie Reisman contacted former California governor and actor Ronald Reagan in the mid nineteen-seventies, he hardly expected an answer. Indeed Reisman had never spoken to him previously and was early in his career.

But he received a fateful call days after filing a request. Governor Reagan was all...

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In Harsh Times, Pakistanis Seek Comfort On Facebook

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2009 | 4:42 PM

When Arshad Kaleem left Baton Rouge for Pakistan two weeks ago to attend ceremonies following his mother's funeral, his wife Saima posted her fears online by updating her Facebook status. Bombings erupted in Lahore just hours after Kaleem boarded his flight.

Saima Zaman-Kaleem is glad Arshad is...

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Campaign Journal: Celebrating In One Swing City

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2008 | 4:25 PM

Photo: Baby pumpkins in the windowsill of a Bethlehem home.

On the eve of Diwali, known less formally as the Hindu New...

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In Georgia, Expect Record Numbers of Black Voters and Serious Tally Troubles

(72) Comments | Posted October 16, 2008 | 4:46 PM

Half the voters who cast ballots in the Democratic primary in Georgia this past February were African-American (the state went to Obama). Despite long lines, incidents in which machines broke down and polls closed unexpectedly (rather than staying open late), black voters managed to show in record numbers.


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