Personal Journey

Vani has been associated with the animation industry in India since she was a little kid. Her father, a career banker, decided one day in the 1980s to quit his job and start an independent 2d-animation studio out of their house. In other words, Vani literally grew up in the animation industry, surrounded by creative and talented artists throughout her childhood. Her father’s dream was to tap into India’s rich cultural heritage and create original animation properties for global audiences. He developed a treasure trove of characters and stories which he pitched to producers all around the world. However, his vision was ahead of its time. Today, Vani has taken inspiration from these early projects, and has extensively adapted and redeveloped them for current audiences.

Professional Journey

Vani is a writer, director, and creative producer with several award winning shorts and documentaries to her credit.

As the Head of Creative Management for DreamWorks Animation in Shanghai, she championed Chinese storyboard artists to tell authentic Chinese stories designed for global audiences.

Vani also was the Executive Director of Rhythm & Hues Asia, a multiple Academy Award winning Animation and VFX studio. She started the studios in India, Malaysia and Taiwan, and managed the talented artists and technicians that created the VFX and digital characters in movies like “Life of Pi” (VFX Oscar Winner), “The Golden Compass” (VFX Oscar Winner), and “The Chronicles of Narnia”.

Vani is extremely passionate about supporting the artistic community. She has volunteered tirelessly and serves as the President of ASIFA India. She also was the President of Women In Animation India for over 10 years.

Podcast and Webinars

Interview for CTN Network

Join award-winning author and historian, Mindy Johnson as she brings leading talent, authorities and masters of creativity together for thought-provoking, insightful and impactful conversations in an interactive webcast forum on CTN Network. Mindy Johnson interviews Senior Executive and Director Saraswathi ‘Vani’ Balgam.

See the Interview

Podcast with The Other 50%

Herstory of Hollywood Podcast - Los Angeles on August 18, 2020

See the podcast

Tedx Talk

TEDxMasala Saraswathi Balgam - Extraordinary journey in the animation and visual effects industry - Mumbai on December 8th, 2010

See the talk

Check out Vani’s personal photography and artwork Here.

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Location:Los Angeles - Mumbai - London