About Ashanti Omkar – Broadcaster, Culture Consultant, Film & TV Critic

Ashanti Omkar BBC Total Film TimeOut London Greenwich ITV Channel 5 Culture Consultant
Ashanti Omkar BBC Total Film TimeOut London Greenwich ITV Channel 5 Culture Consultant

Ashanti Omkar [She | Her – pronounced Ash-aaan-ti Om-kaar] is a London based freelancer with nearly 2 decades of experience in the UK media scene.

A sample of Ashanti Omkar’s writing, in The Guardian, around culture and representation in film, TV and streaming services.

Ashanti Omkar is a freelance film, TV and streaming services critic, broadcaster, curator, film programmer, cultural consultant and writer available for commentary and commissions. She specialises in representation matters, diversity, inclusion, and visibility in pop culture. Often seen and heard on BBC TV, ITV, Channel 5, various BBC Radio stations, Times Radio et al. She contributes to TimeOut London, Total Film Magazine, The Big Issue, Eater London, Metro, Guardian, The Independent with op eds, interviews, reviews and features. She was the first South Asian UK Critics’ Circle Film & Music Member and a BRITs, BIFA, Sundance London voter. She looks forward to hearing from mainstream film, TV, streaming, food, travel and culture PRs, and is available on email at ashantiomkarwork@gmail.com and on Instagram & Facebook (Both verified with a blue tick), Twitter & LinkedIn @ashantiomkar with 70,000 followers across the board.

Click to see her latest work on BBC, Total Film, TimeOut et al

She left behind a corporate consultancy career, working for Oracle, Hilton Group, PepsiCo. She is the first South Asian woman member of the UK Critics’ Circle, Film and Music sections, and part of the Film Critics’ Circle awards and inclusion committees and the music section too, plus a voter at Sundance London, BIFA Film and BRITs Music awards. Watch her presenting Critics’ Circle film awards to Benedict Cumberbatch for Best Actor in The Power Of The Dog, Bukky Bakray for Rocks and Chadwick Boseman, posthumously.

In the last decade, Ashanti has primarily been a BBC broadcaster for most part, being heard on radio via BBC Sounds and also on TV, including BBC News Channel and BBC World TV. She has appeared often on BBC Radio London and weekly on BBC West Midlands simulcast with Coventry and Warwickshire, Radio 2, Radio 3, Radio 4 – Front Row, and ad hoc appearances on 5Live. She made history on BBC Sounds with her own radio show for 7 years, curating music and presenting interviews with will.i.am about culture, Idris Elba talking about double Grammy/Oscar winner AR Rahman, Cannes Palme d’Or winning director Jacques Audiard, Slumdog Millionaire actor Dev Patel, director Gurinder Chadha, Priyanka Chopra Jonas about her latest projects, Radhika Apte (British Spy thriller A Call To Spy) on mental health, SS Rajamouli on his blockbuster Baahubali franchise & RRR, plus deep dives into film, music and South Asian and diasporic culture.

A sample of Ashanti Omkar’s writing on culture and representation matters, in The Independent

Ashanti has written about representation matters and streaming services in The Guardian and UK’s Metro Newspaper whose opinion section gets 55 Millions views per month, facilitated a chat with Paul Laverty (Ken Loach’s collaborator) & film director Ramin Bahrani for Netflix/BAFTA, made various appearances at The BFI, and often does interviews, mini features and reviews for Total Film Magazine and appears on the Inside Total Film Podcast from time to time. She facilitates Q&As for BFI and Bertha Doc House, and has written for the Independent, and appeared on Monocle 24, Girls on Film and the BBFC podcast.

Ashanti been a published writer and section editor for print and web with magazines like Asian Woman Magazine, been a section editor for BBC Publishing/Immediate Media’s Cineworld Unlimited Magazine and Canadian glossy lifestyle magazine, Anokhi, and has written cover stories when they were in print, including an interview with Priyanka Chopra Jonas. She is well known from the early wave of Apple iTunes podcasts in 2007 featuring guests like Shah Rukh Khan and AR Rahman, bridging India to the globe.

A lead quote by Ashanti Omkar on the poster for this famous Ken Loach film, at Oxford Circus, London

Ashanti has worked closely with the London Indian Film Festival as a strategist and event programmer for a decade, with venues like The BFI, IFRU London, Picturehouse, Cineworld Cinemas, The Barbican, V&A, Tate Modern, Science Museum, ICA, MAC Birmingham, HOME Manchester and has worked with talent like Oscar nominees Mira Nair (A Suitable Boy, Amelia, Mississippi Masala) and Deepa Mehta (Fire, Earth, Water), actresses Gillian Anderson (Sex Education, X Files), Emma Thompson, Freida Pinto, Radhika Apte, late actor Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi, The Lunchbox, The Amazing Spider-Man, Jurassic World), and Girl with a Pearl Earring director Peter Webber. The festival became hybrid in 2020, with a proprietary online platform at http://www.loveliffathome.com where you can watch Ashanti in conversation with various film making teams.

Ashanti has been a music events consultant and curator having worked with AEG Live (The O2), the legendary Wembley Arena, and The London Mela. She has been a brand building and amplifying consultant to top Bollywood and pan Indian stars like Deepika Padukone, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan and Farhan Akhtar.

She has been featured on several BFI film panels, given talks at her alma mater, Royal Holloway, University of London, as well as at King’s College, City University, University Of Greenwich, and LSE.

Ashanti was part of a scene in the Netflix show Hapless, playing a film critic in season 2. This is an upcoming season of this hit show.

Her journey into film began with being on set with Rajiv Menon, Ravi K Chandran and crew in Scotland, for the Kandukondain Kandukondain title song (the Indian version of Sense & Sensibility), and then spending time with BAFTA, double Oscar, double Grammy winner AR Rahman and his family in the early days of Bombay Dreams, where she took Andrew Lloyd Webber & his wife to see the Bollywood film Taal at Harrow Safari Cinema, with drummer A Sivamani and witnessed many recording sessions and behind the scenes musical moments.

She was in the earliest wave of social media influencers, on MySpace, then with 10K followers. She now wields over 70K well engaged followers across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Read more at https://linktr.ee/ashantiomkar

40 thoughts on “About Ashanti Omkar – Broadcaster, Culture Consultant, Film & TV Critic”

  1. Hello.

    A little bird reffered me to your site and its taken me two whole days to explore it’s contents before finally landing on your blog – it’s been a very interesting journey. You radiate life!

    I’ve only been to a few countries and I already feel like I’ve been marinated in too much culture my head might explode. How do you do it?

    I read your article about growing up in Nigeria. Can you imagine it reminded me how much I miss Tom Yam soup. I guess some foods the tongue never forgets…. plus it’s a small world.

    Now let me go read more of your delicious writings hehe… 🙂

    1. Hello Kem Chan Ashanti,

      I enjoy your show BBC Asian Network Sunday your thoughts and reading life is brilliant I been to India Bangloare 6 years 2009 see Sai Baba.
      I like to come and see your show like to work with u.

      Cheers Chirag

  2. hey ashanti,

    thank you for leaving our names > klg sqwad under your review.

    means the world to us. keep in touch.

    would love to mail you the album when it comes out. thank you.

  3. Dear Ashanti,

    Let me be a part of your “fanclub” too! 🙂

    It is wonderful to see a young (you’re the same age as I and I think I am terribly young!), multicultural woman doing something she loves.

    It’s going to be exciting to see how well we can work together!

    Warm regards,

    Shakthi

  4. Hey ashanti!

    the blog is looking great. fantastic pics and i love the “tag cloud.”
    the conversation about multiple identities and also cross-cultural ties is so dear to my heart, i’m grateful to connect with you.

    keep at it!

    peace and love,

    damali

  5. Dear Ashanti Omkar,
    Got your web address and tel# from Seshu Badrinath. I look forward to meeting you in London. Please send me an e-mail so we get
    connceted. Thank you very much. Kind regards.
    Ragha

  6. Hi Friends,
    I have need Nithyashree mahadevan high quality photo’s for regarding I am developed Nithyashree mahadevan website so please any photo is there means send
    This mail id rameshmrm@gmail.com

  7. Hi Ashanti,

    Thanks a million for your support…..nice page u have….keep your reviews coming….it’s very motivating for simple musicians like me.

    Wish you all the best.

  8. Was such a pleasure to meet you at rhe Grovenor Hous where you organised the Meet & Greet Super Star Salman Khan. You were so proffesional and yet had an easy and laidback attitide which made the guest media personal very comfortable and atease.

    Us those that attended the event have nothing but praise for you.

    Kudos to you and your team for organising a smooth event.

  9. Hey Ashanti. Really feels great to connect with you.

    What we share in common is the fact that even i spent my initial childhood in Zambia – Africa, and both of us are seeped into the World of Entertainment.

    I wish you all the very best and may your creative cap overflow with many feathers of Glory.

    Cheers n God Bless.

    Rahul

  10. Hello Ashanti,

    I love to follow you on facebook. You’re a lovely, beautiful and intelligent woman. It strikes to me that you let your head a little bit down on photo’s. Please, keep your head up and look straight to the world. No need to be shy. We love to see your smile and sparkling eyes. I couldn’t find an email adres, that’s why I write this message here, but please delete it after you have read it, this is more a private kind of message.

  11. This, I see as just a sort of unofficial PR line that basically puts us right back in the same place we started. But it seemed like everyone was picking up on it (a few places, anyway), so I figured I might as well join in.

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