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.
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 email@example.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.
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.
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