Priyali Sur is a development professional and independent documentary film maker focusing on human rights violations with a focus on refugees, women and LGBTI rights. In the recent past, she has reported extensively on the refugee crisis from Eastern Europe and Greece and her latest film ‘sahbak‘ captures the complexities of human relationships and friendships in the Israel – Palestine conflict.
Priyali is also the founder of The Azadi Project which provides digital skills training and internships to refugee women at camps and shelters. She is a 2017-19 Millennium Fellow at the Atlantic Council. She did her Masters in International Public Policy at SAIS, Johns Hopkins University and was a Fulbright Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow 2014-15 at the Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland. During her fellowship, she focused on gender rights and policy and also studied conflict resolution and peace negotiations. She was affiliated with the Woodrow Wilson Center and researched and wrote about the impact of climate change on women. She is currently a Social Development Consultant at the World Bank and is based in Washington DC.
Priyali started her career as a television journalist at the Bennett and Coleman news channel, Times Now in Mumbai in 2005. After a short stint as a reporter in Times Now she worked as a documentary filmmaker with renowned filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and produced films on mass movements and candle light vigils in India, demanding justice for crimes against women such as the Jessica Lal and Priyadarshini Mattoo murder case. In 2007 she joined India’s leading English news channel CNN IBN in Delhi and worked for 8 years reporting on human rights issues and doing investigative long format reportage. She was instrumental in starting the channel’s first youth show focusing on current affairs and aspirations of India’s youth. She also produced and anchored the show. During her 8 years at CNN IBN, Priyali won three national awards for her reportage. She also anchored the channel’s breakfast show.
On the first anniversary of the infamous 2012 Delhi gang rape, Priyali produced a documentary ‘Men Against the Tide’, featuring men from rural and urban India who are challenging patriarchal norms. The film was an ITVS production and funded by USAID and Ford Foundation. It was screened at Delhi’s Sirifort Auditorium and in New York on InternationalWomen’s Day.
Priyali Sur is also a contributing writer for the US Women Media Center’s Gloria Steinem project – Women Under Siege Project and her work has been published in Foreign Policy, The Diplomat, The Huffington Post, New Security Beat [Woodrow Wilson Center], Deutsche Welle’s – Women Talk Online blog, World Economic Forum blog and World Bank blog.