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After doing her masters from Pune University in 1980 she pursued her interest in ethnomusicology working on a project titled, ‘Women of Garhwal (Himalayas) as revealed through their folksongs’. In 1985 she joined the Archive and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology of the American Institute of Indian Studies in New Delhi, an audio-visual archive of musics from the Indian sub-continent. She worked there for 10 years in various capacities – first as Research Assistant, then as Academic Services Officer and finally as Archivist.

In 1995, Deshpande joined Business India Television. Though she was initially appointed as Head of Research, she decided to turn to film-making instead. Learning on the job, soon she became a Producer-cum-Director, conceptualizing, scripting, preparing storyboards, directing shoots and editing documentary & other in-house programmes.

Her major work as director-producer at BITV was the 48-minute documentary, Main Hijra Hoon: A Eunuch Named Sunita which won the Best Documentary Award at the 1997 Asian Television Awards, Hongkong, the Silver Award at the1998 WorldFest, Houston. The film was also shown at the Gay Lesbian Film Festival, London (UK) and Turin (Italy).

As an audio-visual director her focus is on social issues such as AIDS, education, livelihood, gender. She helps clients determine effective strategies by making smart use of media & events. Creating visual communication tools for real impact.

From 1998 to 2006 Deshpande was a consultant with Imagene, an architectural, design & fabrication firm that provides turnkey solutions in exhibitions & retail. Imagene's scope of work includes exhibitions, signages, retails outlets, POPs & creating the complete Retail Identity Manual (or CI Manual) for the Indian environment. The key clientele with whom she liaised include Microsoft, General Motors, Honda cars & motorcycles, Suzuki motorcycles, Maruti Suzuki, Hero Honda, Whirlpool as well as advertising agencies like Hakuhodo Percept & Densu. The Microsoft stall at Comdex 1998 & the Hero Honda stalls at AutoExpo 2000 & 2002 were some of the key expositions that she worked on.

In 1998 she started her own visual communications and event management firm Livewire Images of which she is the director.


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