Rifco announce Patrons

Rifco announce Patrons

27 February 2017

Rifco are delighted and honoured to announce new patrons - Shabana AzmiNitin GanatraAndy KumarAsifa LahoreAmrit Maghera and Manjinder Virk.

The patrons are lending their support to Rifco, a charity, through creating awareness of the work Rifco does in nurturing artistic talent, working with local communities and and developing new plays and musicals. 

Find out more about ways in which you can support Rifco here: rifcoarts.com/support-us

Shabana Azmi is one of India’s most respected actresses. In a career spanning 40 years Shabana has played the lead in over 140 Indian films. She also has to her credit several international films including Madam Sousatzka, City of Joy, Son of Pink Panther, In Custody, Fire, Midnights Children, Reluctant Fundamentalist and Its a Wonderful Afterlife.

She has won five National Awards for Best Actress in India. She is also the recipient of Best Actress Awards at Chicago International Film Festival and Los Angeles Outfest for Fire, Taormina Arte for Patang, Lifetime achievement Award at Toronto Reel Film Festival and IIFA Lifetime Achievement Award. She has had retrospectives of her work at the British Film Institute, the Cinematheque in Paris, Smithsonian Institute Washington and at the Lincoln Center in New York. She was awarded the prestigious Gandhi International Peace Prize at the House Of Lords London in 2010. She is a former Member of Parliament, UN Goodwill Ambassador on Population and Development, SAARC Goodwill Ambassador on HIV and AIDS.

Theatre credits include lead roles in The Waiting Room (National Theatre), Nora and Betrayal (Singapore Repertory Theatre), Happy Birthday Sunita (Rifco) The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Tumhari Amrita, Kaifi Aur Main, Broken Images (India).

Nitin Ganatra was most recently seen on television as Masood in EastEnders. His previous theatre credits include Animal Farm (Belgrade Theatre), As I Lay Dying (Young Vic), Les Enfants Du Paradis (RSC), Macbeth (Tricycle Theatre) and Jungle Book (mac, Birmingham). For television Twenty Twelve, Being April, Canterbury Tales, England Expects and Hounded; and for film, Bride and Prejudice, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Chess, Colour Me Kubrick and Inferno.

Andy Kumar is a British presenter, choreographer and costume designer currently residing in Mumbai, India. He has been a core member of the Rifco creative team for over a decade. Productions include Break The Floorboards, Airport 2000, Bollywood Yet Another Love Story, The Deranged Marriage, There’s Something About Simmy, It Ain’t All Bollywood), Where’s my Desi Soulmate?, Britain’s Got Bhangra and Laila The Musical. Indian film credits include Ek Paheli Leela (Paper Doll Entertainment), Kya Kool Hain Hum 3 (Balaji Motion Pictures).

Also known as VJ Andy, he has hosted popular shows and events: India’s Got Talent, Box Cricket League, Filmfare Awards Red Carpet, Beauty and the Geek India, Dare to Date, Date My Folks, U R Fired, Get Gorgeous and was a participant in Bigg Boss (Indian Celebrity Big Brother).

Asifa Lahore is a presenter and Britain’s first out Muslim drag queen, known for pushing the boundaries of what it means to be Gay and Muslim. In 2014 Asifa came into the national spotlight when she was famously censored from discussing Islam and Homosexuality on BBC Free Speech. Later that year Lahore was nominated by readers of The Independent for their Rainbow List of most prominent LGBT people in Britain entering the list at Number 86. In 2015, Asifa featured in Channel 4’s documentary Muslim Drag Queens.

Amrit Maghera is a London based professional model turned actress of Indian, English and Scottish origin. She has been named by Harpers Bazaar India as ‘One of the most promising new-comer actresses this year’. For television she is currently playing Neeta Kaur in Hollyoaks; and for film, Angry Indian Goddesses and Mad About Dance. As a model she is the brand ambassador of Indian cosmetic giant Lakme and has graced the front covers and featured in international magazines including GQ, Harper's Bazaar, FHM, Vogue, Maxim, Verve and Femina.

Actress Manjinder Virk can currently be seen as Dr Kam Karimore in Midsomer Murders. Other television credits include Ordinary Lies, Skins, Britz and Hunted; and for film, The Arbor, Out of Darkness, Kaleidoscope, The Sense of an Ending and Lost Paradise. Theatre credits include Free Outgoing (Royal Court Theatre), Unsuitable Girls and Shabnam (Lyric Hammersmith), Going Public (Tricycle Theatre) and Redcrosse (RSC). Twice BIFA nominated and writer/director of award winning short film, Out of Darkness.