Posted by: Cathy and Len

What an appropriate group for us to talk to today about Threads!   Thanks to the local PEO International chapter for letting us share the story of Surayia, the women of Arshi and of nakshi kantha tapestries.

Cathy talking with some of the members of the local PEO chapter. Photo copyright Kantha Productions LLC.

For those who don’t know it, PEO International is an organization that helps women achieve education through grants, loans, and support for Cottey College in Missouri.  PEO was founded in Iowa in 1869; we of course told the group about Surayia’s connection to Iowa and the Des Moines Art Museum, where she was able to sell many of her painted scrolls with the help of her friend Mrs. Weitz.  We believe this was the first time that Surayia’s art was sold internationally.

It’s a small world.

Posted by:  Len

We noted a few months ago on our film Facebook page  a fascinating chance encounter that we had in Ottawa, Ontario, at a restaurant.  The owner not only knew Surayia but was very familiar with her work and spent hours with us discussing Bangladesh and the film project.

We see today that Feroze bhai will be retiring from the business.  Cathy and I send our thanks and best wishes for the future.  And thanks as well for the panch foran!



Posted by:  Len

Thursday October 11 is the first ever International Day of the Girl Child, which we have posted about before.  In celebration we did this guest blog post for, which appeared today.  Thank you to Anil Advani for the great photos.  The one of Surayia and the “girls” captures the relationship so well and resonates with a lot of people around the world.

Thanks as well to Gil Namur for his enthusiasm and creating an interesting and thought-provoking blog.

Posted by:  Cathy

For the second year in a row, Threads is a finalist in the Roy W. Dean Los Angeles Grant competition sponsored by From the Heart Productions!  Their goal is “to make films that might otherwise never be made.”  I have really appreciated, as a new filmmaker, the consultations that Carole Dean gives to grant applicants. Last year, she helped me to focus and refine the synopsis of the film and we also brainstormed approaches to fund raising and outreach.

Join us with positive thoughts for “Threads” to be this year’s grant winner!  We’ll keep you posted!

Posted by:  Cathy

We were thrilled and encouraged today to open the mail and find a grant from the Puffin Foundation for our documentary-in-progress “Threads.”   Thank you!  We know that Foundation grants are very competitive and we are grateful to the Puffin Foundation for keeping the momentum going for the production of this film about a Bangladeshi artist – Surayia Rahman – and how she brought art into the lives of ordinary people, despite many odds.  The Puffin grant will go toward the making of our film trailer.  It is great to know that, even in difficult economic times, there are organizations like the Puffin Foundation willing to support independent films made by new film makers.

Surayia started a new career — moving from painting to nakshi kantha tapestry — after age 50.  A few years later she started her own organization, Arshi.  She was able to become a social entrepreneur before the term was widely used because of her strong commitment to art and the support of family and friends.  Len and I have been inspired by Surayia’s example to start film making after age 50.

We thank the Puffin Foundation for helping us to celebrate creativity – and we thank everyone who supports independent film making!