Nammerica Vishesha Vahini is the brainchild of its founder and creator Anand Rao, who had a long-cherished vision of creating a Kannada media platform in the US for the Kannadigas of the world. Launched in February 2018, Nammerica produces original content from entertainment and politics to events, places, culture, and celebrations. Now in its second season, Nammerica is continuously reaching newer audiences around the world.
Born and raised in Bengaluru, Anand attended the National College Basavangudi, where his love for theatre took shape. He spent all his time in the Rangamandira, preparing for one or the other theatre festival. While balancing his career in the media and communications, he acted in close to 50 theatrical productions and 5 different Kannada TV serials. He has worked with theatre groups like Nataranga, Vedike, Paraspara, Bangalore Little Theatre, and Forum-3. He is still remembered for his portrayal of the villainous Prabhakar in T.N.Seetharam's Manvanthara.
After his initial years as a copywriter in advertising agencies, he moved to journalism and loved it. Interviewing people was his favorite part of the job and he considers it the best profession ever. From businessmen and social workers to actors, musicians, and prodigies, his interviews have been published in The Sunday Mid-Day, Salt Lake City Weekly, Utah Stories, The Hudson Reporter, the now-defunct Truth Atlas, and TMG publications - Tech Mail and Escape.
Nammerica, according to Anand is a perfect culmination of his love for conversations, an affinity for Kannada theatre, and the personal high he derives from chronicling people, places, and cultures.
Now, he lives close to New York City in New Jersey and continues to tell stories through theatre and film. He is the author of the highly acclaimed and award-nominated play “A Muslim in the Midst” that opened to sold-out audiences at New York's Hudson Guild Theater in 2016. Since then, the play has been performed at Yale, Rutgers, the Actor's Fund Center in Brooklyn, and in Bangalore, where it was produced in Rangashankara, Jagruti, Bangalore International Center, Shoonya, and Atagalatta.
He attributes his creative bent of mind to an upbringing replete with stories of Indian epics, classical literature, and Kannada drama. Despite an education in English Literature, Communications, and Management, combined with a profession heavily focussed on the English language, he draws inspiration from his roots.
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