Is This Circle For You?

Is this Circle right for you?  If so, make sure you meet the criteria that the mentor has defined.  Then, complete your mentorship profile if you have not already done so, and return to our Mentor Circles Application page, make your selection and click 'apply'.

Need more info before you make your choice?  Use the dropdown below to view other circles in order to help inform your decision.

Need Help?

Crafting a Killer Pitch Deck

Do you want to make an impact in the industry by bringing your own unique ideas to the big or small screen? Do you want to help bring authentic stories to life? Trying to get your original project off the ground and into the hands of buyers but aren’t sure where to start? Then this circle might be for you!

In this workshop-style circle, we’re going to help you create amazing pitch materials for your original idea. We’ll walk through the process of how you can take you idea from concept to a contract. We’ll discuss things like:

  • What buyers are looking for.
  • How to translate your big idea into a simple pitch.
  • How to keep balance in a high-pressure industry.
  • And more!

At the end of the mentorship, mentees will have a new or revised pitch deck for their materials.

This circle is best for mentees who have an original idea that they are ready to start building pitch materials for.

Mentee Criteria

Experience Level:

Student (final year)

0-1 year

1+ years

Meeting Times & Dates

Please note: Meeting times and dates are subject to change by your Circle Mentor

Times Per Month:  Twice

Dates:  Wednesdays

Meeting Times: 8am-11am PST

Circle Leader

Saraswathi Vani Balgam

Saraswathi Vani Balgam is a Writer, Director and Creative Producer. Vani is also the founder of Dancing Atoms, a Los Angeles based creative development studio that focuses on powerful storytelling that bridges the gap between Asian and North American storytellers.

She is currently in development of multiple preschool animated TV shows in partnership with Canadian and Thai studios, and she is creating an original animated feature film with a Malaysian studio. Gannu, a preschool series created by Vani, has been selected as one of the finalists for this year’s inaugural Stories x Women program at Annecy. Vani also works with Epic Games as a Mentor for their Unreal Fellowship program where she helps the fellows craft and tells their stories with Unreal Engine.
Previously in her career, Vani was the founding director of Rhythm & Hues Studios Asia, a multiple Academy Award® winning VFX and Animation studio. She also served as the Head of Creative Management and Training at DreamWorks Animation’s studio in Shanghai.

Vani is very passionate about supporting the growth and development of the Animation industry in India. She has served as the President of Women in Animation India from 2005-2013, and is currently the President of ASIFA India, a role she has volunteered for since 2004. Through this role, she helped launch “The Women Creators Program” with Epic Games to inspire and train women creators and bring more women storytellers into the spotlight.


Title/Expertise:  Creative Director


Company:  Epic Games


Location:  Los Angeles / India


LinkedIn / Website:
linkedin.com/in/vanibalgam