Andrew Mendelson is a creative polymath hailing from Brooklyn, NY. Musician, filmmaker, screenwriter, artist, philosopher, amateur alchemist, dog-lover, remote-controlled helicopter pilot: these are but a few of the many ways in which one might describe him.
A devout student of Indian classical music, Andrew has been playing and studying the sitar for over 20 years. His fascination with North Indian classical music began as a freshman college student in his home state of Texas. Having witnessed his first sitar recital, Andrew was so moved that he committed himself to learning to play the instrument and hasn't looked back since. In 2005, Andrew traveled to India and won the grand championship gold medal at the Darshak Institute Music Competition in Jaipur, India--the largest music competition of it's kind in the state of Rajasthan. He is a disciple of renowned sitarist Pandit Krishna Mohan Bhatt. Andrew continues to perform at venues throughout New York City and University campuses across the U.S. He is also a studio musician and recently composed the opening credit music for Mike Myers' film "The Love Guru."
The remainder of Andrew's time is spent in film and television production. He has been working in the entertainment industry in New York City for over 10 years. He recently completed his first documentary feature film entitled "A Cricket in the Court of Akbar," which chronicles his participation in the Darshak music competition. Andrew also produced and edited the independent documentary feature "Nerdcore Rising." The film covers the rise of Nerdcore Hip Hop (ie. nerds rapping about nerdy things), and it quickly became a cult classic after its sold-out premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival in 2008. His third feature, which he co-produced and edited, "The Muslims are Coming!", follows a group of Muslim-American comedians as they confront Islamophobia on a nationwide comedy tour.
Andrew has also edited many programs for national television broadcast. In 2012 he won his third Emmy Award for his editing work on the "The Electric Company"--a revival of the classic children's TV series on PBS. Andrew's work can be seen on PBS, Comedy Central, The Discovery Channel, Bravo, E! Entertainment Television, and others. With his editorial eye, he has helped shape compelling narrative programs, off-the-wall sketch comedies, and documentary series, including the award-winning "Stories of the Innocence Project" which aired on TrueTV. He was also the editorial force behind Comedy Central's ground-breaking special "The Watchlist," the first program of it's kind to feature Arab and Middle-Eastern American comedians.
Andrew grew up in Texas and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater from Southwestern University.
TEDActive 2014, TED Fellows Retreat 2013, TEDIndia 2009
Areas of Expertise
Music, Documentary Film, Film editing, Film Directing & Producing, Television
I'm passionate about
North Indian classical music and the preservation and continued development of this rich tradition.
Educational children's television.
Talk to me about
the sitar: how to play it, its significance in our modern world, making films, quantum electrodynamics.
People don't know I'm good at
3D digital modeling. Flying tiny remote-controlled helicopters. Skeet shooting. Dog whispering.