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Rajesh Touch River
Rajesh Touch River

Name           Rajesh Touchriver
Born             March 6, 1972 (1972-03-06) (age 38)
                    India Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Occupation    Director, Producer, Designer, Writer
Years active   1997 - Present

Website : www.rajeshtouchriver.in  

Rajesh Touchriver is one of those multi-faceted and incredibly talented directors whose very first film caught world-wide attention and won several international awards and critical acclaim. He is known to world audience for his debut film In the name of Buddha (2002) a bold treatment of the ethnic conflict then raging in Sri Lanka which he rendered at a pitch, with non-partisan candour and maturity that is uncharacteristic of a debut film. Rajesh presented a theme that boldly questioned the mindless violence in Sri Lanka with a unique and subtle touch of magic realism, and made the world audience sit up, watch and respond. The film had its award-winning world premiere at the Oslo international film festival and made its winning rounds with overwhelming response and reviews in several other film festivals across the globe.

A Charles Wallace Trust Awardee, Rajesh did his Masters in Visual Language / Scenography and Direction from the Wimbledon School of Art, London, UK and is a product of the School of Drama in Kerala where he took his Bachelor’s Degree in Design and Direction. Kathakali, the classical dance of Kerala runs in his veins and he has also had some early training in Kalaripayattu the martial art of Kerala. This background has enriched his works with a unique blend of discipline and irreverence, aesthetics and structure, originality and spontaneity.

Immediately following the success of In the name of Buddha, Rajesh directed the music album “Sunshowers� for Maya Arulpragasam M.I.A (UK) whose “O saya� with A.R Rahman for Slumdog Millionaire was nominated for the Oscars in 2009. "Ente Malayalam", a promotional that he directed for the Manorama music channel to celebrate the 50th year of Kerala formation gave audience a welcome break from the predictable and captured many noted Malayali achievers from various fields in frames natural, evocative, rich and rhythmic.

Rajesh looks at his 2 regional features that he made in the interim, 10 the strangers and Alex, the Blue Fox as a learning experience. He has sharpened his views on the kind of films he would make and insists on a bold story line. Rajesh’s inspiration is people and he believes in making films that engage emotions, provoke thought even on the commonplace and make viewers find their own answers. Not very keen on categorisations like commercial/art/crossover cinema, Rajesh believes that there exists just one category – good cinema. Besides feature films and music albums/videos, Rajesh has by now made award-winning forays into other genres including – documentaries, short films, ad films, public service announcements, commercials etc. With a rare intensity and a compelling narrative thread that allow an up close, unmediated engagement between his audience and characters, Rajesh’s narrative frames often transcend dialogues and background scores, particularly when he writes the screen-plays himself.

Rajesh has been making several poignant short films and documentaries on human trafficking, HIV/AIDS and communal riots that support the media advocacy initiatives of the United Nations and various NGOs, national and international. His most recent film for the UN, “One Life, No Price� for social sensitization against human trafficking has been widely acclaimed by civil society organizations across the world and is one of its kind in South Asia. Amitabh Bachchan, Preity Zinta and John Abraham appear in the film as spokespersons for the cause.

Another recent success is “Anamika, the nameless� that he shot adventurously in the red light areas of India in Mumbai, Kolkatta, Poona and Delhi. The film won the AC award for the Best Director and the Best Documentary Film Award Hyderabad International Film Festival - 2008.The film has been included in the syllabus of National Police Academy and National Judicial Academy and has by now reached above 600000 viewers through various NGOs. Rajesh is grateful that the film could dramatically/realistically transform numerous pimps, brokers and madams, turn them away from trafficking and join the battle against this social evil.


“The sacred face�, a short film on child sexual abuse, sent the audience back home thoroughly unsettled . The film was screened at the Cannes film festival in 2005 and received accolades and commendation from audiences.

Besides film making, theatre, classical and traditional art, Rajesh is also a superbly gifted Art Director. He does art direction for films and has by now done art direction for popular Telugu, Hindi and Hollywood films. The evocative backdrop of the Telugu hit “Manassantha Nuvve� owes it to Rajesh’s art direction.

Rajesh who looks up to common people for inspiration believes that true art – be it in cinema, art direction or theatre -- has a soul of its own, is profoundly human and strikingly original.

Rajesh Touchriver is one of those multi-faceted and incredibly talented directors whose very first film caught world-wide attention and won several international awards and critical acclaim. He is known to world audience for his debut film In the name of Buddha (2002) a bold treatment of the ethnic conflict then raging in Sri Lanka which he rendered at a pitch, with non-partisan candour and maturity that is uncharacteristic of a debut film. Rajesh presented a theme that boldly questioned the mindless violence in Sri Lanka with a unique and subtle touch of magic realism, and made the world audience sit up, watch and respond. The film had its award-winning world premiere at the Oslo international film festival and made its winning rounds with overwhelming response and reviews in several other film festivals across the globe.

A Charles Wallace Trust Awardee, Rajesh did his Masters in Visual Language / Scenography and Direction from the Wimbledon School of Art, London, UK and is a product of the School of Drama in Kerala where he took his Bachelor’s Degree in Design and Direction. Kathakali, the classical dance of Kerala runs in his veins and he has also had some early training in Kalaripayattu the martial art of Kerala. This background has enriched his works with a unique blend of discipline and irreverence, aesthetics and structure, originality and spontaneity.

Immediately following the success of In the name of Buddha, Rajesh directed the music album “Sunshowers� for Maya Arulpragasam M.I.A (UK) whose “O saya� with A.R Rahman for Slumdog Millionaire was nominated for the Oscars in 2009. "Ente Malayalam", a promotional that he directed for the Manorama music channel to celebrate the 50th year of Kerala formation gave audience a welcome break from the predictable and captured many noted Malayali achievers from various fields in frames natural, evocative, rich and rhythmic.

Rajesh looks at his 2 regional features that he made in the interim, 10 the strangers and Alex, the Blue Fox as a learning experience. He has sharpened his views on the kind of films he would make and insists on a bold story line. Rajesh’s inspiration is people and he believes in making films that engage emotions, provoke thought even on the commonplace and make viewers find their own answers. Not very keen on categorisations like commercial/art/crossover cinema, Rajesh believes that there exists just one category – good cinema. Besides feature films and music albums/videos, Rajesh has by now made award-winning forays into other genres including – documentaries, short films, ad films, public service announcements, commercials etc. With a rare intensity and a compelling narrative thread that allow an up close, unmediated engagement between his audience and characters, Rajesh’s narrative frames often transcend dialogues and background scores, particularly when he writes the screen-plays himself.

Rajesh has been making several poignant short films and documentaries on human trafficking, HIV/AIDS and communal riots that support the media advocacy initiatives of the United Nations and various NGOs, national and international. His most recent film for the UN, “One Life, No Price� for social sensitization against human trafficking has been widely acclaimed by civil society organizations across the world and is one of its kind in South Asia. Amitabh Bachchan, Preity Zinta and John Abraham appear in the film as spokespersons for the cause.

Another recent success is “Anamika, the nameless� that he shot adventurously in the red light areas of India in Mumbai, Kolkatta, Poona and Delhi. The film won the AC award for the Best Director and the Best Documentary Film Award Hyderabad International Film Festival - 2008.The film has been included in the syllabus of National Police Academy and National Judicial Academy and has by now reached above 600000 viewers through various NGOs. Rajesh is grateful that the film could dramatically/realistically transform numerous pimps, brokers and madams, turn them away from trafficking and join the battle against this social evil.


“The sacred face�, a short film on child sexual abuse, sent the audience back home thoroughly unsettled . The film was screened at the Cannes film festival in 2005 and received accolades and commendation from audiences.

Besides film making, theatre, classical and traditional art, Rajesh is also a superbly gifted Art Director. He does art direction for films and has by now done art direction for popular Telugu, Hindi and Hollywood films. The evocative backdrop of the Telugu hit “Manassantha Nuvve� owes it to Rajesh’s art direction.

Rajesh who looks up to common people for inspiration believes that true art – be it in cinema, art direction or theatre -- has a soul of its own, is profoundly human and strikingly original.

Filmography

Feature Films – (Screenplay & Direction)


 In the Name of Buddha (150 mins, English/Sinhalese/Tamil/Hindi, 35mm anamorphic, 2002)

 10-The Strangers (125 mins, Telugu, Hindi, 35mm anamorphic, 2005)

 Alex-The Blue Fox (160 mins, Telugu, 35 mm anamorphic, 2005)

 The Red Terror ( Under production)

Short Films – (Screenplay & Direction)

 The Sacred Face (13 mins, English, 2006)

 Pehachan (14 mins, Hindi, 2008)

 Needalu (Shadows) (14 mins,Telugu, 2009)

 Main Aur Meri Sachaien (13 mins, Hindi, 2009)

Documentaries – (Screenplay, Direction, Cinematography)

 Of Freedom and Fear - (30 mins, English/Telugu, DV, 2003)

 Bhagnagar - (15 mins, Hindi, DV, 2003)

 Agni - (34 mins, Hindi, DV, 2004)

 Shanti Ki Aur - (30 mins, Hindi, DV, 2004)

 A Chance to Live - (30 mins, English, DV, 2004)

 Dahan - (34 mins, Hindi, DV, 2004)

 Astha-An Ode to Life - (26 mins, English, DV, 2004)

 Me and Us - (24 mins, English, DV, 2004)

 Building Bridges - (11 mins, English, DV, 2004)

 Anamika - The Nameless - (26 mins, English/Hindi/Telugu,Oriya,Kannada, DV, 2005

 The Man, His Mission - (11 mins, English, DV, 2006)

 Aparajitha - (26 mins, English, DV, 2006)

 One Life No Price - (9 mins, English, HD, 2007)

 Synergy in Action - (20 mins , English, HD, 2007)

Music Videos – (Screenplay, Direction)

 Sunshowers for M.I.A. XL Recording, London , UK (3 mins, English, Super 16 mm, 2004)

 Hire Fire for Prajwala (music album containing six 4 mins songs against human trafficking, Hindi/Telugu, DV, 2004)

Commercials – (Direction)

 Ente Malayalam - 50 yrs celebration of kerala formation (2 mins, Malayalam, 35 mm, 2006)

 Whose Child ? - (30 secs, Telugu, DV, 2004)

 Why? - (30 secs, Telugu, DV, 2004)

 Reach Out - (30 secs, Telugu, DV, 2004)

Feature Films – (Production Design

 Quicksand - (English, 35mm, 2001)

 Student 1 - (Telugu, 35mm, 2002)

 Nuvvu Leka Nenu Lenu - (Telugu, 35mm, 2002)

 Manasantha Nuvve - (Telugu, 35mm, 2001)

 Iddaru Mitralu - (Telugu, 35mm, 1999)

 Kalisundaam Raa - (Telugu, 35mm, 1999)

AWARDS


He was also awarded

1, The Charles Wallace India Trust Award.- 2001

2, Best foreign film Award Beverly Hills International Film Festival- 2003

3, Best Film Award New port Beach International Film Festival - 2003

4, Best Film Award Wine country International Film Festival- 2003

5, Best Foreign Documentary film Award Action Cut International Film Festival 2006

6, Best Editing Award Festival De Cine De Granada - 2007

7, Best Documentary Film Award Hyderabad International Film Festival - 2008
 


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