Rajesh Touchriver, an internationally acclaimed filmmaker, has by now directed films that have won 18 international awards, 3 national awards and several critical accolades. His recent film, ‘Naa Bangaaru Talli(2013) that he scripted and
directed, fetched what has been elusive for the Telugu film industry for more than 25 years – 3 National Awards from the Government of India. Besides, it won 13 International Awards and 15 Official selections in International Film Festivals. He has also served on the jury of 62nd National Film Awards, Govt. of India, 2014, ALIIF 2016, IIFF 2016.
Rajesh pursued his Masters in Visual Language/ Scenography and Direction from the Wimbledon College of Art, London, UK. Life in London as a student marked the beginning of his career as a filmmaker. His controversial debut film, a British Film, ‘In the Name of Buddha’ (2002) was based on the ethnic crisis then raging in Sri Lanka. It was premiered at the Oslo International Film Festival and was noted for the sensitive treatment of a controversial theme through a heart-wrenching story. Besides being nominated for the Best Debut Director category at the Cannes Film Festival, in 2003, the film has well received in many international film festivals and has won 8 international awards. The film was, however, banned in India, Sri Lanka and China.
His first brush with the film industry was in 1996 as a Production Designer for Telugu, Hindi and Hollywood films. By then, Rajesh had directed more than 30 plays in Malayalam, English, Telugu and Hindi. Following the success of ‘In the Name of Buddha’, Rajesh strode all genres of filmmaking with ease and has won critical acclaims, recognitions and awards. He directed the music video for ‘Sunshowers’ for the Oscar nominee M.I.A. ‘Ente Malayalam’, a music video to celebrate the 50th year of Kerala formation, captured noted Malayali achievers of Kerala in evocative frames.
In addition to 7 feature films, Rajesh has by now directed about 35 short films and documentaries on issues ranging from human trafficking, HIV/AIDS and communal riots, supporting the media advocacy initiatives of the United Nations and NGOs, national and international. A film for the United Nations, ‘One Life, No Price’ for social sensitization against human trafficking was well received by civil society organizations internationally. Amitabh Bachchan, Preity Zinta and John Abraham appear in the film as spokespersons for the cause. Another success, ‘Anamika, the Nameless’ on a similar theme was adventurously shot in the red light areas of India in Mumbai, Kolkatta, Poona and Delhi. The film won the AC award under the ‘Best Foreign Award - Documentary Short Film’ category and the Best Documentary Film Award at the Hyderabad International Film Festival. The film has been included in the curriculum of National Police Academy and National Judicial Academy. ‘The Sacred Face’, a short film on child sexual abuse, sent the audience back home unsettled at its screening in Hyderabad and Canne’s Film festival.