About this submission

This story was loosely based off of one my close friend's experience. I felt there was a beautifully comedic nature about the story that also spoke to the serious problems many have with internalized racism and in telling the story this way I could connect with people who may not come from the same background.

Toronto, ON, Canada
Hi, my name is Prajjwal Rajawat, I go by Prajj. After years of substitute teachers butchering my name, I decided to shorten it. I am a 23 year old filmmaker based in Toronto. I first fell in love with making films in grade 11 when I teamed up with some of my best friends to make a parody of the matrix movie and realized how much fun making movies could be. However, I didn't really consider filmmaking as a career until I was in University. At the time I was studying Space Science and was well on my way to work at NASA (just kidding, on a scale of 1 to 2 guess what my gpa was) when I realized I didn’t want to work in this field and decided to drop out to pursue a career in film! Obviously my traditional South Asian parents were ecstatic and wholeheartedly supported my decision. However, family dishonor IS a great motivator and for the past 4 years I’ve worked hard to build my skills as a creative and even been blessed enough to show off my work at some of the best film festivals in the world. Such as my directorial debut, BOLLYSINGH, that played at TIFF’19 and the Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival’17. I’ve also recently received a development deal from CBC to create and star in my original variety sketch comedy show, ChaiTeaTV. I am simultaneously excited and worried for my future, like most creatives I have a deep underlying belief that I am special and I can break the mould and be one of the lucky ones who not only get to do this for a living but thrive doing it. On the other hand I know what the rent prices are in my city, I know how many people go into this field and who actually makes a dent, I know what the cost of failing is. The odds are stacked against me and more and more things stack every day, climate change, political chaos, racism, it's as if every day my generation has a new problem to solve. People say things seem more bleak than ever, that we’re in ‘dark times’ and I don’t know if that's true or not but I do know that in times like these is when we need art and film the most. The power of film and movies and media to inform, motivate, inspire and sometimes just make laugh is unbound and I want to use my creative skills as a Filmmaker to shed light on the issues that matter to me and the millions of other ‘me’s’ out there. We can’t wait for people to tell our stories. We have to tell them ourselves and I want to use my life to 100% dedicate myself into doing just that. -PRAJJ (for an extensive list of all my accomplishments up till 2021, *ooh la la la*, please go here: https://prajjrajj.com/pagecv)

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