Raja Choudhury

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Raja Choudhury
RajaChoudhuryJune2019.png
Raja Choudhury
Born
Ranjit Choudhury

(1964-06-11) 11 June 1964 (age 55)
Alma materAA School of Architecture
OccupationFilmmaker, Digital Media Producer and Architect
Spouse(s)Jagriti Chadha (2005 - )

Raja Choudhury (born Ranjit Choudhury, 11 June 1964) is a National Film Award (India) winning[1][2][3][4] documentary film maker,[5] architect, public speaker, spiritual teacher, and designer of multimedia installations and events[6] and Web sites, some of which have received Webby Awards.[7][8] He produces international documentary films on Indian wisdom, history and consciousness. Films he has made include Spirituality in the Modern World, I Believe:Universal Values for a Global Society, The Modern Mystic, The Quantum Indians, Yoga: Aligning to the Source and most recently India's official global film celebrating the International Day of Yoga entitled Yoga Harmony with Nature which was released on 21 June 2015. He is producing a new film with WTTW Chicago PBS called First Guru on Swami Vivekananda and the arrival of Yoga and Hinduism into the popular American conversation in 1893. Raja is on the faculty of The Shift Network online teaching subjects on Indian Wisdom.

Early life[edit]

Raja Choudhury was born in Ibadan, Nigeria to Indian parents Sukumar and Manjusri Choudhury on 11 June 1964. His father was a UN expert on deputation to the WHO from India. He grew up in Nigeria and then Freetown, Sierra Leone where he attended the Sierra Leone Grammar School. At 16 he moved to Canada and studied at the University of Waterloo. He went on to study Architecture at the AA School of Architecture in 1984 in London, UK where he graduated in 1992. At the AA he started the Computer Graphics Unit before graduating bringing CAD and 3D modelling to the school for the first time. At the AA he studied with architects Ron Herron and Ranulph Glanville and cybernetics expert Gordon Pask.

Early career[edit]

In 1993 Choudhury, Mudimo Okondo, and Emma Westecott founded Zone UK, a digital design company in London.

Web and multimedia[edit]

In 1993 Choudhury designed the VID Zone Kiosk Network at Tower Records and HMV stores in London. The kiosk was described as "The Best Public Demo of Multimedia Ever" by Design Technology Magazine. In 1995 the team at Zone launched the UK's first CDROM Music & Lifestyle Magazine UnZip[9] with IPC Magazines which was awarded a Milia D’Or at Mipcom in Cannes in 1996. Zone was the first company in the UK to introduce kiosk and the Internet into music stores, night clubs and university bars. In 1997 Zone installed multimedia kiosks in 10 London universities, providing the MeTV Network for students. Choudhury moved to New York City in 1998 and designed the FastTake Video Kiosk Network, the online launches of Softbank, NetValue and BT Conferencing, and became creative director for agencies Cohn & Wolfe and Converseon. In 2007 he designed Websites Webby Honorees in 2008: OurWeddingDay.com and CBCWorldwide.com. In 2008 he produced India's first multimedia broadband kiosk entertainment network for Coca-Cola called the Dilli Dil Se Network[10] in time for the 2009 Indian Premier League offering videos, video chat, facts, results, games, social networking and mobile downloads. The touch-screen kiosks were available at 30 locations across New Delhi. Since 2009, Raja has continued to work in the digital space advising large brands and non-profit organizations including tGELF, Alchemist Group and The Shift Network.

Documentary films[edit]

Choudhury's first documentary film as a co-producer and art director was "Desi: South Asians of New York" for PBS Channel Thirteen in 2000 with Glazer Creative. He then started publishing a newsletter entitled Universal Quest with A.T. Mann. He went on to produce numerous videos for the American India Foundation, the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center and others. In 2006 he produced his first documentary film "Spirituality in the Modern World" which captured a dialogue between Ken Wilber and Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche. The DVD was released in 2007.

In 2010 Raja produced his second documentary film "I Believe: Universal Values for a Global Society"[11] on the beliefs of Karan Singh. The film was launched by India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in March 2011, and was shown on India's national public TV network Doordarshan. In 2011 he produced the film "The Modern Mystic" on the spiritual teacher Sri M of Madanapalle. The DVD was launched in Bangalore India in October 2011. Both films were selected for the Spirit Enlightened Film Festival at CultureUnplugged.com. In 2012 he produced "The 21st Century Indian" profiling S. M. Krishna, India's Minister of External Affairs. In August 2013 Choudhury launched the film The Quantum Indians[12] about the great Indian scientists Satyendranath Bose, CV Raman and Meghnad Saha for the Public Service Broadcasting Trust of India (PSBT) and the Public Diplomacy Division of the Ministry of External Affairs of India. This film won the National Film Award for Best Educational/Motivational/Instructional Film of 2013 and also the prestigious Golden Beaver Award given by the Indian Department of Science and Technology, Vigyan Prasar, as the Best Public Science Film of 2013. He also produced 2 acclaimed films on Yoga Yoga: Aligning to the Source on the origins, mythology, practice and history of Yoga was launched on 26 November 2013 and includes appearances by BKS Iyengar, Karan Singh and Devdutt Pattanaik and India's official film celebrating the International Day of Yoga entitled Yoga Harmony with Nature which was released on 21 June 2015.

Public Speaking, Awards & Acclaim[edit]

Raja has received numerous awards and media coverage for his work in films and digital media including The 2014 National Film Award for Best Educational/Motivational/Instructional Film(India) for 2013, The 2014 Golden Beaver Award for Best Indian Public Science Film from Vigyan Prashar, 2 Webby Awards in 2008, an Adobe Site of the Day and the Milia D’Or at MipCom. In May 2012, Raja presented a talk at the TED conference TED@Bangalore on "Indian Wisdom in Today's World". Raja gave a TEDx Talk on "Yoga 3.0" in New Delhi on 21 June 2015 to celebrate the first International Day of Yoga. He also gave the keynote address at the 2015 Porter Prize in New Delhi on "Rewiring the Brain." In March 2018, Raja joined the faculty of The Shift Network online teaching Kundalini Shakti, Tantra and Sri Vidya.

Personal life[edit]

Raja married designer Jagriti Chadha in 2005, and they have a daughter born in 2007, Gayatri Noor. He blogs as The Creative Indian.

Filmography[edit]

Year Film/show Role Notes
2000 Desi: South Asians of New York PBS Doc Coproducer/Art Director First production on the South Asians of New York City; Culture Food, Politics, History.
2006 Spirituality in the Modern World: A Dialogue with Ken Wilber and Traleg Rinpoche Producer and Director (Documentary Film)
2011 I Believe: Universal Values for a Global Society Producer and Director Documentary Film on Dr. Karan Singh and his vision for India and Humanity. Launched by PM Manmohan Singh in 2012
The Modern Mystic: Sri M of Madanapalle Producer and Director Documentary Film on spiritual teacher, educator, interfaith activist and beloved Guru to many, Sri M (Mumtaz Ali)
2012 The 21st Century Indian: Wisdom in Action S.M.Krishna Producer and Director Documentary Film on SM Krishna, the Chief Minister of Karnataka who was responsible for making Bangalore the Silicon Valley of India
2013 The Quantum Indians: Bose, Saha and Raman Writer and Director Documentary Film on the great Indian scientists Raman, Bose and Saha produced by PSBT and PD/XP of the MEA - winner of 2014 National Film Award for Best Educational Film of 2013 and winner of the Vigyan Prashar Golden Beaver Award for Best Science Film
Yoga: Aligning to the Source Writer and Director Documentary Film on the essence and origins of Yoga produced by PSBT and PD/XP of the MEA
2015 Yoga: Harmony wIth Nature Writer and Director Documentary Film on the origins, history, practice and worldwide spread of Yoga in celebration of the UN's International Day of Yoga on 21 June 2015 - produced by the PD/XP Division of the Ministry of External Affairs - Premiering June 2015
2017 Devipuram: Guruji Amritananda Writer and Director Documentary Film on Guruji Amritananda, a nuclear physicist who became India's leading exponent of Sri Vidya and Goddess worship - produced by the Sri Vidya Trust. Premiered in 2017
2019 First Guru Producer and Director Documentary Film on Swami Vivekananda and the story of how Yoga and Hinduism first came to America with his arrival in 1893 at the World's Parliament of Religions. Premiering in the fall of 2020 and will be shown theatrically worldwide and on PBS in the US.

Major Web and Multimedia Projects[edit]

Year Project Role Details and Awards
1993-1997 VID Zone Kiosk Network, UK Creative Director and Founder UK based Music Video and Interactive Touch Screen Kiosk Network at Tower Records, HMV Stores, Night Clubs, London University Bars and other Retail Outlets across London UK. Described as the "Best public demo of Multimedia ever" by Design Technology Magazine
1995-1996 UnZip CD ROM Music Magazine, UK Creative Director and CoFounder with IPC Magazines Europe's first CDROM Multimedia Magazine on Music, Lifestyle and Branded entertainment. Winner of Milia D'Orat MipCOM Cannes 1996
1999 FastTake Video Kiosk Network, USA Creative Director Design of 300 touchscreen kiosk network for Video Retail across US market
2000 NetValue.com Launch Creative Director US Launch of leading Digital Metrics Company
2001 BTConferencing.com Launch Creative Director US Launch of BT's flagship online conferencing brand
2004 Softbank.com Redesign Creative Director Redesign of Global Bank Sofbank's online presence
2005-2006 Community Church of New York Creative Director and Lead Strategist Rebranding and redefining of vision for leading New York Unitarian Church and Community
2006-2008 OurWeddingDay.com Creative Director 2008 Webby Honoree Award Winner
2007 CBCWorldwide.com Creative Director 2008 Webby Honoree Award Winner for Coldwell Banker Commercial
2009 Coca-Cola Dilli-Dil Se Kiosk Network, India Creative Director Online touch screen multimedia network at 30 locations across New Delhi and Website celebrating Coca-Cola's sponsorship of the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL
2011-2012 AlchemistGroup.com, India Creative Director Redesign of online presence of USD 2 Billion Indian conglomerate
2012-2015 tGELF.org, India Creative Director Online and Video launch of The Global Education and Leadership Foundation
2015 TheShiftNetwork.com, US Creative Director Redesign of one of US' largest Conscious Media company's online presence

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Restoring the lost legacies of brilliant Indian minds". The Sunday Guardian. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  2. ^ "Giants of Indian science". TheHindu.com. 27 February 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Film on scientists gets national award". Nature Magazine. 22 April 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  4. ^ "The Quantum Indians wins Golden Beaver Award for Best Public Science Film in 2013". webindia123.com. 2 February 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  5. ^ "Raja Choudhury's profile at the Internet Movie Database". IMDB. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  6. ^ "AFAQS article - Coca-Cola's touch-screen entertainment kiosks". afaqs.com. 9 June 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  7. ^ "Webby Honoree CBCWorldwide.com". WebbyAwards.com. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  8. ^ "Webby Honoree OurWeddingDay.com". WebbyAwards.com. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  9. ^ "Marketing Week article on Zone UK and IPC's launch of UnZip 1995". Marketingweek.co.uk. 10 March 1995. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  10. ^ "AFAQS article - Coca-Cola's touch-screen entertainment kiosks". afaqs.com. 9 June 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  11. ^ "India is an emerging idea, not just an emerging market". The Hindu Newspaper. 10 March 2011. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  12. ^ "What can India learn from Bose, Raman & Saha?". Nature Magazine Blog. 7 August 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013.

External links[edit]