Sanjay Rawal (born October 30, 1974) is an Indian-American documentary film director who lives in New York City. His 2014 film Food Chains premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in its Culinary Cinema Programme and had its US premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Food Chains is produced by Smriti Keshari, Eva Longoria, Eric Schlosser, and Rawal himself. Forest Whitaker narrates. Rawal was a winner of the 2015 James Beard Foundation Award for Special/Documentary for Food Chains. The film itself shared the 2016 BritDoc Documentary Impact Award.
He was raised in northern California, where his father is a tomato breeder, and so Rawal was introduced to the agricultural industry at a young age. He began Food Chains in 2011, after witnessing the inequality in the fields of Florida. In March 2016, Rawal was thanked by the Bernie Sanders campaign for the licensing of related video footage used in the Sanders' advertisement titled "Tenemos Familias." Rawal has advocated against the power of large food monopolies and has pushed local, labor-friendly solutions to human rights abuses in the fields.
Rawal's second documentary film, Challenging Impossibility, premiered at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival and played in nearly 70 more. It won awards at several film festivals including at the Atlanta Shortsfest. His first film Ocean Monk won the Best Documentary Short Award at the 2010 St. Louis International Film Festival.
Prior to becoming a filmmaker, Rawal was deeply involved with international development and ran projects in over 40 nations. He worked on projects with celebrities like Wyclef Jean and Donna Karan. Rawal was also engaged in activism regarding peace, security, and women's issues—serving on the first men's committee for V-Day.
In 2018 the documentation 3100: Run and Become was released directed by Rawal.
Much of his work has been inspired by his spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy and he has edited and published books by this leader—including America the Beautiful, which was read as an audio book by Richard Dreyfuss.
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