Sanjay Rawal

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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[1] and had its US premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.[2]

Food Chains is produced by Smriti Keshari, Eva Longoria, Eric Schlosser, and Rawal himself. Forest Whitaker narrates.[3] Rawal was a winner of the 2015 James Beard Foundation Award for Special/Documentary for Food Chains.[4] The film itself shared the 2016 BritDoc Documentary Impact Award.[5]

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.[6] He began Food Chains in 2011, after witnessing the inequality in the fields of Florida.[7] 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."[8] Rawal has advocated against the power of large food monopolies and has pushed local, labor-friendly solutions to human rights abuses in the fields.[9]

Rawal's second documentary film, Challenging Impossibility, premiered at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival[10] and played in nearly 70 more.[11] It won awards at several film festivals including at the Atlanta Shortsfest.[12] His first film Ocean Monk won the Best Documentary Short Award at the 2010 St. Louis International Film Festival.[13]

Prior to becoming a filmmaker, Rawal was deeply involved with international development and ran projects in over 40 nations.[14] He worked on projects with celebrities like Wyclef Jean[15] and Donna Karan.[16] Rawal was also engaged in activism regarding peace, security, and women's issues—serving on the first men's committee for V-Day.[17]

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[14] and he has edited and published books by this leader—including America the Beautiful,[18] which was read as an audio book by Richard Dreyfuss.[19]


  1. ^ "Berlin: Eva Longoria-Produced 'Food Chains' to Screen in Culinary Cinema Section". The Hollywood Reporter. 2014-01-20. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-27. Retrieved 2014-06-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^
  4. ^ James Beard Foundation, / The 2015 Book, Broadcast, and Journalism Awards: Complete Winner Recap, James Beard Foundation, April 24, 2015
  5. ^ "Chasing Ice, CITIZENFOUR, Food Chains, Miners Shot Down, and Virunga win the 2016 Doc Impact Award | Compton Foundation". Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  6. ^ Sanjay Rawal (2014-04-22). "Three Things You Don't Know About Your Tomato | Sanjay Rawal". Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  7. ^ Sanjay Rawal (2013-03-28). "Enjoying that Tomato On Your Sandwich? Don't Forget to Thank a Farmworker". Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  8. ^ "Sanders Campaign Thanks Documentary Director Sanjay Rawal for 'Tenemos Familias' Footage". 10 March 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  9. ^ Fassler, Joe. "The Hidden Labor Behind Food: How to 'Read' a Tomato". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  10. ^ "Tribeca Interview: Challenging Impossibility Directors Sanjay Rawal and Natabara Rollosson". 2011-04-23. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  11. ^ "Festivals". Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  12. ^ "Awards". Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  13. ^ "Meet Your Food Chain (VIDEO)". Civil Eats. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  14. ^ a b "InterView Sanjay Rawal MAY2013". Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  15. ^ Strom, Stephanie (2010-02-04). "Haitian Quake Brings More Money and Scrutiny to a Charity". The New York Times.
  16. ^ "Mark Juddery: Challenging Impossibility: Challenging the Oscars". 2012-08-17. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  17. ^ "Men & Boys". Until The Violence Stops. Archived from the original on 2009-02-08. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  18. ^ "Richard Dreyfuss Receives 'America's Promise' Award". Reuters. 2010-09-28. Archived from the original on 2014-08-31. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  19. ^ "Richard Dreyfuss Gets Back to Fundamentals | On Air Videos | Fox News". 2011-01-20. Retrieved 2014-06-12.

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