Born in Kerala to a Malayali family and now settled in Hyderabad, Rajesh Touchriver is Keralite to the core, Indian at heart and citizen of the world

Local in sensibility, universal in theme and speaking to a global audience - this is the essence of Rajesh's films and art.

Kathakali that he inherited from his father Siva Sankaran Nair and his early training in Kalaripayattu have imbued in him a flair for stylization in his visual language – something that he likes to continue experimenting on.

Rajesh had directed more than 30 plays in Malayalam and English by the time he took his Bachelor degree in Design and Direction from the School of Drama in Trissur, Kerala in 1992. After a stint as a Designer at the National School of Drama, New Delhi in 1995, and later in 1996 he moved to Hyderabad.

His first brush with the film industry was in 1996 as a Production Designer for Telugu films when pursuing his Diploma in Animation film making at ZICA in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. He also had an opportunity to do Production Design for a Hollywood film during that period. In 2001, he won the Charles Wallace Trust Award and went to London for pursuing his Masters in Visual Language/ Scenography and Direction from the Wimbledon College of Art.

Life in London as a student marked the beginning of his career as a filmmaker. His debut film In the Name of Buddha (2002) on the ethnic crisis then raging in Sri Lanka was conceived then and premiered at the Oslo International Film Festival. The film won critical acclaim. It was noted for a sensitive treatment of a controversial theme and heart wrenching story which he achieved by using a hint of magic realism. The film was nominated for the Best Debut Director category at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2003, it was well received in many international film festivals and won the Best Foreign Film award at the Beverly Hills International Film Festival, the Newport Beach International Film Festival and at the Wine Country International Film Festival.

Following the success of In the Name of Buddha, Rajesh directed the music video for "Sunshowers" for Maya Arulpragasam (M.I.A.). She is known for her "O Saya" with A.R. Rahman for Slumdog Millionaire which was nominated for the Oscars in 2009. Ente Malayalam followed, a promotion for the Manorama Music channel to celebrate the 50th year of Kerala formation. The album captured noted Malayali achievers against the lush landscape of Kerala in evocative frames.

Rajesh’s several short films and documentaries on human trafficking, HIV/AIDS and communal riots support the media advocacy initiatives of the United Nations and NGOs, national and international. A recent 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 recent success is Anamika, the Nameless on a similar theme which 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.

Naa Bangaaru Talli (2013) that he co-produced and directed, fetched for the Telugu film industry what has been elusive for them for more than 23 years - an international award and recognition. This film won the Best Feature Film award at the Trinity International Film Festival in September 2013. Its Malayalam version “Ente” was released in early 2013 and received media attention and good reviews.