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Asawari Jagushte.jpg

Picture Courtesy Varsha Panikar

Asawari Jagushte, a Mumbai-based director, producer, editor, and catalyst for change, is at the helm of Star Hopper, a trans-led film production company that champions narratives at the intersection of brown, queer, and women-led stories. Asawari's expertise was recognized when they served on the Direction Jury for the prestigious D&AD Awards in 2021 and 2022, a testament to their commitment to creative excellence in Design and Advertising.

With a Masters in Film from the London Film School and another in Experimental Film from Kingston University, UK, Asawari's work has achieved global acclaim. Their debut directorial short, 'The Housemaids,' acquired by Pramod Films (India), has found its way to platforms like Amazon Prime (UK/USA) and Disney+ Hotstar (India). The film continues to captivate audiences at various international film festivals.

'Dionysian Rhapsody,' a standout in Asawari's portfolio, graced screens at the ICA (UK) and Whitechapel Gallery (UK) in 2014. Additionally, 'Bodies of Desire,' a short film they spearheaded, has garnered recognition from Nowness, Nowness Asia, Girls in Film, and has earned accolades such as the Best International Short Special Jury Award at RIO Festival De Cinema LGBTQIA+ 2021 and the Best Music Video award at the Global Indian Film Festival.

'After So Long // बरसों बाद,' a visual poetry project produced and edited by Asawari, is currently making its rounds in festival circuits, already gaining recognition from Nowness Asia and Girls in Film. Notably, Asawari has also lent their directorial skills to branded films for prominent organizations like Anat,, Cipla, Unilever, VH1, and Fox Star Studios.

Beyond filmmaking, Asawari collaborates with interdisciplinary artists and organizations, breaking the boundaries of traditional art forms to create a collective, engaging, and immersive language. Their portfolio includes collaborations with renowned entities like the British Council, Goethe Institute, Swiss Cultural Finds, Artlink, Meta Arts, The Ahhhness of Things, Shakera Ahad, Meta Arts, The Company Theatre, Serendipity Arts Festival, Clowns without Borders, and Rupesh Tillu.

As a curator, Asawari champions works from marginalized communities, co-founding a queer platform for artists, Anat, and curating film clubs, poetry, and music events. In 2020, during Pride Month, they curated a photography series titled 'Questioning Masculinities' for Social (the Bar) in partnership with One Future Collective. Additionally, Asawari plays a pivotal role in co-running the Underground Film Observatory (UFO) within Star Hopper, providing a platform for underrepresented South Asian filmmakers and artists.

Recognized as a Cultural Management in the Digital Age (2020) fellow in association with Goethe Institute, Mumbai, and ArtX Company, as well as a BeFantastic Fellow (2021) supported by Goethe-Institut Mumbai and Zentrum für Kunst und Medien ZKM, Karlsruhe, Asawari is on a mission as a trans neurodivergent filmmaker. They are dedicated to increasing representation of South Asian non-binary, trans, intersex, gender-diverse, and women in the visual culture landscape. Asawari's films and visual arts are vehicles for creating transformative, safe, and inclusive spaces that embrace diversity, innovation, interactivity, and modernity.


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