Asawari is an independent director, producer, editor, QPOC change maker based in Mumbai, also a co-founder of Star Hopper Studios, a trans led cross-disciplinary collective based in India with a focus on narratives that are about- by, women, trans, intersex, non-binary, and gender diverse individuals.
Asawari is one of the Direction Jury for the esteemed D&AD Awards 2021 & 2022 (UK) - D&AD awards are the most prestigious benchmark for creative excellence in Design and Advertising.
Asawari studied at the London Film School and holds a Masters in Experimental Film from Kingston University, UK. Asawari's work has travelled and is being appreciated in many parts of the world. Their first short film ‘The Housemaids’ that they directed & produced was acquired by Pramod Films(India) and has had its official selection at Women make Waves, Taiwan 2018, Bangalore Queer Film Festival 2019, IAWRT Asian Women’s Film Festival 2019. The Housemaids is now streaming on Amazon Prime (USA/UK) and Disney Hotstar (India) . Their graduation film, 'Dionysian Rhapsody' screened at the ICA (UK) & White Chappel Gallery (UK) in 2014. 'Bodies of Desire', a short film they produced and spearheaded, is currently being curated by Nowness Asia and Girls in Film. Bodies of Desire has so far screened at 42 Film festivals around the globe, including the prestigious Berlin Commercial, Toronto Queer Film Festival, Outfest LA, Fringe! Queer Fest, Melbourne Indian Film Festival, Melanin Pride Film Festival, BFI Flare London Film Festival and many more. Bodies of Desire is also a part of BFI Flare and British Council's 2021 #FiveFilmsForFreedom programme, where they champion and exhibit five short films from their entire selection, to 200 countries. "After So Long // बरसों बाद" a visual poetry they produced and edited is currently in festival rounds and has already been picked by Nowness Asia and Girls in Film. Asawari in the past has directed branded films for organisations like Anat, Shaadi.com, Cipla, Unilever, VH1, and Fox Star Studios.
Asawari also collaborate as a filmmaker, artist and a photographer with interdisciplinary artists and organisations who work towards experimenting and breaking the confines of their traditional art forms to find a language that is collective, engaging and immersive. They have so far worked with artists and organisations like British Council (Wales/UK), The Ahhhness of Things (UK), Shakera Ahad (UK), The Company Theatre (India), Serendipity Arts Festival (India), Clowns without Borders (Sweden), Rupesh Tillu (India).
As a curator, Asawari focuses on works made by marginalised communities. They curated a film club, poetry and music nights with Anat - a queer platform for queer artists cofounded by Asawari. They curated a photography series themed ‘Questioning Masculinities’ for Social (the Bar) in collaboration with One Future Collective, during their 2020 Pride month.
Asawari is a Cultural Management in the Digital Age (2020) fellow, in association with Goethe Institute, Mumbai, and ArtX Company and a BeFantastic Fellow (2021) supported by Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai and Zentrum für Kunst und Medien ZKM, Karlsruhe, and further developed in collaboration with BeFantastic.
Asawari finds life more than what meets the eye. On a mission to bring more south asian non binary, trans, intersex, gender diverse and women representation in the forefront of our current visual culture, Asawari wants to capture the essence of what contemporary India could look like. Films and visual arts are how they navigate themself in creating such transformative - safe spaces that are diverse, inclusive, innovative, interactive and modern.
Picture Courtesy Sophie Roy