Documentary Filmmaker. Reporter. Photojournalist.
Rajvi Desai (she/her) is a non-binary filmmaker, reporter and photojournalist, originally from India and based in New York. Her work spans initial forays into breaking news, local politics and gender-based reporting across New York City and urban India.
Currently, she's working on several short documentaries, primarily as director and cinematographer as a Master's candidate at Columbia Journalism School. Areas of special interest include lived queer experiences of Black and Brown people, abolitionist narratives related to the criminal legal system, and at the risk of being incredibly specific, Mukbang ASMR.
Mother Wit (in post-production) follows three Black trans women pursuing higher education as a means to break the cycle of poverty and discrimination in Brooklyn, New York. Our main purpose is to move away from stereotypical portrayals of Black trans women that usually only mention them in death. Our participants are changing that narrative through their hopes, dreams and ambitions.
Black Market (in post-production) is a short documentary chronicling the uncertainty of selling weed as a Black drug vendor with a history of being arrested for marijuana in post-legalization New York. The film follows a Black queer drug vendor in Washington Square Park, surrounded by a community of vendors who operate in a gray legal zone -- weed's legal, but what about those who sell it? The film reckons with the trauma resulting from the criminalization of marijuana, as vendors of color look to a more lucrative future -- that is, if they're let in on it.
A simple animation to explain why women are the fastest growing segment of the incarcerated population in the United States.
How Doctors Are the Unwitting, Frustrated Soldiers in the War Against Covid19
In Shaheen Bagh, Muslim Women Redefine Carework as Resistance
What a Transgender-Friendly Health Care System Would Look Like
Pride parade NYC: Resistance Contingent fights the power, 30+ advocacy groups strong
A 48-year-old man with a cigar in his mouth and fake dollar bills taped to his underwear roller-skated his way around a colorful “We Resist” flag, held by protesters loudly proclaiming their queerness and welcoming immigrants to America.
And so progressed the resistance down Seventh Avenue in Manhattan.
“Consumerism is not liberation,” Phebeus Thorton said, holding a “Pride for sale” sign wh
How Women Make Movies helps diverse filmmakers ‘tell their own stories’
An independent media arts nonprofit has been charting a path to success for unknown NYC-based female filmmakers for more than four decades — all the way to the Oscars.
Independent films that Women Make Movies (WMM) has supported have found their way to a nomination or a win in 13 of the past 15 Academy Awards, boasting a roster of 14 documentaries, according to Executive Director Debra Zimmer