This week we welcome Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar, a South Asian American novelist, scholar, and screenwriter, with a PhD in English, who tells women-centric stories in unusual settings. Her screenwriting has been recognized by the Austin Film Festival, where she was a semifinalist, the Humanities Awards, WrapWomen Pitch Fest, and BRIC Open TV Pitch competition.
Her short film “Me Against the World,” a collegiate romantic comedy, is now streaming on Amazon Prime and Apple TV. It has won multiple awards, including best American short film at the Barcelona International Film Festival and was an official selection at eight international film festivals. “American Baby,” a short about Indians ordering tacos for the first time, won Best Micro Short at the New York Women in Film and Television Shorts Festival.
Rajakumar is the founder and creative director of the Short Film Lab, an incubator for first-time female filmmakers in their teens and twenties based in the Middle East. Filmmakers she has mentored have screened their projects at over 20 festivals worldwide and also won their categories in three.
Rajakumar is currently working on an interracial collegiate rom-com with a sports element about an Indian tutor and her NBA hopeful tutee. Think “Love and Basketball” meets “Mississippi Masala.”
See more of Rajakumar’s work on her website.