Raj Krishna’s debut film ‘Padmavyuha’ set for opening at Toronto film festival

Raj Baddhan

Senior Editor


Director Raj Krishna’s ‘Padmavyuha’ begins journey as opening night film at International Indian Film Festival of Toronto (IIFFT)

After being featured as the opening night gala film at the International Indian Film Festival Toronto on August 9th, director Raj Krishna’s debut film ‘Padmavyuha’ is now set to screen at the North Carolina South and East Asian Hollywood Film Festival (NCISAFF) on September 12th.

The mystery thriller starring Jaaved Jaaferi, Nikhil Prakash and Pooja Batra, sheds light on the history of Hinduism. The film has captured the interest of the international moviegoers with its thought-provoking Hindi-English storyline that drives the viewer to perceive Hinduism in a whole new light: as a way of life, rather than a religion.

Talking about his inspiration behind creating the film, Raj said, “My growing concern on the rise of right-wing fundamentalism around the world spurred me to research the complex history of Hinduism in India. What I discovered was a strongly polarizing set of arguments across both sides of the aisle – one argument being the pro-Hindu view being that current advocates of Hinduism are simply stewards of a misunderstood, abundantly peaceful religion that has been deeply demonized by colonial invaders beginning in the 1800s, and the other view being that India is devolving into a fundamentalist state.”

He further added, “Exploring these arguments and their historical and archeological backings led me to realize that much of the establishing history of Hinduism is actually deeply disputed by today’s scholars. The more I studied, the more confused I became on the core issues; is religion good? What is its true history? Who is right – the political activists protesting against the religious right, or the religious right themselves, who claim to have done far more in the name of equality than anyone else? Padmavyuha is my attempt to explore these issues and their ambiguity – shining light on the history, religion, and nuances of both sides of this argument.”

In addition to writing and directing Padmavyuha, Raj is currently building a portfolio of international content that he hopes will provide a platform for talented directors to tell important stories. Projects Raj is financing under his California Studios banner include “The Reunited States” (directed by Ben Rekhi), a documentary exploring the political and racial divide plaguing the U.S., ‘Knock Knock Knock’ (directed by Sudhanshu Saria), a psychological thriller about mental health, and ‘Paradise’ (directed by Bijon Imtiaz), a documentary exploring identity and religion on an island in the Bay of Bengal.