Rajnesh Domalpalli

Rajnesh Domalpalli

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Category: Cinema

Rajnesh Domalpalli Profile

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  • Rajnesh Domalpalli

Rajnesh Domalpalli Biography

Rajnesh Domalpalli is a Telugu film director. His directorial debut, Vanaja, won 24 international awards including the Best First Feature award at Berlin Film Festival in the year 2007. He also received Gollapudi Srinivas Award for debut director for this movie. His short story, while studying as a graduate was selected by BBC twice.  Vanaja was inspired from a story that was included in his Master of Fine Arts thesis at Columbia University.


Rajnesh Domalpalli was born in Chennai to a Telugu family. Later the family moved to Hyderabad. He took formal training in vocal music and veena while at school. He took degree and PG in Electrical engineering in 1984 and 1986 respectively. He graduated from Indian Institute of Technology and during this time, he used to write short stories. One of his short stories, The Dowry, was twice selected for broadcast by BBC World Service. He continued his learning in vocals side by side and carried it for years.


After completion of engineering, he worked as a software engineer at Silicon Valley, California. It was during this time when he got fascinated with movie making. In 2001, he pursued film making and took MA from Columbia University in 2006, as it was required for his future career in film making. The story of Vanaja was inspired by a child's scream at being separated from her mother in the film Sophie's Choice. This low budget movie included a set of non-experienced actors and the key role was played by a Telugu girl Mamatha Bhukya. Vanaja went on to win 24 international awards at major film festivals. In 2008, it was nominated for two Spirit Awards in Best First Feature and Best Cinematography categories.

Updated: March 14, 2014

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