After finishing school at the Lawrence School Sanawar in the Himalayan mountains, Rahat Mahajan shifted base to the city of Mumbai to pursue his studies in mass media at St. Xaviers College. During this time, he produced several short films, of which his very first, Memoirs of an Apple, won the first prize at the IDPA film festival in 2006 and was aired on Indian national television.
Shortly after, he started working in the Bombay film industry, starting out as an assistant director under the tutelage of Vishal Bhardwaj and ultimately spearheading Visual Promotions for several acclaimed feature films including Kaminey, Ishqiya and Udaan. Along with editing trailers he also directed and edited television advertisements; wrote plays and produced his own independent documentaries, short films, and music videos, several of which were awarded at international festivals.
To hone his filmmaking skills further, in 2012 Rahat enrolled for an M.F.A. at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. He developed various projects at the school in collaboration with mentors with diverse backgrounds, helping him grow through a deepening understanding of the craft and an ongoing consolidation of his own worldview. In this time he was also awarded the Visual Communications fellowship, and his short film, Istifa was selected as a National Finalist under the narrative category for the 41st Student Academy Awards (2014).
Through his production company Mahamudra Collective, Rahat is producing a new body of work which includes 3 Narrative Feature Films and 2 Documentaries that have been in development for the past several years.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
WINNER OF SPECIAL JURY MENTION - LOS ANGELES ASIAN PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL 2023
TIGER COMPETITION - INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL OF ROTTERDAM 2022
NEW DIRECTORS COMPETITION - SAO PAULO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2022
ASIAN FEATURE COMPETITION - SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2022
NEW ASIAN CINEMA COMPETITION - FIVE FLAVORS FILM FESTIVAL 2022
INDIA GOLD COMPETITION - MUMBAI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2022
IN COMPETITION - ASIA PACIFIC SCREEN AWARDS 2022
BLUE RIBBON FINALIST - 36th STUDENT EMMYS, 2015
NATIONAL FINALIST - 41st STUDENT ACADEMY AWARDS, 2014
WINNER - VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS FELLOWSHIP, 2014
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY AWARD - DIFFLA FILM FESTIVAL, LA 2014
NATIONAL FINALIST - INDIA IS, GLOBAL VIDEO CHALLENGE , 2012
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE - VIDEOMINUTO FILM FESTIVAL, ITALY 2011
WINNER OF GRAND JURY PRIZE - SAIFF, NEW YORK 2011
1st PRIZE - IDPA FILM FESTIVAL MUMBAI, 2006
Asian Movie Pulse
Art Center News
The Tribune (2009)