National Winner India –Best Actress in a Leading Role for Trial by Fire

Rajshri Deshpande is an Indian actress and activist. She gained international recognition with her portrayal of Laxmi in Pan Nalin’s ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES. This was followed by the titular role of Durga in Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s SEXY DURGA, which won the Hivos Tiger Award at the Rotterdam Film Festival. She also played the role of Manju in BBC One’s MCMAFIA, the British television show directed by James Watkins. Deshpande received critical acclaim for her performance as Subhadra in Netflix India’s most successful series to date, SACRED GAMES, created by Vikram Motwane and directed by Anurag Kashyap. In 2018, film ‘MANTO’ premiered in Cannes film festival in Un certain regard where Rajshri played Urdu Novelist ‘Ismat Chughtai’. In 2021, she played an Antagonist in the Netflix prime show ‘THE FAME GAME’. In 2023, she starred in the Netflix limited series ‘TRIAL BY FIRE’  Directed by Prashant Nair, which was one of the top ten most watched shows on Netflix in eight countries. 

In addition to acting, Rajshri devotes a great deal of her time to social service. After the 2015 Nepal earthquake, she worked with an international NGO in the country. Also in 2015, she adopted a drought-prone village in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra called Pandhari and organized a rainwater harvesting project, built toilets, conducted health checkups and community motivation camps, and built an eco-sensitive school in the same village. Encouraged by the success and social participation in the first village, she adopted 30 more villages in the region. In 2018, she created the non profit ‘Nabhangan Foundation’ to broaden her efforts towards sustainable village development. Since its creation, Nabhangan has made great strides to help empower villages to reach self-reliance. For example, they helped transition 4 Zilla Parishad Schools into an eco-friendly, sustainable building that would serve as an example for other villages.

Rajshri is a Law graduate and worked in Advertising for 6 years. She hails from humble beginnings and having been raised in a family of farmers herself.
She is currently based in Mumbai, India.