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Sharat Raju

Sharat Raju has won more than twenty awards as a filmmaker since graduating with honors from The American Film Institute’s renowned directing program. His Masters Thesis film, American Made, quickly became an international phenomenon as it tore through the film festival circuit in 2004-05, winning awards at Tribeca Film Festival, Aspen Shortsfest, AFI Fest, and from BAFTA, among others. American Made aired on PBS’s Emmy Award-winning program “Independent Lens” from 2006-2010 and was seen by more than 2 million people in the US.  

Sharat followed up his thesis short by directing and producing a grassroots independent film that has similarly made its mark around the world – Divided We Fall: Americans in the Aftermath. Featured on CNN, NPR, BBC and others, Divided We Fall is the first documentary feature to chronicle the rise in hate-crimes and race-related abuse in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001. Demand for the film sent Sharat on an speaking and screening tour at more than 150 towns and globally.   

In 2007 Sharat was selected as a Film Independent Directing Fellow with his script Sacred Grounds and continued on to a spot in ABC Network’s prestigious Director’s Guild of America Directing Fellowship. At ABC he spent time learning to direct episodic television by shadowing on the sets of Desperate Housewives, Boston Legal, Greek  and others. In 2010, he was invited to the Berlinale Talent Campus as an up-and-coming filmmaker from the US.   Sharat’s most recent film Worker Drone launched in April 2011 as an episode of “FutureStates” – a PBS-funded science fiction anthology series – that he wrote, directed, edited, and co-produced. Worker Drone explores the consequences of outsourcing war and the video-gaming of modern conflict.   Originally from Chicago and a graduate of the University of Michigan, Sharat lives in New Haven where he is a Visiting Fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School at the Visual Law Project – an initiative he co-founded at Yale Law School that brings together documentary filmmaking and legal scholarship into a new form of visual knowledge production. In 2011, he helped shoot, edit, and produce two films – Alienation and Stigma – both of which deal with legal aspects of racial profiling in immigration and in stop-and-frisk practices in New York City.   Sharat began his career as an assistant to legendary casting director Mali Finn, learning performance and directing while working on a variety films including The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, and 8 Mile.   Sharat is represented by Bradley Glenn at the Kaplan Stahler Agency.