Sharat Raju

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. American Made aired on PBS’s Emmy Award-winning program “Independent Lens” from 2006-2010.

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 cities around the world.

In 2007 Sharat was selected as a Film Independent Directing Fellow with his script Sacred Grounds. In 2008 he earned a spot in ABC Network’s prestigious DGA Directing Fellowship. He spent time learning to direct episodic television by shadowing on the sets of Desperate Housewives, Cavemen, October Road, Boston Legal, Greek, and Samantha Who.

In 2011, Sharat wrote, directed, co-produced and edited an episode of “FutureStates” – a PBS-funded science fiction anthology series. His episode “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, Connecticut where he teaches filmmaking at the Yale University Visual Law Project – an initiative he helped found at Yale Law School that brings together documentary filmmaking and legal scholarship into a new form of visual knowledge production. He 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.