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CLARA Director Akash Sherman

Director's Profile | May 3rd

Director's Statement: Over three years ago, I set out to write a story about space - that large, shapeless forever that hangs above and around us. I always stare up a little too long on a clear night, thinking about which stars might have other worlds with life. That cosmic pondering always sparks the same, unbelievable thought for me... "we exist". Just the mere thought of it is pretty crazy, right? Pinch yourself, it's real. And then suddenly, just like that, my existence was shaken. I lost someone very close to me, without warning.

Someone who if they hadn't existed - I wouldn't have either. I felt a gaping void that truly felt larger than outer space, and upon pinching myself, I knew it was very real. The story I originally set out to write evolved into something much more. Although the wonder of the cosmos, my love for science, and the discovery of life elsewhere are still very much intact in the film, at its core this film is about love and loss. Death and life. Connection. Those to me are universal concepts that we aren't nearly done exploring. CLARA isn't about the search for life, it is about two lost peoplewho find each other while searching for it. - Akash Sherman

Director's Bio: Akash Sherman is a Toronto-based writer and director with a strong background in visual effects. At just 22 years of age, Akash was named one of Playback Magazine's 5 Filmmakers 2 Watch in 2017, with two award-winning short films under his belt and an array of commercial and VR content.Akash grew up making films in his hometown of Edmonton, Alberta, and made his festival debut atage 16 with his heartfelt short film FOR THEM, FOR YOU which won the "Best Narrative" and "Bestof Fest" awards at the 2011 Future of Cinema Film Festival in Michigan.

After his second short film ATEACHING GAME took home a Jury Award at the 2012 Edmonton International Film Festival, Akashbecame a Top 5 finalist in the nationwide 2013 Cinecoup Film Accelerator competition with hisrevolution epic, UPRISING. In 2014, Akash collaborated with the City of Edmonton on his firstdocumentary THROUGH MY EYES which resulted in a local call to action to eliminate youth homelessness. By 2015 Akash had begun developing CLARA with producer Ari Lantos at the tender age of just 20, while concurrently working full-time as a VFX artist and VR editor to make ends-meet. With the casting of Patrick J. Adams (Suits) and Troian Bellisario (Pretty Little Liars), CLARA was green-lit for production in 2017; marking the beginning of a new chapter in Akash’s career as afilmmaker by becoming his first project to attract distribution and a guaranteed theatrical release in 2018.