As an Indian American girl growing up in small-town Colorado, writer-director Shilpa Sunthankar learned everything she knows from the movies: a steady diet of eighties Hollywood, world indie cinema in the nineties, and a hefty side of Bollywood. She’d like to say she never lets the truth get in the way of a good story, but actually she thinks the truth is the juiciest part.

Her newest short film, Working Lunch, inspired by the proliferation of hate graffiti after the 2016 U.S. presidential election, premiered at the Toronto South Asian Film Festival, and received the Regional Arts & Culture Council’s Project Grant. Her other short films, The Company of Thieves and Biography of an American Hostess, have won several awards including Best Director at the Los Angeles FirstGlance Film Festival, and have been licensed by the ShortsHD Channel, IndieFlix, and the Canadian Broadcast Corporation.  

Shilpa is currently developing her first feature film, Continental Divide, a dynamic outdoor thriller taking place on the U.S- Mexico border, for which she was awarded the SAGIndie Fellowship to attend the 2019 Stowe Story Lab.  Her feature script Seeta’s Demon was showcased as part of the C3 Conference at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific American Film Festival.

In her current screenplay project, tentatively titled Generation Loss, she examines her upbringing and navigating the difficulties of growing up as a girl of color in rural America. Shilpa lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and owns her own production company PushStart Productions. When she is not crafting award winning work, Shilpa is a powerhouse on her bicycle.