Chithra Jeyaram is an award winning documentary filmmaker and educator with an MFA in Film Production from University of Texas in Austin. Chithra’s first exposure to filmmaking began in 2004 with a failed attempt to fund a film about an explosive water-sharing dispute between two southern states in India. Deeply affected by that experience, she quit a decade-long career as Physical Therapist and enrolled in film school. Her formative years in India, Kuwait and USA gives her multicultural sensibilities that helps to navigate different worlds with ease and bring divergent viewpoints to any discussion naturally. Through her films she hopes to break societal barriers, build bridges, change attitudes and take risks. Life is full of challenges and it is these challenges that validate life. Some people inhabit the stories; she is just honored to share it with the rest of the world through her documentaries.
Chithra is the recipient of the Dina Sherzer Award for Social Awareness (2009) for her film “Refugee Musings”, Dance Films Association’s post production grant (2011) for her film “Foreign Puzzle”, CBA Your World View Documentary grant for her film (2012) “Mijo” and the winner of Benevolent Media Pitch Night Prize for her film in development “1001 Breast Cancer Nights” (2012).
Chithra is a Master instructor at Arlington Independent Media where she teaches Documentary Production and Video Editing Courses. In Spring 2013, she will be teaching Documentary Production at George Washington University as an adjunct faculty. Besides making non-fiction films, she loves to illustrate, animate, take spontaneous trips, cook exotic recipes and work as a physical therapist.