Filmmaker Shalini Kantayya directed the season finale episode for the National Geographic television series Breakthrough, a series profiling trailblazing scientists transforming the future, Executive Produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, broadcast globally in June 2017. Her debut feature film Catching the Sun, about the race for a clean energy future, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival and was named a New York Times Critics’ Pick. Catching the Sun released globally on Netflix on Earth Day 2016 with Executive Producer Leonardo DiCaprio, and was nominated for the Environmental Media Association Award for Best Documentary. Kantayya finished in the top 10 out of 12,000 filmmakers on Fox’s On the Lot, a show by Steven Spielberg in search of Hollywood’s next great director.
Her science-fiction film about the world water crisis, A DROP of LIFE, won Best Short at Palm Beach International, and was broadcast on national television in the U.S. and India. She has received recognition for her work from IFP Spotlight on Documentary, New York Women in Film and Television, and the Jerome Hill Centennial. A William J. Fulbright Scholar, Kantayya is a Sundance Fellow, a TED Fellow, and a finalist for the ABC/Disney Directing Program. Kantayya is an Associate of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.