We’re always on the lookout for emerging talent, so we’ve compiled a list of the 10 most interesting actors, directors, screenwriters and photographers from Los Angeles you need to know about.
Claudio is a Mexican-Italian actor and artist based in Los Angeles. His film career started when he wrote and directed “Who I Am” an experimental feature that premiered in theaters in Mexico in 2013, when he was 15 years old. He starred and directed the short “Gratia” in 2015. Since then he has starred in music videos such as Paulina Goto’s “Antagonista” and Ayça Tilki’s “Gönlüme Göre Ver”. Shorts such as “Gone” (2022) “A Look in the Mirror” (2022) and “With Love, for Josie” (2022). He stars in an upcoming short “Single Mother” that is expected to premiere later this year. You can find more about him here.
California native Sara Banerjee is an actor and writer from the Bay Area who has appeared on Criminal Minds Beyond Borders (CBS), Passions (NBC), and the film American Blend; and was a semi-finalist for the ABC Discovers program. She was a semi-finalist in the CBS diversity showcase and has appeared in national commercials for 24 Hour Fitness, 3-M, and Logitech.
She has a BA in theater from UCLA, and has studied acting with Lesly Kahn as well as film and television at the New York Film Academy. She continues to privately train and take comedy and drama classes with Scott Sedita and Deborah Quayle. In addition to her acting training, Sara has studied Classical Kathak Indian Dance with Guru Chitresh Das; hip-hop at The Edge dance studio; and taken vocal lessons with Dave Stroud, Seth Riggs, and Natalia Bortolotti. You can find more about her here.
Mert Ali Birer
Mert is a filmmaker from Turkey. His career started when he was 7 years old with his first big play in Izmir. Not so long after, he dubbed for the role of Dustin in Stranger Things on Netflix for Turkey. Since then he has been pursuing a career in the filmmaking industry. He started working in Los Angeles after a year in London and has been described on set as focused, knowledgeable, and creative. In his career, he wants to perfect both an actor’s and a director’s perspective of filmmaking to provide a more full and complete approach to roles. You can find more about him here.
Lauren D Zbarsky
Lauren is a portrait and fashion photographer who is endlessly inspired by the collaborative and intimate relationship that exists between the subject and the photographer. She has worked in the fashion industry for over a decade and has had the opportunity to travel throughout the US and Canada shooting for global brands but has an affinity for working with smaller, independent companies run by women. Her main goal on set is to keep it chill and make sure everyone is laughing. She loves to host and feed people at her home and always makes enough food for at least triple the amount of guests at any dinner party. You can find more about her here.
Danielle is an LA-based screenwriter. Before attending the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles, Danielle wrote for the film and television department at Screenrant and wrote various blog posts for The Sound. She most recently co-wrote and co-produced a psychological thriller for a short film challenge that screened in June’23. She has her directorial debut slated for the end of August’23 for her next short film, based on a short story by O. Henry. Danielle is currently working on creating a proof of concept for one of her feature scripts, a family drama. You can find more about her here.
A graduate of Whistling Woods International, Krish’s work in LA has consistently proven his keen eye for visual aesthetics and high-quality work. He’s previously worked on Shark Tank India, and his technical proficiency ranges from cinematography, gaffing, video editing, color grading and visual effects. You can find more about him here.
Israa is a multi-award winning LA and Qatar-based Iraqi director and screenwriter with industry experience in the US and the Middle East. She has directed various short films and worked both above and below the line on different film sets. Her work tackles social justice issues, feminism, and immigration. She is passionate to unearth stories about people’s joys and tragedies, the kind that are personal yet universal. She founded the Independent Iraqi Film Festival, a platform dedicated to celebrating Iraqi films. Her first feature The Anxious Place explores themes of friendship, home, and loss in the midst of globalization. You can find more about her here.
As an adventure sports enthusiast turned actor/director, Nath has found out that he loves telling stories, whether it be a true or a made up one. Looking at the faces listening to their stories in shock, awe, happiness or sadness is what Nath considers his fuel. Coming to LA with 7 years of theater experience, they wish to continue telling stories in order to explore the brightest as well as the darkest corners of the highly imaginative human mind. He has worked on a few short films such as The Lucy Effect and Behind Closed Doors. Recently, Nath created a film in India called Zameer with Jackie Shroff which was a tremendous learning experience. You can find him here.
Rida is a filmmaker from Pakistan who has worked on a diverse range of projects including over 50 commercials as an Assistant Director. She was also the Assistant Director of the highly anticipated action-thriller film Money Back Guarantee (2023) starring Fawad Khan. She’s currently working on her thesis project, Will You Be My Quin in Burbank, California. With her unwavering dedication, storytelling prowess, and commitment to the arts, Rida is poised to make a lasting impact and share her unique voice with the world of filmmaking. You can find her here.
Michelle is a Swiss-Turkish filmmaker from Switzerland with a passion for screenwriting and a keen eye for production design. Equipped with a Bachelor’s degree in film studies, she’s now exploring her artistic vision on set in Los Angeles. She has written, directed and produced several short films such as the psychological drama “Echoes of Loss” and is currently working on her upcoming sci-fi thriller, “REVOLUTIONAR-AI”. Known for her attention to detail and commitment to authenticity, Michelle brings compelling stories to life. Her goal is to create truthful content encapsulating the human experience through a feminist lens. You can find her here.