'Searching' Director Aneesh Chaganty Hosts Workshop For Five Aspiring Filmmakers

One short film to run in front of Screen Gems' 'Searching' in select theaters starting August 24

CULVER CITY, Calif., [August 20, 2018] - Five aspiring filmmakers will have the chance to see their work on the big screen as Aneesh Chaganty, director of Screen Gems' Searching, announces the results of his YouTube Space Director's Lab. At a special showing of Searching this Thursday in Los Angeles, all five shorts will be screened ahead of the film and the winner will be announced by Chaganty. The winning short will play ahead of Searching in select theaters starting the next day.

The participants - Sarah Rotella and Adriana DiLonardo from "Unsolicited Project," Tony E. Valenzuela from "BlackBoxTV," Shae-Lee Shackleford from "SketchShe," Tim Hautekiet from "TimH Films" and Mikey Murphy from "Mikey Murphy" - sat down with Chaganty and discussed the making of movies, the future of storytelling and Chaganty's personal process before being tasked to create an original short film inspired by Searching and focusing on the overall themes of technology and "we are what we hide."

The original shorts are now live on each filmmaker's YouTube channel, at the film website at, and via the Sony Pictures Entertainment YouTube channel here.

The special early showing of Searching announcing the winning short will be held on Thursday, August 23 in Los Angeles at the AMC Century City at 7 p.m.

The winning short will play in front of Searching August 24 in select theaters as the film enters its limited release. Searching expands nationwide August 31.

"I'm honored to have hosted this workshop and to be part of these incredibly talented filmmakers' bright journeys. They all bring different skill sets and ideas to the table, so choosing just one short out of the five is going to be tough," said Chaganty. "But I'm really excited for everyone to be able to watch all of them, regardless of which one makes it to the big screen."

"Unsolicited Project" -
"BlackBoxTV" -
"SketchShe" -
"TimH Films" -
"Mikey Murphy" -

Chaganty is a 27-year-old writer/director whose two-minute short film, a Google Glass spot called Seeds, became an internet sensation after garnering more than one million YouTube views in 24 hours. Following its success, Chaganty was invited to join the Google Creative Lab in New York City, where he spent two years developing, writing and directing Google commercials. He is a recipient of the Future of Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to only five young creatives around the world "who have demonstrated a fearlessness to tell stories in unconventional ways" and whose works "will be instrumental in shaping the future of storytelling." Searching is Chaganty's theatrical directorial debut.

The film stars John Cho, Debra Messing, Joseph Lee and Michelle La. Chaganty & Sev Ohanian penned the script. Timur Bekmambetov, Ohanian, Adam Sidman and Natalie Qasabian served as Producers.

Tickets to see Searching may be purchased here.

About Searching
After David Kim (John Cho)'s 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a local investigation is opened and a detective is assigned to the case. But 37 hours later and without a single lead, David decides to search the one place no one has looked yet, where all secrets are kept today: his daughter's laptop. In a hyper-modern thriller told via the technology devices we use every day to communicate, David must trace his daughter's digital footprints before she disappears forever.

About Sony Pictures Entertainment
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Tahra Grant-Gale
Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications
Sony Pictures Entertainment