Synopsis: When Henry loses his beloved wife, Claire, it raises tension between him and his son, who took her off life support. Alone, angry, and heartbroken, Henry breaks down. But soon after, he is overjoyed when he discovers Claire has miraculously returned to him.
"My Claire" is available for rental or purchase from Terra Nova Films.
About the Filmmaker
Rajendra Thakurathi is a Nepali writer-director based in the US. He got his early storytelling roots from Pixar (Onwards, Toy Story 4), BuzzFeed, and NY Times. A graduate of USC School of Cinematic Arts where he was a Frank Sinatra and Albert Broccoli (James Bond) Fellow, he has been a finalist at ViewFinder Director’s Program, Ryan Murphy Half Initiative Directing Mentorship Program, and Project Greenlight. His screenplays have been on Red List numerous times.
He has also contributed editorially on films like Barbarian (20th Century Studios), Immediate Family and Hoarders. His 2016 short Being Kicked premiered at Durban International Film Festival while “My Claire” played at Drama International Short Film Festival, Amazon’s All Voices Film Festival 2019, and was also the subject of an Oxford University journal article.
He likes telling meaningful stories with creativity, heart, and humor.
Interview with the Filmmaker
Filmmaker Rajendra Thakurathi shares a few thoughts on the making of the film, My Claire, with Movies About Aging and Elderhood.
Movies About Aging: How did this film come about? What motivated it?
Rajendra Thakurathi: “The film was made at a University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts for CTPR 546 class, which is a graduate thesis-level film production class where writers submit their stories and directors submit their directing reels. Then, when directors are shortlisted, based on their previous works, each director groups with one writer and pitches a story to the selection committee, after which 3 projects are selected, and the school funds these projects. The class is intended to teach collaboration in filmmaking.
That’s how I came to this story from Tony Rettenmaier, the writer. When I read the script, I instantly gravitated to the creativity and soul of the story. Tony is an amazing writer. Coming from Nepali culture, where the elderly are respected and treated with utmost care, and not sent to elderly homes or assisted living houses, I connected with the dilemma of the elderly character, Henry, who has just lost his wife, but his son wants him to move out of the house. That’s how this film came about.”
MAA: What did you personally learn from making this film?
RT: “While making the film, I watched a number of documentaries about death, dying with dignity, and the aging process, which taught me about what it’s like to be in the shoes of elderly people. I also reached out to elderly people to understand them and listen to them. It built a deeper empathy and respect for people of this age group. I never got to see my grandfather, but I love my grandmother dearly. After making the film, this love grew even more. Besides that, working with other collaborators while making the film, it also taught me to become a better human being.”
MAA: What do you hope people come away with after viewing the film?
RT: “The film deals with death, dying with dignity, afterlife, and spirituality. When I made the film, I didn’t intend to dig into such a heavy topic and say something profound as much as I wanted to make the audience feel the story. We all have lost someone in one way or the other, we all have been in some kind of pain that has stayed with us for a long time. I just hope the film brings comfort and a sense of healing to those who watch it.”
MAA: Is there anything else (interesting tidbits or trivia) that you would like to share about the film?
RT: “The film’s crew consisted of filmmakers from the U.S., Nepal, India, Cambodia, Australia, China, and Malaysia, among others.”
‘The house that the film was shot in is considered to be haunted.”
“Although the film is serious, the people behind the film are mostly funny people.”
End of interview with Rajendra Thakurathi
"My Claire" Press Kit
Awards and Screenings
- Amazon’s All Voices Film Festival 2019
- Drama International Short Film Festival 2016
- Short Film Corner at Cannes Film Festival 2016
- Masters Award in Student Film, Julien Dubuque International Film Festival 2016
- Best Film School Jury Award, Berkeley Video & Film Festival 2016
- Toronto Nepali Film Festival 2017
- Nepal-America International Film Festival 2017
More about the film/actors/crew
- Claire (Lynette Gaza) has been on The Good Place since.
- Tony Rettenmaier (writer) co-wrote Creed 2, Space Jam 2, and the upcoming They Cloned Tyrone starring Jamie Fox and John Boyega.
- Henry (Shelly Kurtz) is actually a very funny person.
- The piano wasn’t even in the script at first. When we discovered the piano in our location, we added it as a character in the film.