Originally from India, Kaushik Sampath earned a Master's degree in Electronics and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and worked in Silicon Valley for several years before deciding to pursue his passion for film-making. After taking some film-making courses at DeAnza college, a community college in Northern California, and after making his first short film in his own apartment, Kaushik decided to apply to film school for a formal degree. Kaushik joined USC's School of Cinematic Arts (MFA Production Program) in Spring 2010 and soon became recognized by both faculty and his fellow students for his writing and directorial talent. He continues to lend his production and managerial skills on several peer projects.
Kaushik's graduate thesis film, "GROOMING", was nominated for a 2015 BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) US Student Film Award and had it's world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival 2014. "GROOMING" tells the story of Jessica, a guidance counselor at a middle school who tries to reach out to a 12 year old boy, Sergio, when she suspects that he is being sexually abused by the school's own swim coach. Kaushik feels blessed and fortunate to have had some very talented people in the industry mentor him on his thesis film. His thesis mentors include Jeff Cronenweth, ASC (Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), David Ellison, CEO of Skydance Productions (MI4, Jack Reacher, Star Trek into Darkness, WWZ), Gene Cartwright (pulitzer nominated novelist/screen writer). “GROOMING” very recently won the faculty awards for outstanding achievement in both directing and cinematography at USC’s own First Film Festival. Kaushik just got back after representing the film at the 12th Annual Global Chinese Universities Film Festival in Hong Kong. "GROOMING" went back to Cannes again this year (2015), this time as part of the very prestigious American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase.
Kaushik was also selected, in a highly competitive process, as one of the eight students in the School of Cinematic Arts @ USC, with proven directorial skills, to direct one short (out of 8) for an anthology feature film produced by actor/director James Franco and his producing partner Vince Jolivette. The feature film titled “The Labyrinth” is slated for release in 2015 and Kaushik's short film "Vincent" will be the opening film of the feature.
Kaushik's second semester class project at USC titled “The Harbinger”, a 6 minute short, won a lot of critical acclaim and was screened in film festivals across the country. “The Harbinger” was also instrumental in helping Kaushik win the very coveted and prestigious Annenberg Fellowship, the highest level of scholarship given to any student in the school of Cinematic Arts.
Kaushik's industry experience includes his apprenticeship under two time Oscar nominated DP Jeff Cronenweth, ASC on a movie titled "Hitchcock" starring Sir Anthony Hopkins, Dame Helen Mirren, Toni Colette along with Scarlett Johansson & Jessica Biel. Kaushik's apprenticeship continued through many commercial projects and onto the set of director David Fincher's film titled “Gone Girl” in 2014. Jeff collaborates frequently with director David Fincher.
Kaushik previously worked on a movie called "Bridesmaids", as a camera PA (paid and credited), under the guidance of Oscar nominated DP Robert Yeoman, ASC (Moonrise Kingdom, Grand Budapest Hotel). Bob frequently collaborates with director Wes Anderson.
More recently Kaushik interned for Skydance Productions (Top Gun 2, Terminator Genisys, WWZ/2, Jack Reacher, Star Trek 2/3, Mission Impossible 4/5, True Grit)