Chris Eska was raised in the village of Ottine, Texas (pop. 98). He studied sociology and art at Rice University before attending UCLA’s MFA film directing program. 

His short films have screened on PBS, at the Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmaker’s Competition, the Texas Filmmaker’s Showcase, and at film festivals worldwide. DOKI-DOKI, his UCLA master’s thesis film, premiered on the national PBS series Independent Lens with an introduction by Susan Sarandon. Chris’ first feature, AUGUST EVENING, won the $50,000 Target Filmmaker Award and was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards, where it took home the John Cassavetes Award. His second feature, THE RETRIEVAL, received a Special Jury Prize at SXSW and garnered him a nomination for “Someone To Watch” at the Independent Spirit Awards.

At the Fall 2016 Film Residency, Chris presented the lecture “Emotion not Commotion,” in which he discussed eliciting performances from novice actors, gaining distance from our ideas, and navigating film festivals and distribution.