Shashi Balooja is an award winning actor, filmmaker, producer and director who was born in Trinidad, grew up in Antigua and completed his schooling in Canada. After several years of owning two bars in Antigua and a successful run in retail management and international sales. With no prior experience in acting, or the entertainment industry, he moved to New York to attend the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute and was admitted to their Professional Program.
After working extensively on stage, television, and film, he produced, co-wrote, co-directed, served as executive producer, and starred in the 27-minute short film ARIANA, which won numerous awards including Best Story and Best Screenplay at the Italian Short Film Festival “arrivano i corti”. Shortly thereafter, he appeared and starred in 4 feature films including AND THEN CAME LOVE, starring Vanessa Williams and Eartha Kitt, which he also co-produced. The film is currently being distributed by Warner Brothers and the WE Network. Shashi is the executive producer, co-director, and lead actor in the film EXPOSED, co-host and producer of "Travel With Island Life", lead in Subject 1 (post-production Canada) and has a supporting role in the "The Other F Word" TV and web series by Caytha Jentis.
Some of his numerous stage credits include “Equus” with Alec Baldwin, “Moby Dick” with Peter Boyle, and the title role in “Julius Caesar”. He also co-produced and starred in August Strindberg’s “Miss Julie” at The Blue Heron Theater in NYC . For 8 years Shashi has performed in several main stage productions at the John Drew Theater at Guild Hall, Easthampton New York, and has been an integral part of The Naked Stage/Hitfest, now a 501-C3 non-profit entity.
Repeat television performances include “Law and Order SVU”, ”Third Rock”, and “As the World Turns”. He is currently developing a reality-based program documenting the development of rising stars in the performing arts., He produced and starred in the "Tennessee Williams play "In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel", off-Broadway. He is currently developing 5 feature film projects and several web and television projects in the US and internationally. He will play the lead actor in “Out”, written by Rain Pryor in the upcoming production off-Broadway. He is in development for his upcoming feature MAMA GRACE which was packaged at the prestigious Caribbean Tales Incubator and pitched during TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival). It will be a Canadian and Carribbean co-production. Pre-production starts in February 2017.
Shashi is founder of ABC Film & Video, LLC – now DBA Media at Large – which produces independent projects for film and television, industrials, documentaries, and theatrical and music videos. As voted by a panel of 200 angel investors and venture capitalist’s from the Funding Post in 2007, ABC Film & Video was named “one of the top emerging companies under the leadership of actor Shashi Balooja” and touted on the Reuters news board in Times Square.
He has been involved in and continues successful philanthropic and fundraising efforts with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, MTEAF (Maria Torres Emerging Artist Fund), The Public Theater, The All Stars Project, and The John Drew Theater at Guild Hall. Shashi was recruited by NBC Universal to participate in last year’s Fusion Festival/Access LA, sponsored by NBCU and Outfest. The festival included table discussions with senior executives on the state of diversity with respect to programming.
Shashi studied International Business at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, earned a Bachelor of Science in Business and Theater from Marymount Manhattan College in New York and is pursuing a Master of Science in Humanities & Film at NYU.