biography

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Mahesh Pailoor grew up in Saco, Maine and studied film as an undergraduate at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He furthered his training as a Directing Fellow at the American Film Institute, where he was awarded the Franklin J. Schaffner Award for the direction of his thesis film, STILL LIFE. 

Soon after graduating from the AFI, Mahesh was hired by Marshall Herskovitz (MY SO CALLED LIFE) to direct and produce all ancillary content for the groundbreaking web series/NBC show QUARTERLIFE. This experience inspired Mahesh’s interest in episodic directing which lead to his acceptance into the Disney/ABC Directing Program, where he shadowed veteran directors Debbie Allen and Sanford Bookstaver.   

Mahesh directed and co-wrote BRAHMIN BULLS, an independent feature film that won the Audience Award at the San Diego Film Festival and Jury Prize for Best American Indie at the Sonoma International Film Festival. The film stars Sendhil Ramamurthy (HEROES), Roshan Seth (GANDHI), and Academy Award Winner Mary Steenburgen (THE HELP).  It had a limited theatrical release in the US and UK, with The New York Times calling it “a warm debut” and the Village Voice praising it as “an accomplished first feature.” 

Mahesh is an alumnus of the Berlin Talent Campus, as well as Film Independent’s Project Involve and Screenwriting Labs. He was also a director for the annual ABC Discovers Talent showcase. Along with directing scripted content, Mahesh directs documentaries, commercials and branded content for clients that have included Best Buy, Microsoft, Nintendo, Yamaha, and the California Science Center. His commercial for Best Buy, “An Ordinary Creative Person” screened at Cannes Lions and won 2nd place overall in the MoFilm Competition.  

Mahesh’s most recent film is the short film THE LAYOVER, co-directed with Anu Pradhan and starring Rupak Ginn and Pia Shah. He is currently at work on his next feature project and is back at the AFI as part of the directing faculty.