Hey, I'm Akanksha!

Chicago, Illinois

Akanksha Cruczynski* is a writer and filmmaker based in Chicago. Originally from India and having grown up in Saudi Arabia, Akanksha moved to the States for college, following which she studied comedy at The Second City, iO Theater and Annoyance Theater. She has made several short films including Close Ties to Home Country, her graduate thesis film which received a $2000 grant for outstanding student projects and successfully raised over $8k in crowdfunding. Close Ties had its world premiere at Aspen Shortsfest 2021, an Academy-Award qualifying film festival, where it won the Audience Award and a cash prize of $1250. Akanksha is passionate about telling stories from underserved communities and using humor to guide them.

*Polish? No. In a teenage angsty act of defiance, when her parents divorced, 14-year-old Akanksha changed her last name to her favorite character's—Clementine Kruczynski in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. She did not know it was a Polish name or that that mattered.

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