Sci-Fi Magazine Interview: Matthew Leutwyler & Shahin Chandrasoma

"In the early 1980's, on one of our visits back to the motherland, I met Arthur C. Clarke," recalls the 38-year-old urologist (Chandrasoma), whose family immigrated to the United States when he was an infant.  "He had the first computer I had ever seen, and there was this low-res, pixelated graphic of King Tut's face on it, which was basically the first picture file I ever saw. Clarke - and specifically 2001: A Space Odyssey and Childhood's End - remains an inspiration because of the scope of his work. His protagonist is rarely and individual; rather, he plots the story arc of humanity as an evolving species."

That inspiration and influence is evident in Uncanny, a thought provoking feature penned by Chandrasoma.

"Uncanny requires the viewer to commit to following both the story and the characters' interactions, hopefully engaging the observer in the overarching question of what it means to be human," asserts director Matthew Leutwyler, who like Chandrasoma cites 2001 as an influence, as well as Star Wars and Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land. "Of course, this isn't a novel question. Philosophers like Descartes and Kant have debated it for centuries, but now as we head deeper into the development of artificial intelligence [AI] the answers that we have leaned on are becoming murkier. The characteristics that we thought separated us from other species may not be unique 10 to 20 years from now. Unless, of course, you consider AI as simply the next step in human evolution."