Born and raised in Paris, Clara Bellar is a versatile actress, singer, writer, director and producer. Clara’s film career took off when she met the French New Wave director Eric Rohmer after he saw her in a Parisian stage production of Sleeping Beauty. Mr. Rohmer cast her as the lead in his film Rendezvous in Paris. As an actress, she is best known for portraying the nanny robot in Steven Spielberg’s A.I., and for starring in Paul Schrader’s Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist. This led to other starring roles in films including Kill the Poor, Oranges Amères, Romance and Rejection, This Space between us, Sleepy Time Gal, and The Pharmacist.
She has released two albums recorded in Brazil, My Brazilian Heart et My French Heart, with arrangements by Dori Caymmi and appearances by Chico Buarque, Ivan Lins, Joao Bosco and Milton Nascimento.
After studying film directing at New York Film Academy, Clara wrote, produced and directed the short film Watermelon Man. The film was featured in several North American festivals, including: M.A.L.I Women’s Film & Performance Arts Festival; International Family Film Festival; Kids First; Carolina Film Festival; Buffalo Niagara Film Festival. Clara then wrote, produced and directed the documentary Being and Becoming, a 99 minute film on the Self-Directed, Child-Lead, Natural Learning movement known as Unschooling in the US. The film was shot in France, Germany, the UK, and the US over the course of two years.
While doing research on educational possibilities for her own child, Clara Bellar became interested in what at first seemed to be a bizarre method of home schooling. But as she learned more, she decided to shoot a new documentary film, “Being and Becoming” on the movement that in the U.S. is called “Un-Schooling.” She describes how over two years in four countries, she became convinced of the value of radical child-led learning.