For Sama

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    For Sama

    Directed by

    United Kingdom, USA

    2019

    95 min

    • Arabic

    Documentary

    FOR SAMA traces the journey of a young woman, Waad al-Kateab, through love, marriage and motherhood across five years of the revolution in Aleppo, Syria. An intimate, visceral documentary about the female experience of war, Waad faces an impossible decision: should she flee the city to protect her young daughter’s life? But to leave means abandoning the struggle for freedom for which she has already sacrificed so much. The film is the first feature documentary by Emmy award-winning filmmakers, Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts.

    Awards

    • Grand Jury Special Mention, Doc Audience Award - Sheffield Doc/Fest
    • L’Œil d’Or for Best Documentary - Cannes IFF
    • Bayern 2 and SZ Audience Award - Filmfest München
    • Special Mention (European Documentary Competition) - Odesa IFF

    Festivals

    Credits

    Cinematography
    Waad Al Kateab
    Editing
    Chloe Lambourne
    Simon McMahon
    Music
    Nainita Desai
    Sales
    AUTLOOK FILMSALES
    Production
    CHANNEL 4 NEWS
    Production
    ITN PRODUCTIONS
    Production
    CHANNEL 4
    Production
    PBS FRONTLINE

    Press

    This ragged, remarkable act of cinematic witnessing sees a young woman finding her voice — as an activist, as an artist and as a parent — above the crashing, whistling din of warfare.

    Guy Lodge, Variety

    A harrowing first-person account of love and war.

    Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter

    Powerful and often disturbingly candid images of the sufferings endured by the people of Aleppo are what makes FOR SAMA a unique expression of motherly love.

    Melita Zajc, Modern Times Review

    An ode to freedom, courage, and trust.

    Melita Zajc, Modern Times Review

    Waad Al Kateab

    Waad Al Kateab

    Syria

    Waad is a former student of Aleppo University. She taught herself how to film and was initially trained as a citizen journalist by a number of NGOs and later by Deutsche Welle Academy and Orient TV. She has since worked for Orient TV and Al Arabiya in addition to Channel 4 News, for whom she is a regular contributor. The first of Waad’s films aired on Channel 4 News in early 2016. In only a few months her reports from Syria became the most-watched pieces on the channel, and have been collectively seen by over 400 million people worldwide. Her documentary FOR SAMA (2019) has received the Golden Eye award at the Festival de Cannes 2019.

    Edward Watts

    Edward Watts

    United Kingdom

    Edward Watts is an Emmy award-winning, BAFTA nominated filmmaker who has directed over twenty narrative and documentary films. Together with Waad Al Kateab, he directed FOR SAMA (2019) which won the Grand Jury prize for Best Documentary as well as the Audience Award at SXSW Festival in March 2019 and the Golden Eye award at Cannes Film Festival.