Sara Ishaq

film director

Sara Ishaq is an award-winning Yemeni-Scot film director. She grew up in Sana’a, Yemen, and moved to Edinburgh, Scotland in 2001 to pursue a higher education in International law, Politics & Religion (2007), followed by an MFA in Film Directing (2012) at the University of Edinburgh. Although based in Scotland for 8 years, she continued to visit the Middle East to volunteer as a teacher and document human rights issues through videos and short films. She spent time in Palestine filming protests (2009) as well as the daily lives of a large family in East Jerusalem (Sheikh Jarrah) who adamantly camped on their own sidewalk after being evicted from their 50-year-old home by the Israeli army to house a small Israeli family. In early 2011, she returned to Yemen to make a short documentary about her Yemeni family as part of a graduation project. Her arrival coincided with the onset of the Yemen uprising, and she began reporting on BBC radio and filming for BBC World Service/Newsnight. In early 2012, she finished her debut film Karama has no Walls and in September 2013, completed her first feature film The Mulberry House, which deals with her relationship with her Yemeni family against the backdrop of the country’s 2011 revolution (the film she set out to film in early 2011). The Mulberry House was an official selection of IDFA 2013, participated at Muher Competition in Dubai International Film Festival 2013 and later received international awards and nominations, including the Jury Prize at This Human World Film Festival in Austria. Between 2012-2014, she freelanced with TV (BBC, Channel 4, etc.) in the production of other films focusing on women’s rights, tribalism and juvenile prisoners on death row in Yemen. Now based between Egypt and Yemen as a freelance director/producer, she is working on a number of Yemeni productions through her own company Setara Films about the current war in Yemen. Sara is the co-founder of the Yemeni media collective #SupportYemen and Comra, Yemen’s first documentary film camp.

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