Film - International Independents Filmfest 2019


Directed by Waad Al Kateab, Edward Watts


Director: Waad Al Kateab, Edward Watts
Section: International Independents
Country: Syria, United Kingdom
Year: 2019
Language: Arabic
Version: Original version with English subtitles



FOR SAMA is both an intimate and epic journey into the female experience of war. A love letter from a young mother to her daughter, the film tells the story of Waad al-Kateab's life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria, as she falls in love, gets married, and gives birth to Sama, all while cataclysmic conflict rises around her. Her camera captures incredible stories of loss, laughter, and survival as Waad wrestles with an impossible choice: whether or not to flee the city to protect her daughter's life, when leaving means abandoning the struggle for freedom for which she has already sacrificed so much. This film is the first feature documentary by Emmy award-winning filmmakers Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts.

Meet the director


Waad Al Kateab, Edward Watts

Waad al-Kateab (1st photo) was born and raised in Syria. While studying at the University of Aleppo, she was trained as a civilian journalist by NGOs during the Arab Spring and reported from her home country for Channel 4 News and Orient TV. Her INSIDE ALEPPO reports were followed by millions of viewers and her work was recognized with an Emmy.

Edward Watts (2nd photo) studied modern history at Oxford University. He's done most of his work for television programs such as UNREPORTED WORLD (2007–2011) and DISPATCHES (2008–2015). For films such as ESCAPE FROM ISIS (2015) and OKSIJAN (2017), he's spent time in the world's crisis spots. His works have been recognized with an Emmy.


Director of Photography: Waad al-Kateab
Composer: Nainita Desai
Producer: Waad al-Kateab
Production Company: ITN Productions
Co-Producer: George Waldrum, Nevine Mabro, Siobhan Sinnerton, Ben de Pear, Raney Aronson-Rath, Dan Edge
Co-Production Company: Channel 4 News, Channel 4, Frontline
World Sales: Autlook Filmsales
Distributor: Filmperlen