MFA, Film Production, York University
Sama Waham is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Media Study, and an international award-winning director, producer and cinematographer. Her films have screened in numerous prestigious festivals including Hot Docs, Yorkton, European Independent Film Festival and many others in the United States, Canada, Europe and the Middle East, winning over 21 awards and nominations. She has an MFA in Film Production from York University in Toronto.
Her latest film ‘Sing for Me’ is a poetic, experimental documentary that contemplates the notion of belonging, connecting with heritage and inherited nostalgia, while investigating the viewpoint of fractured diasporic identities and ethnic solidarity, and meditating on Mandaeanism; a fading ancient practice that sends its roots back to the depth of Babylonian history. A multilayered personal journey that departs from loss and follows a river, to recreate an image of a city that no longer exists. The film travels through shared family memory, a collage of stories and archival footage to a new exposition of ‘home’.Sing for Me premiered at Dubai International Film Festival in 2015 and received the ‘Best Long Documentary Award’ in the Alexandria Mediterranean Countries Film Festival in September 2016, along with 6 other international awards to date.
Professor Waham is an Associate Member of the Canadian Society of Cinematographers where she was nominated for the Robert Brooks Award for Best Documentary Cinematography in 2014. She has a wide range of experience working on narrative, documentary, experimental and hybrid films as a director, cinematographer and editor, and has also produced eight films, including three feature length documentaries in Canada. She worked extensively in academic and professional settings teaching a wide array of filmmaking courses and skills from lighting and cinematography, to editing, screenwriting, producing and directing. Her research is focused on the moving image’s expanding forms and formats, revisiting the boundaries of traditional genres in filmmaking and considering inventive approaches to storytelling.