For Sama


TIFF Lightbox 3 Mon, Apr 29, 2019 9:00 PM
Hart House Theatre Tue, Apr 30, 2019 12:30 PM
TIFF Lightbox 3 Sun, May 5, 2019 12:45 PM
Film Info
Country Listing:UK
Premiere Status:International Premiere
Festival Info
Festival Year:2019
Accessibility:Full Subtitles
Program Category:International Spectrum
Film Subjects:Personal Histories
War, Conflict & the Military
Women & Women's Stories
Middle East
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):Waad al-Kateab
Edward Watts
Producer(s):Waad al-Kateab
Executive Producer(s):Siobhan Sinnerton
Nevine Mabro
George Waldrum
Ben de Pear
Raney Aronson-Rath
Senior Producer(s):Dan Edge
Editor(s):Chloe Lambourne
Simon McMahon
Cinematography:Waad al-Kateab
Composer:Nainita Desai


Winner—Special Jury Prize – International Feature Documentary

Over the course of several years, Waad al-Kateab has been filming the uprising in her home city of Aleppo, Syria. Capturing the brutal conflict all around her comes with added personal stakes as she falls in love and becomes pregnant with her first child. The idea of bringing a baby into such extreme conditions transforms the narrative of how she documents her surroundings. She maintains love for her nation and the people around her, hoping this passion can counterbalance the widespread violence her daughter will be born into. While the battles rage on daily, baby Sama comes into the world to a devoted mother who is faced with the ever-more-urgent decision of whether to let go of the city she dreamed would someday be free of tyranny and war. Through the chaotic devastation that surrounds them, For Sama depicts a story of how love can bloom in even the direst of circumstances. Gabor Pertic

Content notice: Film contains some graphic imagery.

Co-presented with Syria Film Festival

Additional Information

  • NOW - 4 Stars, "Remarkably honest and gripping."
  • FRONTLINE - "For Sama" Director Waad al-Kateab: 'This film is the only weapon I have against the regime.'
  • POV - For Sama and for Syria
  • One Movie Our Views - 3 Stars, "Powerful and important."