Sabiha Sumar

A closer look at our Director

Photo by Zeeshan Haider © Vidhi Films

Photo by Zeeshan Haider © Vidhi Films

A long time ago, a young Pakistani girl heard the story of the Arabian Nights. Mesmerised, she listened as night after night the barbaric king slaughtered his lovers, until enthralled by the power of storytelling he was compelled to keep one lover alive. and slowly but surely, he was transformed.

Years later, the girl has grown to be acclaimed Pakistani film-maker, Sabiha Sumar who with S Sathananthan set up Vidhi Films, a company deeply involved with filmmaking as a means of encouraging and catalyzing social change. Vidhi seeks to create inspiring, entertaining and commercially viable cinema. Using the power of storytelling to challenge and combat the silence imposed by religious and political extremism. Nurturing free artistic expression with a vision to engage audiences, foster the spirit of questioning, generate awareness on issues of human rights, gender and justice, and inspire individuals and communities to seek a better world.

Born in Karachi, Sabiha Sumar studied Filmmaking and Political Science at Sarah Lawrence College in New York and then read History and Political Thought at Cambridge University.

As an independent filmmaker Sabiha Sumar has earned much acclaim for her films. Her first feature film, ‘Silent Waters ( Khamosh Pani )‘ has played in film festivals around the world. Silent Waters won the Golden Leopard award at the Locarno International Film Festival and 16 other awards worldwide. Sabiha’s first documentary, ‘Who Will Cast the First Stone,’ about three women in prison in Pakistan under Islamic law won the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco Film Festival and aired on major television stations across the globe. Another landmark documentary was ‘Dinner with the President: a nation’s journey‘ which made broadcast history as part of the Why Democracy series when it was aired simultaneously across 200 television channels.

Sabiha also produced the Oscar winning short documentary ‘Saving face,’ directed a talk show with Pakistani celebrities titled ‘Tuc the lighter side of life’ with Mahira Khan as the show host, and has directed drama series for various broadcasters.

When time permits Sabiha conducts workshops for actors and directors.