Sabiha Sumar is multiple award-winning filmmaker and Sundance alumnus. She has earned critical acclaim for her narrative films as well as documentaries.
Sumar’s films have been commissioned by Channel 4, BBC, HBO, ITVS/PBS, ZDF, ARTE, 3SAT and Al Jazeera. Her work has been supported by the Sundance Documentary and Feature film programs as well as by Cinereach. Her debut narrative feature film KHAMOSH PANI/SILENT WATERS (2003) won the LEOPARD D’OR (Golden Leopard) for Best Film, Leopard for Best Actress at Locarno Film Festival and 15 other awards worldwide. It was the first South Asian film to premiere at Sundance 2004 and the first South Asian/ European co-production invited to EAVE.
Sumar’s most notable work in documentaries include: WHO WILL CAST THE FIRST STONE (1988) Research/ Writer/Director, World Premiere, London Film Festival with Guardian Lecture for the film, Golden Gate Award, Sanfrancisco International Film Festival, DON’T ASK WHY (1997) for ZDF/3SAT’s award winning series Girls Around the World, DINNER WITH THE PRESIDENT: A NATION’S JOURNEY (2007), Writer/ Director, Sundance Film Festival, Anasy Awards, Abu Dhabi, Best Documentary & EU Best Documentary Award, SAVING FACE (2012) Academy Award® Winner for Documentary (Short Subject) International Documentary Association, Best Short Award, News & Documentary Emmy®, Best Documentary, News & Documentary Emmy®, Outstanding Editing: Documentary and Long Form, AZMAISH A JOURNEY THROUGH THE SUBCONTINENT (2017) TIFF, Locarno and BFI LFF. Her most recent documentary MOTORCYCLE WOMAN (2019) for 3SAT is selected for the Juliane Bartel Media Prize 2020/2021.
In Pakistan, Sumar has directed TV drama series MI RAQSAM (I Dance) 23 episodes for GEO TV & Khuda Dekh Raha Hai (HE IS WATCHING YOU) 20 episodes for A Plus as well as a celebrity talk show THE LIGHTER SIDE OF LIFE, 13 episodes for HUM TV.
Sumar is a recipient of the Honour of Grade de Chevalier awarded by the Ministry of Culture & Letters, France (2004), is an Honorary Fellow of Wolfson College, University of Cambridge (2015), and received a Special Recognition Award from London Asian Film Festival (2017).
Currently she is developing an international series titled ORDINARY, EXTRAORDINARY.
Berlin-based screenwriter Rachel Mathews has also directed several award-winning short films and has written radio plays for BBC Radio 4. Her feature script Into the Dark Woods won the Wellcome Trust’s ‘Inspired by Science’ Award. After travelling regularly to Yangon over the last decade, in 2018 she was show-runner on Series 2 of The Sun, the Moon & The Truth (10 x 30’), a Myanmar-set drama series for the British Council/MRTV 4. She has recently been commissioned to co-write a pilot script for Leben (8 x 60›), a high-concept drama series about living forever for Big Window Productions (Deutschland 83, 86 & 89) and is currently developing Emily Bronte is My Bestie (8 x 30’), a teen drama series with Anyway Productions. She is also co-creator with Andreas Fuhrmann of Viktoria Frankenstein, a reimagining of Mary Shelley’s novel set in 1920s Germany for Flare Film. Rachel is a script consultant including for the Open Doors section of the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland and the Myanmar Script Fund.
Her award-winning short films can be viewed at vimeo.com/rachelmathews.