The Best of the Rest

For Sama

Waad Al-Khateab, Edward Watts
Screening time  
05.10. / Monday, 16:00 - 18:00 Ticket
09.10. / Friday, 18:00 - 20:00 Ticket

For Sama is the first documentary by 26-year-old citizen journalist Waad al-Kateab. She dedicates the film to her newborn daughter: "I need you to understand why your father and I made the choices we did, what we were fighting for." With a simple digital camera, she documents the Syrian uprising against Assad in the rebel stronghold of Aleppo, from the beginning to the forced evacuation at the end of 2016. A lot happens in those five years: the hopeful revolution is crushed, the city is besieged and constantly bombed. With a handheld camera, Al-Kateab films war in all its sickening detail, sometimes barely escaping death herself. She sees the consequences up close: her husband works as a doctor in one of the few remaining hospitals in the city. In the horrific reality of war, we experience with her the uncertainty of her child’s future.


Waad Al-Khateab

Waad Al-Kateab is a documentary filmmaker who became a citizen journalist in 2011, after protests broke out across Syria against the Assad regime. In 2016, she began documenting the Syrian conflict in a series of films titled Inside Aleppo. These news reports received almost half-a-billion views online, and won 24 awards, including the 2016 International Emmy for breaking news coverage. She and her family were eventually evacuated from Aleppo in 2016. For Sama (2019) is her first feature film.


Edward Watts

Edward Watts is an Emmy award-winning, BAFTA-nominated filmmaker who has directed over 20 narrative and documentary films that illuminate the resilience of the human spirit despite harrowing circumstances. His film Escape from ISIS (2015) exposed the brutal treatment of the estimated 4 million women living under the rule of the Islamic State and received numerous international awards, including an International Emmy and BAFTA nomination for Best Current Affairs Documentary. For Sama (2019) is his latest film.

General sponsor

For Sama

Great Britain
2019, 100'

Directed by:
Waad Al-Khateab, Edward Watts

Screenplay by:
Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts

Waad Al-Khateab

Edited by:
Chloe Lambourne, Simon McMahon

Jez Spencer

Nevine Mabro, George Waldrum

Produced by:
Channel 4 News, ITN Productions

Festivals & Awards:

Academy Awards – Oscars 2020 – Nominee Best Documentary Feature; BAFTA Film Award Best Documentary; Cannes Film Festival 2019 – Golden Eye Documentary Prize; IDFA 2019 – Audience Award; European Film Awards 2019 – European Documentary Award; IDA Documentary Awards 2019 – IDA Award Best Feature, Courage Under Fire Award ; British Independent Film Awards 2019 – Best Director, Best British Independent Film, Best Documentary, Best Editing; Cinema Eye Honors Awards 2020 – The Unforgettables Award, Outstanding Achievement in Production; SXSW 2019  – Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary, Audience Award for Best Documentary; Hot Docs 2019 – Special Jury Prize; Sheffield Doc/Fest 2019 – Special Mention Grand Jury Award, Doc Audience Award; Ajyal Youth Film Festival 2019 – Jury Prize for Best Feature Film; Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival 2019 – Best Film; RiverRun Film Festival 2019 – Best Cinematography ; Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Fest 2019 – Grand Jury Award for International Documentary Feature ; Unipol Award for Best Film, Audience Award ; Nantucket Film Festival 2019 – Documentary Feature Audience Award; Filmfest Munich 2019 – BAYERN 2 Award SZ Audience Award; Guanajuato International Film Festival 2019 – Best International Documentary Feature ; Gimli Film Festival 2019 – Honourable Mention Grand Jury Prize ; Durban International Film Festival 2019 – Best Documentary ; Bergen International Film Festival 2019 – Checkpoints Award; Manaki Brothers International Film Festival 2019 – Best Documentary; Calgary International Film Festival 2019 – Audience Choice Award; Hamptons International Film Festival 2019 – Brizzolara Family Foundation Award to Films of Conflict and Resolution; Heartland Film Festival 2019 – Grand Prize for Documentary, Richard D. Propes Social Impact Award; War on Screen 2019 – International Jury Grand Prix, Audience Award; London Critics Circle Film Awards 2020 – ALFS Award Documentary of the Year; Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival 2019 – Audience Award Best Documentary Feature; Telluride Mountainfilm Festival 2019 – Norman Vaughan Indomitable Spirit Award; Traverse City Film Festival 2019 – Grand Prize for Best Film; Naples International Film Festival 2019 – Impact Award; Odessa International Film Festival 2019 – Special Jury Mention European Documentary Competition; Quebec City International Film Festival 2019 – College Jury Prize; Antenna Documentary Festival 2019 – Best International Documentary ; Arabisches Film Festival Tübingen 2019 – Tübingen Audience; Alliance of Women Film Journalists;


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