Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 24 September 2020

Waad Al Kateab: renowned Syrian film director sends daughter to British school

Filmmaker’s 2019 documentary 'For Sama' was Oscar-nominated and won a Bafta award

A photo of Sama on her first day of school posted by filmmaker Waad Al Kateab on Instagram. Waad Al Kateab / Instagram
A photo of Sama on her first day of school posted by filmmaker Waad Al Kateab on Instagram. Waad Al Kateab / Instagram

The oldest daughter of Oscar-nominated Syrian film director Waad Al Kateab has started her first year of school in Britain.

Sama Al Kateab, who inspired the name of her mother's debut feature-length film For Sama, begun classes this week.

Waad Al Kateab 29, who is also a journalist for Channel 4 News in central London, made the announcement via her official Instagram account on Wednesday evening, posting a photo of Sama on her way to school.

For Sama was nominated for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar in February, coming runner-up to Netflix’s American Factory.

The film has won numerous other accolades, including Best Documentary at the Baftas, as well as four gongs at the British Independent Film Awards.

Filmed over five years in war-torn Aleppo, the screenplay documents Sama’s birth and her childhood. It also follows Waad and her husband Hamza Al Kateab, who was one of the last remaining doctors in Aleppo at the time.

Waad moved to Aleppo to study in 2009. There, she recorded more than 500 hours of footage that was eventually made into a film by her and co-director Edwards Watts.

Waad campaigned against President Bashar Al Assad in Aleppo and documented horrific images from Syria's civil war.

After her activism and journalism started garnering more attention, she was forced to flee her homeland to the UK in 2016. She now lives there with her husband and two daughters.

Updated: September 10, 2020 10:13 PM

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