At Comra, we aim to support emerging Yemeni filmmakers with training programs, one-to-one mentorship, film grants, networking opportunities with film experts internationally and professional film production guidance. In addition, we offer internship programs, part-time work and other opportunities to give our trainees hands-on, filmmaking experience after they have completed their training. At our hub in Sana’a, we offer a space in which filmmakers can explore their cinematic narrative capabilities to their full potential, connect with local filmmaking networks to creatively engage with each other through the language of cinema, and collaborate with each other on their films. Although we remain connected and supportive of our trainees throughout their filmmaking journey, we aim to empower them to navigate the local and international film industry independently of us, to tell their own stories and reclaim their own country’s nuanced narrative
The story of Yemen, its people, its diverse society and rich culture, has so far almost always been obscured, oversimplified or overcomplicated by a foreign gaze. Film, more than any other medium, has the ability to powerfully shape and influence perceptions and opinions of ‘The Other’ by transporting a viewer across time and space, immersing them into worlds and experiences otherwise unknown to them. It can break boundaries and stereotypes, enrich knowledge and encourage empathy for and understanding of one-another. In a conflict-ridden country like Yemen, film can play an even more important role in raising awareness and contributing to the positive transformation of society and facilitate conflict resolution. The way we see it, filmmaking in Yemen is a necessity.
As a non-profit charity organisation (registered in the Netherlands), Comra welcomes all forms of support. If you'd like to sponsor our film training programs financially, you can do so below. All proceeds go directly towards the training and empowerment of Yemen's emerging filmmakers. If you'd like to support us by offering mentorship to our trainees or offering institutional support to our organisation, please contact us as we’d love to talk.
The following short films were produced through our Comra training and mentorship programs since 2018
AN HONEST MAN
Directed by Bassel Monasar
Directed by Sarra Al-Haddi
Directed by Asim Abdulaziz
THERE IS NO SPACE
Directed by Amgad Al-Mohaya
Directed by Somaya Samawi
BEHIND THE SCENES
Directed by Alya Rasea
Directed by Hadeel Al-Solaili
Directed by Badr Yousef
At Comra, we give independent filmmakers across Yemen the opportunity to work with our team and then showcase their work on our Comra Screen platform. Here are some of the films they’ve created so far
Sara Ishaq is the head of and lead trainer at Comra Academy. Sara received an MFA in Film Directing at the Edinburgh College of Art (2012) after receiving an MA in General Honours in Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. Sara's first short film, Karama Has No Walls' (2012), won multiple international awards and was nominated for an Oscar and BAFTA, the first for a Yemeni film. Her documentary feature, 'The Mulberry House' (2013) premiered at the International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA) and won several international awards. It was later released theatrically and aired on Al-Jazeera English. Sara is currently developing (as writer-director) her first fiction feature, 'The Station', which was presented at the L’Atelier at the Cannes Film Festival in 2020. In 2022, Sara joined the team of the International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk (ICFR) in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Yousra Ishaq is co-founder of Comra Academy, with a strong background as a ﬁlm producer in Yemen, previously facilitating local productions and coordinating multinational teams in Comra's production branch in Sana'a, Comra Films (2017-2022). She had previously worked with international media outlets such as the BBC and PBS between 2013-2017. Yousra studied Business Administration at UUM (Malaysia) and applied her business management skills in versatile and multi-functional environments. In 2018, one of the projects she worked on for PBS as a field-producer was nominated for an Emmy Award.
2019 - 2021
- Film Teacher Training -
Beginner Film Training for Women
Comra Location Closes and team participates in AFAC Arts & Culture Entrepreneurship (ACE) Program
Journalist Filmmaking Course
Yemeni Film Days (Online Film Festival)
Documentary Development Fund and Mentorship Program
Fiction Film Development Fund and Mentorship Program
Documentary Production Fund and Mentorship Program
Comra Academy Mentorship Program 2022
Film Teacher Training
2017 - 2023
This a selection of the films that we made as Comra films
See our archive of films from our productions