Dynamic.

 

Authentic.

 

Independent.

Oustanding

Film Production

Our team is made up of Yemen’s most established, award-winning filmmakers – from highly experienced fixers to internationally recognised cameramen and Oscar nominated directors. We combine know-how, creativity and an independent vision with local access and expertise. Our dream is to foster Yemen’s culture in the most challenging of times and preserve the essence of its past and present through the films we make.

Training

Learning & Creativity

Our entire team as well as the freelancers we work with have taken part in training workshops led by members of our team (in documentary and fiction filmmaking, editing and more), ensuring that they adhere to our quality and ethical standards of filmmaking. Through our trainings, we try to meet another important objective: to promote the next generation of Yemeni filmmakers.

The Heart

Of Yemen’s Film Network

Over the last 8 years, the founders of Comra Films have worked with, and also contributed to the emergence of some of Yemen’s most exciting new talent – independently or through their work with other collectives, amassing an unrivalled, burgeoning network of freelance media professionals from across the country.

Perspective

Authentic & Independent

The ground upon which we stand is our perspective. We are a group of Yemeni film professionals who have always aimed to shed light on the most pressing issues our country faces. We are not attached to any state institutions, political factions or receive funding from any other stakeholders.

 

The Team

Sara Ishaq

Co-founder / Director

Sara Ishaq is an Oscar and BAFTA nominated Yemeni-Scottish filmmaker. She pursued a higher education in Scotland first with an MA General in Humanities & Social Sciences at the University of Edinburgh (2007) and later, a Film Directing diploma from the London Academy of Radio, Film and TV, followed by an MFA in Film Directing at the Edinburgh College of Art, UoE (2012). In between, she trained as a yoga teacher in Nasik, India.

In 2007, Sara began freelancing for the BBC on a number of TV series covering the Middle East, before buying her own camera and traveling to Palestine for 3 months in 2010 to document the eviction of the Palestinian residents of El-Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem. In early 2011, she returned to Yemen as the country's 2011 uprising was unfolding and began covering events in Sanaa's 'Change Square', first disseminating the videos through her own youtube channel, until she was hired as a camerawoman for the BBC to cover events on the ground.

In 2011, she also began independently covering the tragic events of the 18th of March 'Friday of Dignity' massacre in the Yemeni capital Sana'a. This endeavour inevitably evolved into her debut film Karama Has No Walls (2012). This short doc went on to win multiple awards worldwide, followed by a nomination for a BAFTA Scotland New Talents Award (2012) and a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject) in 2014 (the very first Oscar nomination for Yemen).

In 2011, she co-founded #SupportYemen media collective with a group of friends, including Karama Has No Walls assistant director, Abdurahman Hussain, in an attempt to break the silence on the media black-out on violations of human rights during and after the country's uprising.

In 2013, Sara completed her award-winning feature documentary film The Mulberry House, which deals with her relationship with her Yemeni family against the backdrop of the revolution.

After the outbreak of war in Yemen in 2015, Sara returned to Yemen and led the training of a creative Doc FIlm Camp at #SupportYemen media collective, alongside Abdurahman Hussain, which was the first of its kind in Yemen. Independently, with the support of the British Council, she later ran an arts workshop for children who had survived airstrikes on their homes.

In 2017, Sara co-founded Comra Films with Yousra Ishaq, Abdurahman Hussain and Osama Khaled who she had already worked closely with and/or trained over the years at #SupportYemen. She later stepped down from #SupportYemen to focus efforts on film trainings and creative productions at Comra Films.

Sara is currently based in Amsterdam where she co-manages Comra Films remotely, but returns to Yemen to continue working and teaching on the ground each year.

Independently, she is developing a documentary film on the current war in Yemen, along with her first fiction feature film, ``The Station``.

Besides filmmaking, Sara has been an avid yoga teacher since 2008, teaching extensively in Edinburgh, the West Bank, Sana'a & Cairo.

Yousra Ishaq

Co-founder / Producer

Yousra is film producer based in Sana’a, Yemen. She holds a B.Sc. degree in business administration and entrepreneurship from UUM University and received courses in Strategic Communications. Over the past 5 years, she has produced documentaries for various local & international organizations and media outlets, such as the BBC and PBS, focusing on conflict, post-conflict societies, humanitarian, and people in need. Prior to co-founding Comra, she worked as a project coordinator and line producer for leading Yemeni and international media outlets such as Afro1, #SupportYemen, Innovia House,Moby Media Group and others. Her distinguished communications skills, professionalism and impeccable production skills have allowed her to deliver excellent substance to her client’s objectives.

Abdurahman Hussain

Co-founder / Director

Abdurahman Hussein (aka Afro) is an award-winning filmmaker, currently based in Montreal, Canada. During his study of Graphic Design in Sana’a, Afro realised his passion for filmmaking and went on to get a filmmaking diploma from world renowned film school, La Femis in Paris. Since 2012, he has produced high caliber documentary video content through his former production company Afro1 and creatively directed video campaigns for International organizations and corporations. Abdurahman gained recognition in the field as Assistant Director on the Oscar Nominated film, Karama Has No Walls. In 2011, Abdurahman co-founded the media collective #SupportYemen.

Osama Khaled

Co-founder / Director

Osama Khaled is a Yemeni filmmaker based in Berlin, Germany. With an academic background as a graduate of the Faculty of Information at the University of Sana'a as well as over 5 years of experience in graphic design, Osama transitioned into film production and directing after completing the #SupportYemen Comra 1 and Comra 2 film camps in 2015.

Osama was one of the main film directors and editors at Afro1 Productions, where he created a number of short documentary films during one of Yemen's most critical times of war and conflict, including Weddings into Funerals; We Want to Live!; Waiting for Justice, which document the voices of victims of the war in Yemen.

In 2017, Osama released his first short sci-fi feature film, The Helmet.

Yasser Sharaf

Senior Editor / DOP

Yasser is a cameraman, director and editor with 7 years experience in the field, who currently leads post-production at Comra Films. Previously, he worked with RAW MEDIA and AFRO1 Productions, having taken part in the #SupportYemen Comra 1 and 2 filmmaking training camps. Yasser has worked for several INGOs including the British Council, Care Organization, IMC organization as well as local organizations such as SMEPS. Through his freelance work, he was also part of a team that worked for BBC,

Mohammed Al-Mekhlafi

Senior DOP

Mohammed is a Yemeni cameraman based in Sana’a. He has been working with the BBC on freelance shoots since 2012. When the conflict in Yemen began in 2015, Mohammed worked tirelessly to film the catastrophic situation unfolding in his home country for the BBC, Human Rights Watch and others. He has since travelled across the country - at incredible risk to himself and his family - to cover all sides of the story. In 2018, Mohammed was nominated for the Sony Impact Award for Current Affairs (Rory Peck) for his work on the BBC's Conflict and Cholera: Yemen's Catastrophe.

Osama Haji

Film Director

Osama Haji is a director, writer and editor based in Sana'a, Yemen. He originally graduated with a pharmacy degree, but soon realized his passion for filmmaking. He has made a number of short films and is film “A Yellow Life” was produced during the Comra Doc Film Workshop in Sana'a, Yemen in 2018. He currently works at Comra Films as a film director.

Ahmed Halamah

Production Designer

Ahmed Halmah initially began his path into making films as a self-taught filmmaker over the course of 3 years. Following his training during the Comra Film Camp 2018 in Sana’a, he produced his debut short documentary, Octave, and now as a production designer at Comra Films in Sana'a, Yemen.

Sabreen Saif

Filmmaker / Intern

Sabreen is a Yemeni filmmaker based in Sana'a. She holds a bachelor's degree from the Science and Technology University (Sana'a, Yemen), and has been engaged in social work since 2011. Her two previous films include a fiction short “Girl” and “Under the Rubble``.

In 2018, she participated in the Comra Doc Film Camp through which she produced her debut documentary short ``A Pill`` which screened at the Karama Human Rights Film Festival later in the year. Soon after competing the doc camp, Sabreen joined the Comra Films team.

Abdurahman Alward

Filmmaker / Intern

Abdurahman Al-Ward is a recent graduate of the University of Science and Technology in Sana'a, who began his journey in media content creation by starting up his own YouTube channel in 2017.

In 2018, he participated in the Comra Doc Film Camp through which he produced his debut documentary short ``When You Coming Home?`` which screened at the Karama Human Rights Film Festival later in the year. Soon after competing the doc camp, Abdurahman joined the Comra Films team.

Sarra Alhadi

Filmmaker / Intern

Sarra Al-Hadi is a Yemeni interior designer, writer and filmmaker who graduated with a Bachelor degree from the School of Arts at the Lebanese International University, Sana'a, Yemen.

She participated in social work and developing the Yemeni media content and helped with the making several short films: Cassette, Frame and Bump!

She made her debut short documentary ``Two Witnesses`` during her training at the Comra Doc Film Camp 2018. Soon after completing her training, Sarra joined the Comra Films team.

Sahar Al-Mekhlafi

Administrator

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