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Esra Saydam

Part-time Faculty

B.S., Communication Studies and Animate Arts, Northwestern University, 2008
MFA, Film, Columbia University, 2012

An Istanbul-born filmmaker based in New York City, Belkis Esra Saydam specializes in stories about outsiders and people stuck in-between. Her directorial debut, Across the Sea (2014), won multiple awards at the Adana Film Festival, Slamdance, and Milano International, and screened at festivals in Florida, Raindance, Istanbul, and Warsaw. Saydam's other film projects in development have been recognized and invited by EAVE's Ties That Bind, !f Sundance Screenwriters' Lab, Hamptons Screenwriters Lab, Meetings on the Bridge, Film Independent Fast Track, IFP/Gotham Film Week, Transatlantic Partners Program, Maison Des Scenaristes, Cine Qua Non Lab, and Berlinale Talents. She recently produced the short film A Period Piece (2020), which premiered at SXSW. Saydam also develops a TV Series, titled Double's Dilemma, which won the pitching contest at Content London and attended Sarajevo Film Festival Cinelink Drama. Saydam has been awarded the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Fellowship, and her work has been recognized with awards from the New York State Council on the Arts and SAGindie. She is also an active member of Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective, Film Fatales, and Brown Girls Doc Mafia. Her other filmmaking credits include Music of Strangers (HBO), I'm No Longer Here (Netflix) and Hell on Earth (National Geographic).

Teaching and Research Interests

creative producing  screenwriting  TV series development  feature film development  directing  directing the actors  independent filmmaking  international coproductions  European cinema  Middle Eastern and Balkan cinema 

Esra Saydam