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FOR SAMA: Journalism Under Siege

Date(s) - 07/08/2020
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

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Sandford St Martin Media Salon

In conversation with Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts, directors of the multi award-winning documentary FOR SAMA. 1:30pm-2:30pm EDT

About this Event

A Sandford St Martin Media Salon in cooperation with the House of St Barnabas.

Assembled from hundreds of hours of on-the-ground footage al-Kateab filmed during five years of the conflict in Aleppo, FOR SAMA is much more than just a news documentary. Framed as a love-letter from a young mother to her baby daughter, audiences bear witness to what for al-Kateab, her husband a doctor, their colleagues and neighbours is a deeply personal war. They have seen their homes, hospitals and city razed and their neighbours – including many children – killed. Join us for our first-ever, online Sandford St Martin Salon in which al-Kateab and her fellow director Edward Watts, will be talking about the making of FOR SAMA, the response and what it means for the future of reporting from Syria and other conflict zones, and the official and public understanding of war.

Chair: Anna McNamee, Journalist and Executive Director of the Sandford St Martin Trust.

You can watch the full documentary here.

Our guests:

Waad al Kateab: Award-winning Syrian journalist, filmmaker, mother and activist. In 2017 her work with Channel 4 News’ foreign team – including footage she shot of a baby being born in the aftermath of a barrel bomb attack in Aleppo – won an Emmy. The multi award-winning film FOR SAMA was made from more of her material and features both unprecedented documentation of the turmoil in the city’s final hospital, as well as the human stories of those who remained in Aleppo during the siege. Al-Kateab’s reports have had around half a billion views online – believed to be the most watched reports of any in the conflict. To learn more about the campaign to end the targeting of healthcare facilities in Syria visit Action for Sama : engage with @actionforsama #actionforsama on social media

Edward Watts:Edward Watts is an Oscar-nominated, BAFTA and Emmy award-winning filmmaker who has directed twenty-five narrative and documentary films, telling true stories and providing insight into the human side of some of the biggest news stories of our times. In addition to co-directing FOR SAMA – for which he has won a Best Director award alongside Waad al-Kateab, the L’Oeil d’Or for the Best Documentary at the Cannes Film Festival and a Sandford St Martin Award among many others – Edward wrote and directed OKSIJAN about a 7 year old Afghan boy’s journey to the UK in the back of a refrigerated lorry, and ESCAPE FROM ISIS which uncovered the brutal regime suffered by millions of women living under Isis.

How does an online Media Salon work?

While we’re unable to meet up in person, Sandford St Martin Media Salons are being hosted online. Think of these as something a little like – but more friendly than – a group video conference. Tickets are free.

If you’ve registered for a ticket, a link enabling you to join the conversation will be sent to you by email before the event. By clicking on the link, you’ll be able to enter our online salon for the live conversation.

If you’d like to submit a question for either of our guests before the event you can do so by sending an email to or on Twitter using #AskForSama.

If you have any questions about the event, get in touch the same way.

Click here to register!

Who are we? And what is a Sandford St Martin Media Salon?

The Sandford St Martin Trust is the charity that runs the UK’s most prestigious annual awards for the best broadcast content exploring religion, ethics or morality and how they impact on human experience and the world around us. Our Media Salons are aimed at sparking conversations between media experts, practitioners and audiences around some of the biggest issues in broadcasting and journalism today.

You can find out more about our work on our website:

We’re grateful to our friends and partners at the House of St Barnabas for their support, and to Allchurches Trust, whose funding has made these media salons possible.

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