Magazine article Filmmaker

Heidi Saman

Magazine article Filmmaker

Heidi Saman

Article excerpt

After studying literature at University of California-San Diego, Heidi Saman moved to Cairo, where she worked for a short time as a freelance journalist for an English-language newspaper. Having fallen in love with Italian neo-realist films she studied in an undergraduate film class, Saman struck on a movie idea while in Egypt. "Women didn't occupy the streets at night," she remembers. "Only the men were out. I wanted to know where the women were."

Four years later, Saman returned to Cairo to turn that idea into The Maid, her thesis film for Temple University's graduate film program. She submitted the short to Cannes, played the festival's 2008 Cinéfondation program, screened at a number of other festivals...and then thought about a feature.

Cut to the summer of 2014, when Saman is busy prepping that debut film, Namour. Why the six-year gap? The intervening years had been spent developing several screenplays, Saman says, but also, simply working a full-time job. Saman is an associate producer at NPR Radio's Fresh Air, which she describes as "pretty great." "It's a daily show, and I edit the tape, do some basic research for Terry [Gross, the host], write some copy - basic production tasks. And I pitch sometimes." Naturally, Saman pitches filmmakers, who have included Fresh Air guests such as Amreeka director Cherien Dabis and The Hurt Locker screenwriter MarkBoal.

To keep her film passion alive amidst her nine-to-five, Saman began in 2012 a playfully thoughtful Tumblr, Four Eyes. "It had been several years since I had been in film school," Saman says. …

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