photo of Sabaah Folayan

Sabaah Folayan

Documentary Lab Dir
Firelight Media

Through screenwriting, filmmaking, and public speaking, Sabaah Folayan levels an optimistic yet unflinching gaze on the urgent questions of our time. Sabaah made her directorial debut at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, with the feature length documentary Whose Streets?. Nominated for Peabody, Critic’s Choice, Gotham and NAACP Awards, the film chronicles the experiences of activists living in Ferguson, Missouri when Michael Brown Jr. was killed. Whose Streets? was distributed theatrically by Magnolia Pictures, broadcast for Television by POV and is now streaming on Netflix. In 2021, Sabaah wrote the series finale of HBO’s Betty, a critically acclaimed comedy series about a crew of young female skateboarders in New York City. Her second feature documentary LOOK AT ME: XXXTENTACION premiered at South by Southwest 2022 and is now streaming on Hulu. Sabaah was born in Los Angeles, raised in Hawaii and educated in New York City. She graduated from Columbia University as a pre-medical student. The desire to work at a larger scale evolved into a unique storytelling practice that is informed by principles of behavioral science and social justice. Sabaah specializes in blending care, nuance, and depth with entertainment and popular culture. She is currently the interim director of Firelight Media's Documentary Lab.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.

Events featuring Sabaah Folayan
Events featuring Sabaah Folayan