Behind The Scenes
Sabine Kahwaji Interview: A Filmmaker’s Startup
Sabine Kahwaji is a Canada based director and filmmaker. We came across Sabine’s work while scrolling through social media and were stunned by what she has done. In a short time, she has released a short film with selections at many festivals including two out in Los Angeles and out in Manchester! Currently, she creates film coverage for big record labels and artists, most of which you’ve heard of. This is just the start of a promising career for the 21-year-old so we had her in for a fun interview below!
When did you discover your love for your craft and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in it?
I would say around the age of 14. I was accidentally enrolled in a media class that taught the foundations of film and I believe that’s what sparked it. I loved storytelling growing up and that class introduced me to transforming those words to the big screen. Everything felt so natural with editing and the whole filmmaking process that it never felt like work and I just knew then this was something I would love to do forever.
However, I didn’t realize how much I could utilize my passion into a career until I released a short film back in 2017. After that short film, I had time to map out how I was going to tackle this career choice to turn my passion into actual work. That’s when I decided I wanted to mix both my love for music and film and went full out with work in the music industry.
To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
Tons of people, it’s hard to categorize one as my sense of style varies depending on which genre I’m covering. There’s quite a few that stick out like Marta Kauffman, Isaac Ravishankara, Kathryn Bigelow, Dave Meyers, Hannah Lux Davis and tons more! For the most part, however, I find myself leaning towards the cinematic route. Despite my projects being music-related and short edits I love somehow incorporating a storyline and making “mini-movies.”
What are some of your greatest challenges, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
One of the many challenges is proving yourself in the industry. It’s tough and I still feel like I have to really push and put myself out there. Even with good film work, there are always people who will try to push you down but I ignore it and keep moving forward.
When you are younger too it’s sometimes hard to find people who will appreciate your skills and not take advantage of your work. That happened a lot at first as I was just getting started and hadn’t really understood how this whole thing works. I’m lucky now to have worked with people who really appreciate it.
I would say the greatest attribute is my commitment to my career and my desire to keep improving and working on my craft. I always push myself to not be too comfortable with where I am as there’s always room for improvement and you never stop learning.
What are your plans for the near future?
To go on tour with an artist for sure. It’ll give me the flexibility to really work on showcasing the life of an artist to their fans and challenging my film work. I really want my work this year to be a massive improvement from last year as I always want to build on my craft.
I am putting more focus on scriptwriting and documentaries. I have a few scripts I haven’t completed yet so I’m using this time to finish it up and pitch one to have a release in the fall! I’m excited about that as I haven’t done a project like it in a long time.
What suggestions do you have for other artist like yourself?
To be patient, trust the process, and network. Networking is key in this industry, there’s nothing like it. A huge thing I would say is you really have to put yourself out there. Look for workshops, clubs to meet other filmmakers, even reach out through social media.
There’s always someone who knows someone that could help you and you never know where you’ll end up. At the end of the day, you can only be a one-man show for so long. You’ll need people around you to learn from and it helps to be surrounded by others with the same passion, it’s motivating.
By trusting the process I mean nothing happens overnight. If it does that’s cool, but for the most part, it’s dedication and understanding that you will fail and make mistakes many times before you succeed. It’s a long process but being patient and continuing to work hard despite what others think will definitely help in the long run.
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