BAFTA Masterclass: Waad Al-Kateab

A picture of Waad Al-Kateab with a brick wall in the background.



Friday, 10 November 2023




BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, London W1

Hosted by

Hosted by journalist Amon Warmann.



BAFTA Masterclass: Waad Al-Kateab

A picture of Waad Al-Kateab with a brick wall in the background.

Syrian journalist, activist and BAFTA-winning filmmaker Waad al-Kateab.


Hear from Syrian journalist, activist and BAFTA-winning filmmaker Waad al-Kateab (For Sama, We Dare to Dream) as she shares her experiences as a citizen journalist and documentary filmmaker in Syria following the outbreak of civil war in 2011.

This masterclass is part of a series of events which aims to explore the importance of authentic storytelling of refugees on screen, and the positive impact of collaboration with creatives who have lived experience of migration, in order to build narrative power and create social change.

Waad al-Kateab is a Syrian activist and Oscar®-nominated filmmaker. She became a citizen journalist in 2011, after protests broke out across Syria against the Assad regime, and in January 2016 she began documenting the horrors of Aleppo for Channel 4 News in a series titled, “Inside Aleppo” which received an International Emmy for breaking news coverage.

al-Kateab’s first feature documentary, For Sama, documented her life over five years in Aleppo. The film, co-directed with Edward Watts, received worldwide critical acclaim, winning numerous awards, including the Prix L’Œil d’or for best documentary at Cannes Film Festival, Best Documentary BAFTA, and a nomination for Best Documentary Feature at the 2020 Academy Awards®. In 2018, al-Kateab and her family became refugees and settled in the UK where they continue to run their advocacy campaign, Action For Sama, which aims to raise the voices of Syrians, and awareness about the situation on ground, while seeking accountability for the war crimes committed by the Syrian and Russian regimes.

al-Kateab’s upcoming film We Dare To Dream follows the Refugee Olympic Team as they prepare to compete at the Tokyo Olympics and fight for a better life. Produced alongside Violet Films, XTR Studios, Studio Gebbia and Get Lifted Film Co, the film premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and is executive produced by Angelina Jolie and John Legend, with Legend writing and performing for the film the original song ‘Don’t Need To Sleep’.

al-Kateab has received several personal recognitions for her work as an activist and filmmaker, including the IDA Courage Under Fire Award and a place in the 2020 Time100 List of Most Influential People. In 2021, she was announced as the recipient of the Academy Gold Fellowship for Women by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

BAFTA is a world-leading independent arts charity that brings the very best work in film, games and television to public attention and supports the growth of creative talent in the UK and internationally. Through its Awards ceremonies and year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – which includes workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes in the UK, USA and Asia – BAFTA identifies and celebrates excellence, discovers, inspires and nurtures new talent, and enables learning and creative collaboration.  BAFTA is a registered charity (no. 216726).