Maaria Sayed (India)

Maaria Sayed is an independent filmmaker based between Mumbai and Italy. She holds an M.A. in Filmmaking from the London Film School. Her short films have screened at festivals around the world such as Raindance, BFI Flare and Izmir Kisa, and have been acquired by Amazon Prime US and Disney+Hotstar. She attended the Asian Film Academy in 2016 under Tsai Ming Liang, where she was awarded the Dongseo Scholarship. Maaria’s work deals with loss, the passage of time, transformation and the sexual and spiritual liberation of women from her background, drawing inspiration from Indian mythology and Sufism. Maaria was supported through grants by Cineteca di Bologna and Sharjah Art Foundation for two of her short films and is now developing her feature film, which was selected at the Busan Asian Film School (AFiS) in 2021. She is also an alumna of Bucheon Fantastic Film School and Fajr Talent Campus, where she won the award for Best Short Film Pitch.

Mithya In a dry village where unmarried women are abandoned into the jungles, 16-year-old Usma ends up at the other end of the border and becomes something that shakes the foundation of this remote community.