Alumni Academy Award
Sabrina Chammas, AS’10, won the gold medal in the documentary category at the Student Academy Awards in California.
Sabrina Chammas, AS’10, studied communications as a student at Northeastern, but she was always intrigued by filmmaking. So after graduating, she was accepted into the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, which led to a fortuitous meeting with filmmaker Alexandre Peralta.
Last September, Peralta’s “Looking at the Stars,” won the gold medal in the documentary category at the 42nd Student Academy Awards ceremony in Beverly Hills, California. Chammas, a native of Beirut, Lebanon, served as producer on the film, which told the story of the world’s only ballet school for the blind, in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
“When [Peralta] asked me to produce the film, I said, ‘Of course,’” Chammas said. “It’s an impressive and unique story and very touching. We had worked together on other projects so the familiarity was there.”
Past Student Academy Award winners have gone on to receive 47 Oscar nominations and have won or shared eight awards. Notable SAA winners include Spike Lee, Trey Parker, and Robert Zemeckis.
“As a producer, you’re really involved in the entire process from beginning to end,” said Chammas, who is also credited for her work on “The Square, “Residence Break,” and “Street Children in Lebanon.” “You’re involved with the film, obviously, but also the business side, setting schedules, budgets, hiring people, distribution. It’s a little bit of everything.”
Chammas recently completed work on “Garbage Man,” a film that follows the plight of an “everyday hero” in Lebanon, a country in the throes of a rubbish crisis.
Chammas said her interest in filmmaking predates her time at Northeastern.
“I studied communications and I think that gave me a stronger base and a good understanding of communication theories. But I was always envious of others who were making films. You immediately recognize the power and potential of the camera and want to go out into the world and make an impact.
”I’m still pretty new to this, but my goal is to produce bigger and bigger films.”
Undeterred by the ebb-and-flow nature of the industry, Chammas researches potential film topics while seeking her next opportunity.
“It usually comes when you least expect it,” she said.
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