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Born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sabina Vajrača immigrated to the U.S. in 1994 as a war refugee. She started her professional career in theatre, writing, directing and producing plays at The Lincoln Center, SITI Company, and Shakespeare & Company.

Sabina ventured into the world of film by directing and producing the critically-acclaimed feature documentary BACK TO BOSNIA. The film premiered at the AFI Fest, screened at over 30 festivals worldwide, winning Director’s Choice at the Crossroads Film Festival, and is featured in the top 100 of the greatest films directed by women by the BBC. It's currently streaming on multiple platforms, including Amazon.

Since then, she wrote, directed, and produced a dozen short narrative films; the music video for Nouvelle Vague’s BELA LUGOSI’S DEAD; commercials for ESPN and IFP Media Center; and wrote numerous award-winning short and feature screenplays.


Most recently she co-directed a Warner Bros./USC feature period drama VOODOO MACBETH, whose numerous accolades include Best Director awards at Catalina and Charlotte Black Film Festivals; and wrote/directed the short drama VARIABLES, which won the Alfred P. Sloan Grant and DGA Student Awards Grand Prize, and was nominated for the Student Oscars, HUMANITAS Prize, and BAFTA Student Award, among other honors. Her latest short SEVAP/MITZVAH won the Claims Conference Film Grant.

Outside of her own projects, Sabina worked as an assistant to writer/director Max Mayer on his feature drama ADAM, starring Hugh Dancy and Rose Byrne (2009 Sundance); alongside Gregory Crewdson on his photo opus CATHEDRAL OF THE PINES; and she shadowed James Whitmore Jr. on MADAM SECRETARY (CBS) and Sarah Boyd on 9-1-1 (FOX).

Sabina is the Annenberg Scholar, a member of Film Fatales, Women in Film, and BAFTA, and an alumna of Ryan Murphy Half Directing MentorshipAlmanack Screenwriters, and Stowe Story Labs, where she won the Tangerine Entertainment Fellowship. Most recently she was selected for the 2023 Hayama Residency in Japan. 

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She received her M.F.A. in Film and TV Production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, and is repped by Paradigm, Zero Gravity, and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher


When not making movies Sabina can be found practicing philosophy, playing dress-up, quoting Balašević, and dancing to the beats of The Hot Sardines, preferably in full 1920s gear, with a good single-malt in hand. 

AWARDS (selected)

Hayama Residency Artist-in-Residence (2023)

Claims Conference's Emerging Filmmaker Grant (2021) ~ Sevap/Mitzvah

Lynn Shelton's "Of a Certain Age" Grant Finalist (2021) ~ For Buraz

FEST Pitching Forum Award (2021) ~ For Buraz

Best Director, Catalina Film Festival (2021) ~ Voodoo Macbeth

Best Director, Charlotte Black FF (2021) ~ Voodoo Macbeth

Industry Choice Best Feature, Dances With Films (2021) Voodoo Macbeth 

Best Narrative Feature, Vail FF (2021) ~ Voodoo Macbeth

Director's Choice Independent Spirit Award, Sedona FF (2021) ~ Voodoo Macbeth

Golden Wheat Award, Best Drama Short (2021) Variables

BAFTA Student Awards Finalist (2020) ~ Variables

HBOAccess Directing Fellowship Semifinalist (2020) ~ top 25 out of 1,500

TIFF Filmmakers Lab Shortlist (2020) ~ For Buraz

HUMANITAS Prize Finalist (2020) ~ Variables

Script 2 Screens Grand Prize (2020) ~ Variables

Golden Apple for Best Short, BHFF (2020) ~ Variables

DGA Student Awards Grand Prize (2019) ~ Variables

Student Academy Awards Semifinalist (2019) ~ Variables

Best Student Short, Vail Film Festival (2019) ~ Variables

Ryan Murphy Half Directing Mentorship (2019)

Nantucket Screenwriters Colony (2019) ~ For Buraz

Stowe Story Lab / Tangerine Fellowship (2019) ~ For Buraz

Austin Film Festival Second Rounder (2018) ~ For Buraz

MOME Finance Lab (2018) ~ Lost Children

Annenberg Fellowship (2018/19)

AAUW Fellowship (2017/18)

Alfred P. Sloan Grant (2017) ~ Variables

Cagney & Lacey Fellowship (2016)

FEBA Road Map Award (2012)

Puffin Foundation Grant (2007)

Director's Choice Award, Crossroads Film Festival (2006) ~ Back to Bosnia

NYSCFA / IFP Marketing and Distribution Grant (2005) ~ Back to Bosnia

Jerome Foundation / SITI Company Associate Member Grant (2004 and 2007)

MSN/Visa Ideas Happen Award (2003) ~ Back to Bosnia

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