Bio / Resume
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.
In 2005 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 BBC. It's currently streaming on multiple platforms, including Amazon and iTunes.
Since then, she wrote, directed, and produced a dozen short narrative films; 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, and wrote/directed the short drama VARIABLES, for which she won the Alfred P. Sloan Grant and 2019 DGA Student Awards Grand Prize, and was nominated for the 2019 Student Oscars, 2020 HUMANITAS Prize, and 2020 BAFTA Student Award, amongst other honors.
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, Alliance of Women Directors, and Free the Work, and an alumna of the Ryan Murphy Half Directing Mentorship, the Nantucket Screenwriters Colony, and the Stowe Story Labs, where she won the Tangerine Entertainment Fellowship.
She received her M.F.A. in Film and TV Production from USC School of Cinematic Arts, and is repped by Kelsey Roberts at Industry Entertainment and Hannah Mulderink at 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.
Golden Wheat Award, Best Drama Short (2021) ~ Variables
HBOAccess Directing Fellowship Semifinalist (2020) ~ top 25 out of 1,500
TIFF Filmmakers Lab Shortlist (2020) ~ For Buraz
Script 2 Screens Grand Prize (2020) ~ Variables
Golden Apple for Best Short, BHFF (2020) ~ Variables
Student Academy Awards Semifinalist (2019) ~ Variables
Best Student Short, Vail Film Festival (2019) ~ Variables
MOME Finance Lab (2018) ~ Lost Children
Annenberg Fellowship (2018/19)
AAUW Fellowship (2017/18)
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