Sabaah Folayan – In Person 2024

Wednesday, April 10, 7:00 PM

Sabaah Folayan is a writer/director who splits her time between Philadelphia and Atlanta. Through written and visual media, Sabaah Folayan crafts an optimistic yet unflinching gaze on the urgent questions of our time.

Sabaah made her directorial debut at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, with the feature length documentary Whose streets?. Supported by Ford Foundation, Macarthur and other foundations and nominated for the Peabody, Critic’s Choice, Gotham and NAACP Awards, the film chronicles the experiences of activists living in Ferguson, Missouri when Michael Brown Jr. was killed.

Whose Streets? was distributed theatrically by Magnolia Pictures, broadcast for television by PBS: POV and is now streaming on Hulu. In 2021, Sabaah wrote the series finale of HBO’s Betty, a critically acclaimed comedy series about a crew of young female skateboarders in New York City.

Her second feature documentary Look At Me: XXXTentacion premiered at South by Southwest 2022 and is now streaming on Hulu. Following the film’s premiere, Sabaah took on the role of Interim director at the Firelight Media Documentary Lab, which serves bipoc directors making their 1st or 2nd feature documentary.

Sabaah was born in Los Angeles, raised in Hawaii and educated in New York City. She graduated from Columbia university as a pre-medical student. The desire to work at a larger scale evolved into a unique storytelling practice that is informed by principles of behavioral science and social justice. Sabaah specializes in blending care, nuance, and depth with entertainment and popular culture.

Sabaah is a 2022 Pew Fellow and a 2023 Chicken & Egg Breakthrough awardee. She spends her time writing, directing, consulting, and sharing her personal ethos through speaking and mentorship.


Look at Me: XXXTentacion
Director: Sabaah Folayan, Documentary, 2022, 108 min

An inside look at a gifted young rapper’s tumultuous coming-of-age with never-before-seen footage, as XXXTentacion’s inner circle speaks out for the first time.