Sara Blecher – Originally from South Africa, Blecher’s family moved to New York when she was 12 years old. Her family is originally of Jewish Lithuanian origin, which informs some of her work. After a brief spell at Georgetown University, Blecher lived in Paris for a year and enrolled in film school upon her return to New York.
In 1992, shortly after graduating, she returned to South Africa. She directed the documentaries Surfing Soweto and Kobus And Dumile. She was nominated for Best Movie Director at the 2013 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards for her first film Otelo Burning, a story of how 16-year-old Otelo Buthelez learns how to surf amidst apartheid. The film won 17 awards internationally. It is in Zulu with English subtitles and stars Jafta Mamabolo, Thomas Gumede and Tshepang Mohlomi. Following the success of Otelo Burning, Blecher received funding from the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) for a “slate of films”.
Her film second film Ayanda premiered October 10 at the 2015 BFI London Film Festival and took international honors at the LA Film Festival in 2015. Blecher graduated from NYU.