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In Focus. An Introduction to Fox's Empire's Sanaa Hamri.

Sanaa Hamri is a Moroccan American film director, Music video director, television director, and television producer, and is one of the leaders in her field. If you have been a fan of American Hip Hop and RnB from the late 90s up until today, chances are you have enjoyed one of her videos. To date she has directed  over 40 music videos for nearly everyone in the urban music scene from Mariah Carey, Destiny’s Child and Prince to Lenny Kravitz, Jay Z and Nikki Minaj. By the way she is also the Executive Producer for Fox’s Empire, one of its most successful television franchises since The X-Files.

Born in Tangier, Sanaa initially travelled to the US to become an actress but ended up working in film post-production. Here she was noticed by cinematographer Malik Sayeed who introduced her to Mariah Carey for whom she then directed several music videos. 

“Very quickly, I started to feel contained by the three minutes,” Hamri said of directing music videos when speaking to CNN. “I wanted to tell bigger stories.”After directing for TV shows like Desperate Housewives, Elementary and Grey's Anatomy Sanaa moved onto the big screen with Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2, Something New and the hit sports comedy Just Wright.

“When I was on the set of Something New, I realized why I had gone through all of this,” Hamri said. “I felt confined in music videos and so comfortable on the movie set. That’s kind of where I am right now, too: I live and breathe Empire."

To learn more, watch the video on 1971 Production's video blog, The Cutting Edge œ.

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In Focus. An Introduction to Fox's Empire's Sanaa Hamri.


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