Sandi Sissel

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Sandi Sissel
Born (1949-08-09) August 9, 1949 (age 72)
Alma materUniversity of Wisconsin

Sandra "Sandi" Sue Sissel (born August 9, 1949)[1] is an American cinematographer, director and producer. Her interest in photography was apparent as early as high school, where she was a photojournalist for her school paper.[2] She is best known for documentaries such as Chicken Ranch, The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition [3], and Mother Teresa (1986) as well as TV shows like 60 Minutes, and feature films like Salaam Bombay!, Master and Commander Far Side of the World [4] and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.[1] She has been a member of the American Society of Cinematographers since 1994, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences[5] since 2004, and the Australian Cinematographers Society [6] since 2017.


She started college in 1967. She pursued her interests and desire to become a reporter by studying journalism and television.[2] While she still wanted to pursue journalism, she did contribute to a few small films during her time in college. After completing this degree, she moved to Wisconsin where she pursued a graduate degree and filmed for the University of Wisconsin.[2] After this she moved to New York City, where she soon got a job with both NBC and later ABC.[2] During this time, she contributed as cinematographer for "The Wobblies" and assisted in camera or electrical work for Best Boy, Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang, Free Voice of Labor: The Jewish Anarchists, Fame, No Nukes and "Rush".[2] After working for ABC for a few years, she eventually decided to pursue a career that focused primarily on cinematography for documentaries and feature films[2] in Los Angeles. In her pursuit of this career she has gained a great deal of respect from her colleagues as a female working behind the camera. She taught "Advanced Cinematography Techniques" and "Advanced Cinematography Practicum" at Tisch School of the Arts.[5] from 2001 until 2015. Sissel adopted Raju Barnad (now known as Bernard Chamblis Sissel), one of the real-life street children who was cast in Salaam Bombay! [7] In 2005 she married Kelly Drummond Cawthon with whom she has two children Joshua Cawthon and Jack Thomas Cawthon.


Sandi is best known for her work as a cinematographer. She has a very impressive filmography that includes many well known, important documentaries. Her interest in being behind the camera may have originated from her father's career as a photographer during her childhood.[2]



Sandi has had experience teaching at the University of Wisconsin,[1] and Tisch School of the Arts.[5] In both cases she has taught film related classes.



  1. ^ a b c Sandi Sissel at IMDb
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "SANDI SISSEL". Retrieved October 8, 2015.
  3. ^ "The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition", Wikipedia, May 29, 2020, retrieved August 7, 2020
  4. ^ "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World", Wikipedia, August 3, 2020, retrieved August 7, 2020
  5. ^ a b c "Sandra Sissel". Retrieved October 8, 2015.
  6. ^ "Australian Cinematographers Society", Wikipedia, June 23, 2020, retrieved August 7, 2020
  7. ^ Bhowmick, Nilanjana (March 10, 2009). "What Will Happen to Slumdog's Child Stars?". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved June 10, 2020.