Having originally studied mathematics, Bouyain later shifted her attention to cinematography, studying at the Louis Lumière School of Cinematography. She went on to work as a camerawomen for several films, and eventually directed several of her own. In 2000, she created the documentary film Les enfants du Blanc.
She wrote her book Metisse façon in 2003 after researching her African heritage in Burkina Faso. She learned of the history of Upper Volta (as Burkina Faso was known in colonial times) and of children who were born to African women and French soldiers only to be forced to leave their mothers to live in orphanages. The characters in Metisse façon are based on these children.
Her first feature-length film is Notre Étrangère ("The Place In Between"; 2010), which The Hollywood Reporter called " A nicely observed docudrama about a biracial young French woman who goes back to her roots." The plot of the movie is based on a mixed race woman named Amy who moves back to Burkina Faso. The movie was co-written by Gaelle Mace and it premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. Boyain claimed that the film took seven years to make in total. She said she did not watch many african films prior to making it.
- Niararaye (1997)
- Les enfants du Blanc (documentary; 2000)
- The Place in Between (2010)
- Métisse façon (short stories; 2003)
- "Sarah Bouyain – Entretien avec Jean-Louis Ughetto". lachambredechos.com (in French). La chambre d’échos. October 2002. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-06-16.
- "Métisse façon, recueil de nouvelles de Sarah Bouyain". lachambredechos.com (in French). La chambre d’échos. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-06-16.
- "Sarah BOUYAIN". Les cinémas d'Afrique (in French). TV5MONDE. Retrieved 2007-06-16.
- Ellerson, Beti (2016). "African Women and the Documentary: Storytelling, Visualizing History, from the Personal to the Political". Black Camera. 8 (1): 223–239.
- Aron, Ariane (June 2003). "Métisse Façon-Un recueil de nouvelles de Sarah Bouyain". Amina (in French). 398. p. 66. Retrieved 2007-06-11.
- "Sarah Bouyain: Notre étrangère/The Place in Between", African Women in Cinema, 28 February 2011. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
- Michael Rechtshaffen, "The Place in Between -- Film Review", The Hollywood Reporter, September 28, 2010.
- Nelmes, Jill; Selbo, Jule (2015). Women Screenwriters: An International Guide. Springer. p. 8. ISBN 1137312378.
- «Un film, c’est fragile»: Rencontre avec Sarah Bouyain, réalisatrice Touki Montreal, Retrieved 2016-11-02.
- ARTivists – “Anything created by an African woman is an act of activism” (Part 1) ThisIsAfrica, Retrieved 2016-11-02.
- Sarah Bouyain website.
- "BOUYAIN Sarah". Africiné (in French). Federation africaine de la critique cniematographique. Retrieved 2007-06-14.
- Sarah Bouyain at the Internet Movie Database
- Sarah Bouyain, director of "The Place in Between" - Venice Days, interview on YouTube.