Sarah Gavron

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Sarah Gavron
Born (1970-04-20) 20 April 1970 (age 49)
OccupationFilm director
Years active2000–present
Spouse(s)David Katznelson
Parent(s)Robert Gavron,
Nicky Gavron

Sarah Gavron (born 20 April 1970) is a British film director. She has directed four short films, and three feature films.[1] Her first film was This Little Life (2003), later followed by Brick Lane (2007) and Village at the End of the World (2012). Her latest film, Suffragette (2015) is based in the London of 1912 and tells the story of the Suffragette movement based on realistic historical events.[2]

Sarah Gavron is also both a wife and a mother, and "got into filmmaking to make a difference."[1][3] She has dedicated her career to accurately telling the stories of women.[1][3] In addition, the scarcity of women filmmakers in the UK is what inspires Gavron with her own filmmaking, and her responsibility as a female director.[1][3]


Gavron was educated at Camden School for Girls.[4] She graduated from the University of York with a BA in English in 1992[5] and an MA in film studies from Edinburgh College of Art when it was associated with Heriot-Watt University.[6] While at Edinburgh College of Art, Sarah Gavron was granted a position in a directing class that was taught by Stephen Frears.[1] Frears is one of her greatest influences in filmmaking and directing, as well as Mike Leigh and Terrence Davies.[1] She then worked for the BBC for three years. She went on to study feature film directing at the National Film and Television School in London. The actor Rafi Gavron is the son of her half-brother, Simon Gavron.

Gavron is married to cinematographer David Katznelson, and together, they have two children.[7]


Gavron began her film career making documentaries, a field that seemed "more accessible at that point," but kept returning to narrative filmmaking because of her desire to tell stories.[8]

Her first film, This Little Life (2003), is classified as a television drama with the plot surrounding a couple and their premature born child;[1] Brick Lane (2007) is her second most recognized feature film, that is an adaptation of Monica Ali's novel Brick Lane, [9] which encapsulates the life of an Indian, female immigrant living in London, U.K;[1] Village at the End of the World (2012) which is a documentary that Sarah Gavron directed in a peninsula in Greenland;[1] and her latest film Suffragette (2015) that is based in London of 1912 which tells the story of the Suffragette movement, specifically, the early twentieth century campaign of women's suffrage that centers the lives of three women that take on fictitious names in the film, however represent non-fictional historical figures.[2]

In Brick Lane (2007) Gavron centers the female protagonist in "one of the most ethically diverse neighborhoods in the United Kingdom." [9]

Sarah Gavron points out that Suffragette (2015) is "this first major feature film to focus on the fight for women's suffrage, and it is a personal film and the highest-profile film for Gavron." [10] The film conveys important themes regarding legal and social positions of women, wives and mothers in 1912.[2] Gavron believes that the women's suffrage movement must be regarded as a "multi stranded, and complex story that is still unfolding." [2] Gavron intended Suffragette to be telling of important moments in the past, but also relevant in present day. Gavron believes that her specific focus on ordinary, every day women would make her film, and ultimately her message as a feminist, relevant across time.[10]

The film Suffragette (2015) was acquired by Focus Features (originally Relativity) in March 2015.[11] The film premiered at the 2015 Telluride Film Festival.


Awards and nominations[edit]

Sarah Gavron was nominated for the BAFTA Award and BIFA Award for best director in 2007 for her film Brick Lane. The film won a Silver Hitchcock and best screenplay at the Dinard Festival of British Cinema.[12] She received the Tangerine Entertainment Juice Award from the Hamptons International Film Festival for directing the movie Suffragette, as well as the Mill Valley Film Festival's Audience Award (Mind the Gap), also for directing that film.[13]

Year Association Category Work Result Ref.
2003 British Independent Film Awards Douglas Hickox Award This Little Life Nominated [14]
BAFTA TV Awards Best Single Drama Nominated
2004 BAFTA TV Awards Best New Director (Fiction) This Little Life Won [15]
2007 British Independent Film Awards Best Director Brick Lane Nominated
BFI London Film Festival Alfred Dunhill UK Film Talent Award Won
San Sebastián International Film Festival C.I.C.A.E. Award Won [16]
2008 BAFTA Film Awards Carl Foreman Award for Special Achievement by a British Director Brick Lane Nominated
London Critics Circle Film Awards British Breakthrough - Filmmaking Nominated
2015 Alliance of Women Film Journalists EDA Female Focus Award - Best Woman Director Suffragette Nominated
Camerimage Golden Frog - Main Competition Nominated
Hamptons International Film Festival Tangerine Entertainment Juice Award Won
Mill Valley Film Festival Audience Award - Mind the Gap Won
Women Film Critics Circle Courage in Filmmaking Award Won
Best Movie by a Woman Won
Women's Image Network Awards Outstanding Feature Film Nominated
2016 Empire Awards Best British Film Suffragette Nominated
Athena Film Festival Ensemble Award Won
European Film Awards Best Production Designer Won
Turia Awards, Spain Audience Award - Best Foreign Film Won
WFTV Awards Deluxe Director Award Herself Won [17]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Garcia, Maria. "Demanding To Be Heard". Film Journal International. 118.
  2. ^ a b c d Gwen Seabourne. (2016) Deeds, Words and Drama: A Review of the Film Suffragette (2015). Feminist Legal Studies 24:1, pages 115-119.
  3. ^ a b c Puchko, Kristy (2015-10-22). "'Suffragette' Director Sarah Gavron on The Importance of Representation and Those Controversial T-Shirts". IndieWire.
  4. ^ Interview: film maker Sarah Gavron | Media | The Guardian
  5. ^ "Brick Lane - The journey from stage to screen". Grapevine. Alumni Office, University of York (Spring 2008): 14.
  6. ^ "Successes at Heriot-Watt University". The Herald. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  7. ^ Falk, Quentin. "Sarah Gavron: Interview".
  8. ^ "Sarah Gavron: On Directing". BAFTA Guru. 12 October 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  9. ^ a b Murray, J. (2008, Summer). Brick lane. Cineaste, 33, 52-54
  10. ^ a b Smyth, J. E. (2015, Winter). The past, present, and future of women's history on screen: An interview with Sarah Gavron. Cineaste, 41, 18-21
  11. ^ "Focus Features to Release SUFFRAGETTE". Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  12. ^ Mowe, Richard (8 October 2007). "Hallam Foe takes top prize at French festival". The Scotsman. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
  13. ^ "Suffragette (2015) Awards". IMDB.
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Meet the 2017 Women in Film and Television Award Winners". WFTV. 2 December 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2018.

External links[edit]