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Animation For Documentary Reel

Motion Graphics Reel

Animation Reel

Conversations with My Self

Directed by Sabina Kariat


In 2021, I set off to Istanbul, Turkey for a year on a Fulbright Independent Research Fellowship with an animation focus. I learned the traditional Turkish craft of karagöz puppetry from experienced puppetry artists at the Istanbul Karagöz Puppetry Foundation, and then mentored the students at Karam House, an innovation hub for refugee youth, in the making of their own characters designs, puppets, written monologues, and stop-motion animations of those narratives with karagöz puppets.

My students, mentored by me and my co-mentor Sima Alkanawati, explored their identities, interrogating the question, "If different sides of your self could have a conversation, what would they want to say? Together, we co-created an animated film, platforming their voices and stories, and offering these refugee youth belonging in a traditional craft of their home country, karagöz puppetry.  I also held a karagöz exhibition at Karam House to share our work with the larger community.


"Conversations with My Self"  has been screened at Karam House, New York Istanbul Short Film Festival, L.A. Documentary Film Festival, International Migration and Environment Film Festival, Home is Distant Shores Festival, and Universal Kids Film Festival, and won "Best Human Interest Short" at the L.A. Documentary Film Festival. 


Please access the process documentation and the film here. 

Looking Back 
directed and animated by sabina kariat

In the winter of 2017, I spent 6 weeks in Ghana, at the Kokrobitey Institute, a nonprofit organization in the small fishing village of Kokrobite. During my time there, I learned from the director, Reneé Neblett, that the American or "Western" definition of progress often excludes traditional practices. This failure to incorporate tradition into our visualization of the future often causes designers to leave behind sustainable practices that have been going on for centuries, practices that often allow people to live in harmony with nature. Especially in quickly developing countries like Ghana, the relationship between tradition and progress should not be forgotten.

Looking Back has been screened at Southern Exposure Juried Film Festival (202) and Berkeley Art Center Juried Show (2023). 

Mother Tongue

directed by Samantha Steele
Animations by sabina kariat and sanjana chandrashekar

Samantha Steele:

Mother Tongue is a project inspired by my own experience of not being able to speak any of the (native/indigenous) languages in Zambia, where I come from. When I was younger, this wasn’t something I thought about, but as I get older, I find myself asking why I don’t speak the languages that my family members do, and what it means for my identity. I found myself not only having these discussions with my family, but mostly with friends who have similar experiences, but come from different cultural backgrounds. Through this short animated documentary, I wanted to explore the connection language has to our identity and sense of belonging: the feelings of isolation and disconnect, but also the insight that growing up between and across multiple cultures can bring. I want to paint an image that speaks to an experience shared by many, regardless of language or cultural background.

Baseball Behind Barbed Wire (release in 2024)
directed by yuriko romer
animations by sabina kariat

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A new short film carved out of the Diamond Diplomacy documentary project. Now In Development.


Stripped of their constitutional rights, their homes, businesses, and dignity, 120,000 Japanese Americans were forced into dusty desolate camps, surrounded by armed guards and barbed wire.

Ironically it was the All-American pastime of baseball that saved their sanity.

File/Life (2023) 
Temple University Institute on Disability

File/Life is a community-led creative exploration of the Pennhurst archives by seven archivists, all people with disabilities and/or family members, including two former Pennhurst residents. These community archivists share stories that made them listen, feel, imagine, and remember. In doing so, they ask the question: Can a file ever contain a life?

I created animations to platform the stories and research of community archivists

Wednesdays in Mississippi 
(In Development) 

Directed by Marlene McCurtis

Animations and motion graphics by sabina kariat

In the summer of 1964 a quiet revolution began in Mississippi when a group of Black and White women reached across the chasm of race, class, geography, and religion to end segregation in America. This quiet revolution was called “Wednesdays in Mississippi.” The story of these brave women has never been told. It is a story of courage, danger, and transformation. The feature documentary film WEDNESDAYS IN MISSISSIPPI will finally tell their story.

Director Marlene McCurtist is a Sundance Institute Humanities Sustainability Fellow and a Fellow of the Firelight Media Documentary Lab. She has directed series for A&E, The Discovery Channel, and NatGeo.

Danny's Story (2020
Directed by Teo Octavia
Animations by Sabina Kariat

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