Sarah Derris

Sarah Derris is a filmmaker, writer, and visual artist. Her present work examines the potentialities and limitations of our nostalgia-steeped society. She has received numerous accolades for her past projects, including the Outstanding Filmmaker award for her distinction film umrah (2021), the Rodger Frey Film Essay Award for her writing, "Umrah: Nostalgia and Devotional Practice in Film" and the Film Faculty Jury Award for her short films false chronology (2019) and al-fatihah (2018). Sarah is primarily interested in preserving and animating collective histories on the page and screen. 

Sarah received her B.A. in Literature and Cinematic Arts from Duke University in 2021. Previously, Sarah was the editor of the Duke Chronicle's arts + culture section, Recess. She was also Picture Motion's marketing intern in 2019 and New Republic Pictures' development intern in 2020. (Photo by Jennifer Zhou)

Let's connect! You can reach me at

Portrait of the Artist: Sarah Derris

Produced for Duke Arts Spring student showcase

Directed by Sarah Derris 

Produced by Zoning Media

Cinematography by Andy Ju

Edited by Brandon Yow