Shelley Saywell

Shelley Saywell's career as an independent documentary filmmaker started bravely and auspiciously in 1986 when she set off for the Sahara to document the nomadic Bishari tribes and Shahira, an Egyptian woman who worked to help the Bishari survive.

Since then, Saywell has written and directed 10 independent international documentaries which have been critically acclaimed and honored with many awards, including an Emmy for Crimes of Honour.

Saywell's choice of subject matter has consistently focused on issues of human rights. In 1997 after completing Kim's Story: The Road from Vietnam she was awarded UNESCO's Gandhi Silver Medal for Promoting the Culture of Peace. In 2000, a special committee of the United Nations held a private screening of Crimes of Honour at its New York headquarters. Saywell's film A Child's Century of War was short-listed for the 2003 Academy Awards.

Icarus Films is proud to distribute these films by Shelley Saywell. Discover more of our featured filmmakers.


Takes the viewer on a journey through the past century - the bloodiest in history - from the perspective of children, and tells their stories in their voices.

Shelley Saywell | 2002 | 90 minutes | Color | English

Filmed in Jordan and on the West Bank, investigates the terrible reality of femicide—the killing of sisters or daughters suspected of losing their virginity, for having refused an arranged marriage or having left a husband.

Shelley Saywell | 1999 | 44 minutes | Color | English