Shamira Raphaëla


Shamira Raphaëla (1982) is bi-racial director, with a Dutch mother and a father from Curacao, she grew up in Aruba. After completing her high school in the Caribbean, she moved to the Netherlands where she received her bachelor degree in Audiovisual-arts at the Artez academy of Art & Design in 2006. She is currently based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Her debut documentary Deal With It was a raw personal film about destructive family patterns and unconditional love, that won multiple small international awards in 2015. She won the Karin de Bok Talent award at IDFA 2018 for further script development of Downfall of a Superwoman, an intimate sequel to her first film.
Her following documentary Lenno & the Angelfish tells the story of a young boy with behavioral problems. The film won the award for Best Children’s Documentary at IDFA 2017 and was handed the Best European Children’s Doc award by the European Children’s Film Association during the Berlinale in 2019.
In 2019 Shamira received Holland’s most prestigious film award the Golden Calf at the Netherlands Film Festival for her documentary Daddy and the Warlord, a daughter’s search for answers, set in post war torn Liberia. That same year she also released a controversial documentary about the rise of right-wing populism and white supremacy in the Netherlands, called Our Motherland.
In addition to making films, Shamira is a board member of the Dutch academy of film, short film programmer at IFFR and launched framing of us, together with Tessa Boermans at Idfa 2020, aiming to decolonize the documentary industry.