Samara has spent over a 15 years working in the field of documentary film: primarily as a filmmaker, editor, and festival programmer. She programmed for the 2ANNAS International Film Festival in Riga, Latvia (2008), managed the production offices of Philip Groening Filmproduktion in Berlin (2008-2009), and was an Associate International Programmer for HotDocs International Documentary Film Festival in Toronto (2011-2012). She is currently in post-production on her first feature documentary with Parabola Films (Canada), Beauvoir Films (Switzerland) and the National Film Board of Canada, and is a programmer for the Points North Institute and the Camden International Film Festival.
Samara is also a academic: she studied Western Society and Culture and Communication Studies at the University of Concordia, Montreal and Roskilde University in Denmark (BA, 2006), and Cultural Studies at the Freie Universitaet, Berlin (MA, 2009). Her PhD was awarded Magna Cum Laude in December 2014 from the Universidade Federal Fluminense (Brazil), the Universita degli Studi di Bergamo (Italy), and Paris III – Sorbonne Nouvelle (France), as part of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate Cultural Studies in Literary Interzones. Her research focuses on political and narrative forms – specifically how both geographies (cities) and technologies (social media) affect the ways we perceive and perform and ourselves. Samara’s PhD dissertation, “FUTURE IMPERFECT: Occupy Online, the Performance of Politics, and the New Narratives of the Networked Self” explores the performance of politics and self-representation online during and following the worldwide Occupy protests. She has taught at Paris 8, has been invited to conferences in Brazil, the Netherlands, France, Germany, and Canada, and been published in Canada, Germany, and the UK. Samara conceived and organized the PREOCCUPIED International Interdisciplinary Conference (June 2012) at the 7th Berlin Biennale in the KunstWerke Institute for Contemporary Art, in collaboration with the ICI Institute for Cultural Inquiry and the Occupied Berlin Biennale, with keynote speakers Simon Critchley and Hito Steyerl.
For the past 2 years, she programmed the Doc Circuit Montreal (DCM) where she led the DCM team and oversaw the programming of the Industry, Conference, Talent Lab, and KINO VR programmes, inviting over 150 international guests to Montreal each year for 30+ conferences and 15+ Talent Lab and VR workshops over 6 days in November.
Samara has served on Juries at The New Horizons Film Festival (Nowe Horyzonty, Wrocław, Poland), Sunny Side of the Doc (La Rochelle, France) and Camden International Film Festival (Camden, Maine).