Music video and film director Sanaa Hamri moved to New York with dreams of making it big as an actress. But like so many others, she found herself struggling through endless auditions and unemployment. Born worlds away in the town of Tangier, Morocco, Hamri wasn't afraid to fight back. She'd grown up in a traditionally male-dominated society and her rebellion against gender stereotypes had helped put her on this creative career path.
Refusing to give up, she changed tact finding work with a post production company. She was soon noticed by cinematographer Malik Sayeed who, in turn, introduced her to Mariah Carey.
And with the famous singer's guidance, Hamri embarked on a new, highly successful, career trajectory, leaving her mark on the entertainment industry.
Networking is key (especially when it's with Mariah Carey).While working for a production company, the ambitious Moroccan soon found herself in the midst of some of the biggest names in music but it was an introduction to "songbird supreme" Mariah Carey who would lead her to her calling. "One day she turned to me and said, 'You know, you really should direct' ... And then I got the opportunity to direct her in this video called "Thank God I Found You (Remix)" ... [Directing] was extremely natural to me and I realized that Mariah was right -- this is where I belong."
Take every opportunity to learn something new and always ask questions. In addition to the mentoring Carey provided to her, the songstress would also provide industry insight and help explain the ins and outs of working among the best in the business. "(She would say) 'this is what it means in America when we say this,' because she was used to foreigners. she understood that. And whether it was working with her, Jay-Z, or Destiny's Child, or Sting, any of those people, I would learn from them."