Sarah Gertrude Shapiro
Sarah Gertrude Shapiro is the Emmy-nominated co-creator and executive producer of UNREAL, which she developed and sold based on the SXSW award-winning short film she wrote and directed, SEQUIN RAZE. Starring Shiri Appleby and Emmy-nominated Constance Zimmer, UNREAL gives a fictitious behind-the-scenes glimpse into the chaos surrounding the production of a dating competition program, Everlasting. UNREAL garnered rave reviews in its first season and was included on Best of 2015 lists ranging from The New Yorker to Time Magazine. The series received an AFI Award and was nominated for a Gotham Independent Film Award, along with three Critics’ Choice Awards, with Constance Zimmer winning the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama for her role on the show. UNREAL was also honored with two Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for the pilot episode written by Shapiro and co-creator and executive producer Marti Noxon. Shapiro directed the seventh episode of the second season and also wrote and directed a series of shorts, THE FAITH DIARIES, which follow UNREAL’s beloved season one contestant, Faith (Breeda Wool). After her deal at A+E, Sarah landed a multi-year overall deal at ABC Studios where she has two shows in development at Hulu and Fox. A stalwart supporter of women, Shapiro was one of the early faces of the Broad Focus initiative at A+E and Lifetime, and announced a commitment to hire female directors at The Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment Breakfast, giving a portion of her TED Talk chronicling her own journey in Hollywood. Next, Shapiro will make her feature directing debut for J.C. Chandor and Amazon on a story about the 100-plus female army fighting ISIS. Originally from Santa Barbara, CA, Shapiro started writing when she was five years old and discovered that she was a director at 16. After seeing Fellini’s 8 1/2 and shooting a roll of black and white Super 8 film, she was a goner and knew filmmaking was her calling. She has devoutly pursued it ever since. Shapiro graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a degree in Fiction Writing and Filmmaking. She came of age in New York indie film, interning at Killer Films with Christine Vachon, and cutting her teeth in the experimental film scene with the likes of Miranda July. After accidentally landing a job in reality TV, and subsequently fleeing to the wilds of Oregon, she finally returned to Hollywood with her series UNREAL.