She's all of 23 but her film Aabida set in a restive Mumbai post the 26/11 attacks has stirred much interest at the London Feminist Film Festival for its sensitive handling. The protagonist is young girl not unlike her, probably what motivated Maaria Sayed to delve into the pyche of an Indian Muslim reconciling "her inner world with a difficult external reality".
While her own interests were always literature, art and theatre rather than cinema - she published her first book of poems when she was just 17 - the mature understanding of political themes and ground realities could owe a lot to her family background. Maaria's maternal grandfather AR Antulay is a former Mahashtra CM and current Union minister for Minority Affairs while her father is serving Bombay High Court judge Amjad Sayed. Currently based out of Singapore, the multi-talented young lady is currently making documentaries for various international channels including Discovery and Nat Geo, but she's also simultaneously working on a script for a feature she intends to shoot in London and India.
Though Maaria insists it's more of a "personal" project, the finesse of her debut project for which she put in exhaustive research does seem to suggest several milestones in store for her as a professional filmmaker.