Renowned film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote, “Sara Driver’s works belong to what the French call la fantastique–a conflation of fantasy with surrealism, science fiction, comics, horror, sword-and-sorcery, and the supernatural that stretches all the way from art cinema to exploitation by way of Hollywood.”
With an undergraduate degree in theatre and classics, Driver received her MFA at New York University’s film school before adapting, producing, and directing a film version of Paul Bowles’ short story, You Are Not I— the first story of Bowles’ ever to be adapted. The film was named one of the best movies of the 1980s by Cahiers du Cinéma, and she was soon considered one of the most talented filmmakers from New York City’s post-punk downtown scene. Her first feature film Sleepwalk won the prestigious Prix Georges Sadoul given by the French Cinémathèque. It was the opening night film for the 25th anniversary of the Semaine de la Critique at Cannes and won the Special Prize at the Mannheim Film Festival. In 1993, her feature When Pigs Fly, premiered in competition at the Locarno Film Festival. Her latest film, Boom for Real, follows Jean-Michel Basquiat’s pre-fame life, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Driver has also written and directed several stage plays, directed for television, has producing credits on Permanent Vacation and Stranger Than Paradise from Jim Jarmusch and Uncle Howard by Aaron Brookner, and has taught directing at NYU’s Graduate Film School.
She has a fondness for referencing mythology and folk tales from other cultures while telling her stories “in new ways, with new structure, like poems.” The Thessaloniki International Film Festival wrote that her “films exist in the boundaries of myth, between realism and fantasy, between a solid narrative and the freedom of a poem. Precisely like the city of New York, which constitutes the canvas for her films and is a fabricated world, built on the lives of vivid people, strange stories, and urban myths, her films are defined by a crooked line of emotions and sensations.”