Penguin Speakers Bureau

Sadia Shepard

Documentary Filmmaker and Author of The Girl from Foreign

Photo by Andreas Burgess


Sadia Shepard is a New York City-based documentary filmmaker and writer. In 2001, she left New York for Bombay on a Fulbright Scholarship, her goal to try to understand the history and future of the tiny Indian Jewish community that her grandmother was born into and left to marry her Muslim grandfather. Sadia spent nearly two years recording her experiences in film, video, and writing, which became the basis of her first book, The Girl from Foreign.

In addition to writing, Shepard continues to produce documentaries for television and film. Her credits include the “Outsourcing” episode of Morgan Spurlock’s award-winning series 30 Days and R.J. Cutler’s film The September Issue, about Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. Her documentary In Search of the Bene Israel premiered at the New York Jewish Film Festival at Lincoln Center in January 2009.

Speaking Topics

  • Writing from Life: The Craft of Memoir
  • The Jews of India
  • Growing Up Interfaith: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism
  • Documentary Filmmaking
  • The Art of Reduction: Researching and Writing the Family Story
See More Topics


Sadia Shepard and the Lost Jews of India - Artstreet Miami

Featured Book

The Girl from Foreign

"A beautifully written memoir about finding home, from an author who is multiply exiled.  Told from the heart, The Girl From Foreign performs the unique feat of making the foreign feel familiar."

– Suketu Mehta, author of Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found

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