Empire director and executive producer Sanaa Hamri is expanding her relationship with 20th Century Fox TV, signing an overall deal with the studio behind the hit drama series. Under the pact, Hamri will develop new projects, direct pilots and continue to direct episodic television for the studio. In addition to continuing her work on Empire, the deal establishes her as an executive producer on the studio’s Untitled Ilene Chaiken/ Melissa Scrivner Love Pilot, starring Katie Holmes, which she will direct.
“Sanaa’s an extraordinarily talented director with a deep and unique understanding of pop culture, earned from years of establishing herself in the music video scene as both an editor and director, said Jonnie Davis, President of Creative Affairs, 20th Century Fox TV. “She’s a creative force of nature, able to translate bold material seamlessly to the screen, and is simply one of the most current and relevant directors working in television today. We’re thrilled to expand our relationship with her, continuing her role as executive producer and director on Empire, while ensuring that she’ll be able to bring her talent and vision to a variety of other studio projects.”
Hamri has been with Empire from the show’s launch in 2015, starting as co-executive and rising to executive producer. She also has directed several episodes. Her other directing credits include episodes of Shameless, Rectify and Glee, as well as feature films, such as Something New (2006), The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (2008), and Just Wright (2010).
Hamri is the latest A-lister on 20th TV’s roster to sign new overalls with the studio, which may be folded into Disney-ABC if Disney’s acquisition of key 21st Century Fox assets goes through. She joins Kurt Sutter, Rich Appel, Tim Minear and Danielle Sanchez-Witzel, who recently signed new pacts.
Hamri is repped by CAA, manager Larry Kennar and attorney Patti Felker.