Samantha Sanders has directed documentary programs for networks including National Geographic, The History Channel, MSNBC, A&E and PBS. Her films and screenplays have won awards internationally. She has directed Emmy-winning short documentaries including Purpose Over Pain, centered around families who have lost children to gun violence and Youth in Music Festival, a celebration of cross-cultural music-making. Sam co-produced the fiction feature film American Folk. Set against the backdrop of 9/11, this road movie musical, starring musicians Joe Purdy and Amber Rubarth, was nominated for the Panavision Spirit Award at the Santa Barbara Film Festival and won Best American Independent Film at the Cleveland International Film Festival. In 2018, Sam directed Ballhawks, a short documentary about the community of Cubs fans who spend games outside the stadium trying to catch home run balls. Her film Swimming Through about three women who forge a friendship swimming through the pandemic winter in Lake Michigan is premiering in 2022 at the Doc10 Film Festival. She lives in Chicago with her husband, film editor John Farbrother and their two boys.