Yaara Bou Melhem

Yaara Bou Melhem is a journalist and documentary filmmaker based in Sydney, Australia whose work has received two UN Peace Media Awards, two New York Film & Television Festival Awards and five Walkley Awards.

Her debut feature-length documentary, ‘Unseen Skies’ interrogates the inner workings of mass surveillance, computer vision and artificial intelligence through the works of US artist Trevor Paglen. It screened in competition at the 2021 Sydney Film Festival and San Francisco International Film Festival. Production partners include Oscar-winning Participant (USA) and In Films (AUS). Yaara has also directed documentary shorts including the ‘War on Truth’ about the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Maria Ressa and the Filipino editor’s global campaign against disinformation.
Yaara made films for more than 7 years for Dateline, one of the most prestigious foreign affairs programs in Australia with public broadcaster SBS TV. She was one of the few Australian journalists based in the Middle East at the height of the Arab Spring and covered the uprisings in Syria, Bahrain, Egypt and Libya. She has also contributed films from the Asia-Pacific region to Al Jazeera English for more than a decade and is contributing reporter to the ABC TV, Foreign Correspondent program.

She is currently directing a true crime series for ABC Arts and is the inaugural journalist-in-residence at the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism & Ideas where she will work on her next documentary feature.