Martina Radwan: Filmmaker, "The Roar of a Lion Cub"

My NativeAdVantage:


Martina Radwan is a New York-based DP who has shot narrative and documentary projects across the globe. Her most recently released documentaries include Saving Face (2012 Academy Winner for Best Documentary Short, 2013 Emmy for Best Documentary), for which Radwan was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Cinematography, Through a Lens Darkly, William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe and Hot Coffee and can be seen on national and international screens, as well as HBO, Showtime and PBS. Her directorial debut Spring in Awe received the Media Awareness Award at the Media That Matters Film Festival, 2004, as well as the Best Editing Award at the Brooklyn Film Festival. Her second film Aliens Among Us was part of DocuWeek 2009.

Martina's narrative work includes feature film Under Construction, directed by Rubaiyat Hossein and filmed in Bangladesh; The Killing Floor, a thriller produced by Doug Liman and Avi Arad, directed by Gideon Raff, the horror film Train a Millennium Films Production, also directed by Gideon Raff; Singapore Dreaming, one of the first Singaporean feature productions and winner of several international awards; and Rain, the first indigenous film of the Bahamas, by Maria Govan.

Martina is currently in post-production on her feature length-documentary The Roar of a Lion Cub, an intimate portrait of three Mongolian street children and an American filmmaker determined to change their lives. The film also explores motivations and responsibility of those who volunteer to get involved, as well as the liability of a filmmaker who turns the camera on those in need.

What’s Your NativeAdVantage:

What do you do best?

I shoot inspired and provocative feature films and documentaries, often under challenging circumstances. I am also directing and producing my own film, which takes place on the other side of the globe, in Mongolia, while maintaining my career here in US. Basically, I am very good at multitasking and switch between all these things within a moments notice.  

What makes you the best and how will you become the best?

I wouldn’t say I am doing something best, because I am always evolving, always learning, always stretching myself. I never want to arrive anywhere, the second you think you mastered something, you will get stuck. Maybe what I do best is to challenge myself.

What are your aspirations?

Personal: I want to be happy, be connected and stay healthy; for that reason I have to learn to slow down a bit at times.

Business: I want my film to be finished soon and have a successful run so I can raise awareness about youth homeless, and I want to continue to direct.

What fascinates you?

Discovery, I think I am an explorer at heart. I love to dive into unfamiliar territory, meet people who speak a different language and go to places that are inaccessible.



Hm, I never thought about a motto, but I guess “live and let live” and “be kind” comes close.


I’d like to meet President Obama and Marlon Brando, but unfortunately that’s not possible anymore.


I travel so much for my job, I cherish my time at home, in NYC. But I’d love to explore New Zealand and I’d love to take a beach vacation soon.


An ARRI Amira camera and an old Citroen CS3


Movies, books and music. Good art and entertainment always inspires me. I’d also like to take a quiet moment at the beach. Last winter I did a 10-day silent meditation workshop, that was amazing, a mind bender, in a good way.