Sandra Goldbacher

Sandra A. Goldbacher (born 1960)[1] is a British film director, TV director, and screenwriter.[2]

Sandra Goldbacher
Sandra A. Goldbacher

1960 (age 60–61)
EducationSussex University
Middlesex University
OccupationFilm screenwriter
Film director
TV director
Known forThe Governess
Me Without You
Spouse(s)Peter Salmi

Early life and educationEdit

Goldbacher grew up in Hampstead Garden Suburb in the London Borough of Barnet,[1][3] the daughter of an Italian Sephardic Jewish father, a fruit importer, and a Protestant mother, who was a native of the Isle of Skye in Scotland.[4] Her mother converted to Judaism when Goldbacher was a year old. Goldbacher's father was a Holocaust survivor.[5] Goldbacher grew up as a Reform Jew.[3] She said she encountered some anti-semitism growing up.[6]

Goldbacher graduated from Sussex University as a French Literature major, and then did a year-long course at Middlesex University, studying film and video.[3]


Goldbacher got her start directing commercials for The Observer Philips, Evian, Wella, Johnny Walker and Baileys. She also directed documentaries for the BBC series Building Sights, and two documentaries on boxing for Channel Four.

In 1994, Goldbacher made two shorts: Seventeen, which starred Rachel Weisz, and Piccadilly Circus By Night. She had made films while in college.[7]

Goldbacher's first feature film, The Governess,[8] starring Minnie Driver,[9][10] which Goldbacher wrote based on a fictional diary that she wrote,[11] was nominated for a BAFTA award in 1999 for best newcomer.[6]

In 2001, she released her second film, Me Without You,[12] which starred Anna Friel and Michelle Williams and was written by Goldbacher and Laurence Coriat.[13][14] The movie had been in development before The Governess, but funding came earlier for the other film. Me Without You explores the "over-intense" relationship between two teenage girls.[15] The film was loosely based upon a childhood friendship she had when she was younger.[15] Both films featured Jewish characters and themes.[16][17]

In 2007, Goldbacher directed the television film adaptation of Noel Streatfeild's book Ballet Shoes for BBC One, which starred Emma Watson.[18]

In 2012, she directed two episodes of the second season of The Hour, starring Dominic West.[19]

In 2016, Goldbacher directed an episode of the TV series Endeavour, set in 1967.[20] Also in 2016, she directed two episodes of the British TV series Victoria. In 2017, she directed an episode of the TV series Anne with an E.

In 2018, Goldbacher directed the first series of the Amazon TV series Ordeal by Innocence, starring Bill Nighy and Alice Eve.[21] It was an adaptation of the 1958 book by Agatha Christie.[22]

In 2019, Goldbacher directed the four-episode Channel 4 mini-series, The Accident, which was created by and written by Jack Thorne, and is about a small Welsh community and how it copes with a devastating explosion.[23]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1999, Goldbacher married writer/producer Peter Salmi.[24] They have one child.[25]

Awards and honorsEdit

  • 1994: Chicago Film Festival, Silver Plaque for Seventeen
  • 1999: BAFTA, Carl Foreman Award for the Most Promising Newcomer in British Film (nominee) for The Governess[26]
  • 1998: Dinard British Film Festival, Golden Hitchcock (nominee) for The Governess[27]
  • 1998: Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Crystal Globe (nominee) for The Governess
  • 1998: Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Audience Award for The Governess
  • 1998: Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Special Prize (or an author debut) for The Governess[28]
  • 1998: Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Kodak Vision Award for The Governess[28]
  • 2001: Dinard Film Festival, Golden Hitchcock (nominee) for Me Without You[29]
  • 2002: BAFTA, Alexander Korda Award for the Outstanding British Film of the Year (nominee) for Me Without You with Finola Dwyer[30]


  • 1983: Barbie Dolls and War Toys short film – photography
  • 1983: Polka Dots and Moonbeams short film – co-director[31]
  • 1984: Night of a Thousand Eyes short film – co-director, editor
  • 1990: Brendan's Boys TV – director
  • 1993: Born to Be Wild TV – director
  • 1993: Josie Lawrence TV – director
  • 1993: Conceptions and Misconceptions TV – director
  • 1994: Seventeen short film – director, script
  • 1994: Building Sights TV show – director (episodes: "Grand Central Terminal", "John Hancock Center")
  • 1995: Piccadilly Circus by Night short film – director, written by
  • 1998: The Governess – director, written by
  • 1999: The Devil's Chimney – director[32]
  • 2001: Me Without You – director, screenplay
  • 2007: Ballet Shoes – director
  • 2012: The Hour – director (episodes: Episode #2.1, Episode #2.2)
  • 2016: Endeavour TV series – director (episode: "Ride")
  • 2016: Victoria TV series – director (episodes: "The Clockwork Prince", "An Ordinary Woman")
  • 2017: Anne with an E TV series – director (episode: "But What Is So Headstrong as Youth?")
  • 2018: Ordeal by Innocence TV series – director (episodes: Episode #1.1, Episode #1.2, Episode #1.3)
  • 2019: The Accident TV series – director (episodes: Episode #1.1, Episode #1.2, Episode #1.3, Episode #1.4)

Works or publicationsEdit

  • Goldbacher, Sandra (22 November 2001). "Sandra Goldbacher on her new film". The Guardian.
  • Goldbacher, Sandra (2011). Matilda's Secret – A girl for all time book. London: Daughters of History Ltd. ISBN 9780956720009. OCLC 801568399.
  • Goldbacher, Sandra; Robinson, Louise (Illustrated by); Salmi, Peter (illustrated by) (2012). Amelia's Inheritance – A girl for all time book. London: Daughters of History Ltd. ISBN 9780956720023. OCLC 843341997.
  • Goldbacher, Sandra (2015). Clementine's Winter – A girl for all time book. London: Daughters of History Ltd. ISBN 9780956720047. OCLC 975427347.


  1. ^ a b "Sandra A Goldbacher (Birth Registration)". England and Wales, Birth Registration Index. FamilySearch. Retrieved 29 October 2019. Registration Quarter: Jul-Aug-Sep; Registration Year: 1960; Registration District: Hampstead; County: London; Event Place: Hampstead, London, England; Mother's Maiden Name: Robertson; Volume: 5C; Page: 1196; Affiliate Line Number: 99 CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Sandra Goldbacher". British Council - Film. 6 April 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b c "TCM Database: Sandra Goldbacher". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 29 December 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Rosen, Steven (9 August 1998). "Unusual subjects a cohesive whole in "Governess"". Denver Post. Retrieved 29 December 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Desowitz, Bill (29 March 1998). "Addressing, at Long Last, a Question of Identity". Los Angeles Times.
  6. ^ a b Blackwelder, Rob (23 July 1998). "'Governess' director aims for a new kind of Victorian drama". SPLICEDwire.
  7. ^ Hundley, Jessica (28 June 2002). "Interview: Coming of Age in Swingin' London; Goldbacher's "Me Without You"". IndieWire.
  8. ^ Holden, Stephen (31 July 1998). "Film Review; Capturing Images and Passion in a Turbulent World". The New York Times.
  9. ^ Winters, Laura (2 August 1998). "Film; When the Character Calls, Minnie Driver Listens". The New York Times.
  10. ^ Lane, Harriet (3 August 1997). "Minnie the minx: She used to be an English public school mouse; now she's a Hollywood babe". The Guardian.
  11. ^ Kaufman, Anthony (29 July 1998). "Sandra Goldbacher Goes Back, Moves Forward with "The Governess"". IndieWire.
  12. ^ Greenberg, James (23 June 2002). "Growing Up Fast, on Screen and Off". The New York Times.
  13. ^ Holden, Stephen (5 July 2002). "Best Friends Who Are Also Worst Enemies". The New York Times.
  14. ^ Thomas, Kevin (12 July 2002). "The Test of Time in 'Me Without You'". Los Angeles Times.
  15. ^ a b Goldbacher, Sandra (22 November 2001). "Best of friends: Sandra Goldbacher on the intense teenage bonds that inspired her new film". The Guardian.
  16. ^ "The Greatest Ever Jewish Films - Governess is Antidote to Current Crop of Jewish TV Shows". Jewish Telegraph. 2012.
  17. ^ Pfefferman, Naomi (4 July 2002). "Within and 'Without': An intense friendship between two young women drives Sandra Goldbacher's new film". Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles.
  18. ^ Moore, Roger (23 October 2012). "Emma Watson finally has 'authentic' high school experience — in a movie". McClatchy-Tribune, Orlando Sentinel – via The Mercury News.
  19. ^ VanDerWerff, Emily Todd (28 November 2012). "The Hour: "Season Two, Episode One"". AV Club.
  20. ^ Gray, Christopher (7 January 2016). "Gray Matter: 1960s Morse prequel finds inspiration in Gatsby novel". South Wales Argus.
  21. ^ Billen, Andrew (31 March 2018). "Ordeal by Innocence: the Christie Mystery that almost got away". The Times (72497). Saturday Review. pp. 4–5. ISSN 0140-0460.
  22. ^ Greene, Steve (10 August 2018). "'Ordeal by Innocence' Review: Amazon's Agatha Christie Adaptation Is a Superficial Showcase for a Monstrous Family". IndieWire.
  23. ^ Mangan, Lucy (24 October 2019). "The Accident review – echoes of Grenfell in devastating disaster drama". The Guardian.
  24. ^ "Sandra A Goldbacher - mentioned in the record of Salmi and Sandra A Goldbacher". England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005. FamilySearch. 1999.
  25. ^ Oei, Lily (27 June 2002). "Preem does 'Without'". Variety.
  26. ^ "Film: Carl Foreman Award for the Most Promising Newcomer in British Film in 1999". BAFTA Awards. 1999.
  27. ^ Nesselson, Lisa (21 September 1998). "Dinard fetes recent British films". Variety.
  28. ^ a b Rabinowitz, Mark (14 July 1998). "Karlovy Vary Winners; Festival of Unknowns; and Long Island Lineup". IndieWire.
  29. ^ "Dinard festival announces jury and line-up". Screen. 24 September 2001.
  30. ^ "Film: Alexander Korda Award for the outstanding British Film of the Year in 2002". BAFTA Awards. 2002.
  31. ^ Korossi, Georgia (9 January 2019). "London Short Film Festival 2019 preview: new radical world". 11Polaroids.
  32. ^ Roman, Monica (20 November 1998). "'Governess' vet Goldbacher goes to 'Devil'". Variety.

Further readingEdit

  • Lewin, Judith (2008). "Chapter Seven: Semen, Semolina and Salt Water: The Erotic Jewess in Sandra Goldbacher's The Governess". In Abrams, Nathan (ed.). Jews & Sex. Nottingham: Five Leaves. pp. 88–100. ISBN 9781905512348. OCLC 487150117.
  • Meyers, Helene (2008). "Chapter: Educating for a Jewish Gaze: The Close Doubling of Antisemitism and Philosemitism in Sandra Goldbacher's The Governess". In Lassner, Phyllis; Trubowitz, Lara (eds.). Antisemitism and Philosemitism in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries: Representing Jews, Jewishness, and Modern Culture. Newark: University of Delaware Press. pp. 103–118. ISBN 9780874130294. OCLC 187417711.

External linksEdit