Sandra Schulberg has been active in raising money for independent productions and nurturing indie filmmakers for more than 20 years. Additionally, she was a key figure in helping to create worldwide markets for such product both as a producer and as founder and former president of the Independent Features Project (IFP) and the Independent Features Film Market (IFFM). From 1989 until 1996, Schulberg served under Lindsay Law as senior vice president of American Playhouse, the consortium of PBS stations which funded films on a wide range of American cultural themes and she was the driving force behind American Playhouse Abroad, the unit's international division. In 1996, she established her own production company which has projects in various states of development.
Born in Paris, Schulberg was educated in the USA at Swathmore College. Upon graduation in 1972, she worked in TV news, before finding her first niche at PBS as a story editor for the series "Visions", where she remained for a few years. Schulberg assumed the responsibilities of associate producer under Michael Hausman on Robert M. Young's "Alambrista!" (1978), the story of a Mexican who illegally crosses the American border and the hardships he subsequent faces. The film was celebrated at the Cannes Film Festival, earning the Camera d'Or. Schulberg moved into raising financing, a task she handled for John Hanson and Rob Nilsson's award-winning "Northern Lights" (also 1978), about the struggles of farmers in North Dakota prior to World War II.
Having built international contacts handling the foreign sales for both films, Schulberg decided to bridge the gaps between independents and the worldwide marketplace by creating the IFP in 1979. With Hanson and Nilsson, she also formed New Front Films and produced Hanson's "Wildrose" (1984), which starred Lisa Eichhorn as a female iron pit worker. On "Belizare the Cajun" (1985), Schulberg served as line producer. Jill Godmilow's "Waiting for the Moon" (1987), which she produced, depicted the loving, collaborative relationship between Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. Before the dissolution of American Playhouse as a producing entity, Schulberg worked in various capacities on such independents as Robert M Young's "Roosters" (1993), Alan Taylor's "Palookaville" (1995) and Mary Harron's "I Shot Andy Warhol" (1996), among others.