Born in California to immigrant parents, Heidi began as a journalist, striving to deliver complexity and dimension to people and issues that were stymied by ideology, hegemonic practice, and historical racism. While writing on women's issues in the Middle East for a human rights magazine in Cairo, she found the medium of print to be limiting and from there, transitioned to film, believing that she could access a broader audience. She has written and directed several successful short films including Pears (2006) and The Maid (Il Shaghala) (2008); the latter premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival and went on to screen at the Dubai International Film Festival, Slamdance, and other festivals worldwide. Her chosen medium of cinema is a universal language that supersedes any written or spoken dialect and allows for collective discussions not often encouraged in other art forms. She is currently working on a feature-length script about an Egyptian female flight attendant.