Biography

  • Mail AttachmentAli Kazimi is filmmaker, author and visual artist whose work deals with race, social justice migration, history and memory. His critically acclaimed documentaries include Narmada: A Valley Rises (’94), Shooting Indians: A Journey with Jeffrey Thomas (’97), Documenting Dissent (’01), Continuous Journey (’04), Runaway Grooms (’06), Rex versus Singh (’09) & Random Acts of Legacy (’16) .

    The films have been shown at festivals around the world, winning more than 30 national and international honours and awards. Highlights include the Donald Brittain/Gemini Award for Best Social/Political Documentary; Golden Gate Award, San Fran. Intl. Film Fest; Golden Conch, Mumbai International Film Festival; Golden Sheaf, Yorkton Short Film Festival; Best Director & Best Political Documentary, Hot Docs and audience awards for Best Documentary at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival and Los Angeles Indian Film Festival.

    His latest feature documentary Random Acts of Legacy had its world premiere at the Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival where it garnered an Honourable Mention for Best Canadian Feature Documentary.

    Ali Kazimi has also been honoured with retrospectives at the 1998 IMAGES Festival of Independent Film & Video (Toronto), Pacific Film Archives/Berkeley Art Museum (2006), Mumbai International Film Festival (2008) and ViBGYOR International Documentary Film Festival in Thissur, India, in 2009. On the small screen, his productions have been broadcast nationally (CBC, TVO, Vision TV, CBC Newsworld, Knowledge Network and SCN) and internationally (Channel 4/UK, PBS/USA). His directing credits include over two-dozen episodes of television documentary series.

    In addition to shooting his own films, Ali Kazimi has also served as cinematographer for productions such as the Genie Award-winning A Song for Tibet (1992), My Niagara (1993), Bollywood Bound (2001) and The Journey of Lesra Martin (2002), Fig Trees (2008), Rex versus Singh (2009) and They Were Promised the Sea (2013).

    Kazimi has been recognized as innovator in stereoscopic 3D cinema, and is the recipient of a prestigious Leaders Opportunity Fund, from the Canada Foundation for Innovation to set up the Stereoscopic 3D Lab @York. His research in S3D filmmaking has been ongoing since 2009, as the only filmmaker, in 3D FLIC (3D Film Innovation Consortium) an inter-disciplinary academic/industry partnership. In 2010, he made, Hazardous, one of the first stereoscopic 3D short drama’s in Canada. His S3D installation was part of the site specific Land|Slide: Possible Futures, held in Markham, 2013.

    In 2012, Ali Kazimi authored the nationally acclaimed book, Undesirables: White Canada and the Komagata Maru – An Illustrated History (Douglas & McIntyre). The book was a finalist for both, the 2012 Vancouver Book Award and the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize in the 2013 BC Book Prizes.

    Alongside his creative and academic roles, Ali Kazimi has guest-lectured internationally and been invited to serve on numerous national and international film juries. He has contributed to the Canadian film community by serving as president of the Independent Film and Video Alliance (1992-93) and Co-chair of the Canadian Independent Film Caucus – Toronto (1996-7).

    Ali Kazimi was the 2015 Phil Lind Multicultural Artist in Residence at the University of British Columbia.

    He has been interviewed on CBC radio & television for several shows – The Current, As It Happens, Here and Now, Metro Morning as well as The National. Internationally he has appeared on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman as well Al-Jazeera.