Cinema & Media Arts
EDUCATIONBSc (St. Stephen's, Delhi), BFA (York), D.Litt (h.c.) (UBC)
AREAS OF EXPERTISEDocumentary
Professor Ali Kazimi (pronounced Ka-Zim-E) is filmmaker, writer, and visual artist whose work deals with race, social justice, migration, history, memory and archive. In 2019 he received the Governor General’s Award for Visual and Media Arts, as well as a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa from the University of British Columbia.
His critically acclaimed films have been shown at festivals around the world, winning national and international honours and awards. Highlights of his international critical acclaim 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; 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 most recent feature documentary Random Acts of Legacy premiered at Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival in 2017 where it won a Special Mention for Best Canadian Feature Documentary, and it also won the Special Jury award at the San Diego Asian American Film Festival.
Kazimi’s retrospectives count 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, (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 also include over two-dozen episodes of television documentary series.
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) and Rex versus Singh (2009).
Kazimi is the recipient of a prestigious John R. Evans Leaders Fund, from the Canada Foundation for Innovation to set up the Stereoscopic 3D Lab @York. He was the founding filmmaker, in 3DFLIC (3D Film Innovation Consortium) an inter-disciplinary academic/industry partnership (2009-12). In 2013 he designed and taught The Principles and Practice of Stereoscopic 3D Cinema, the first graduate course of its kind in the country. His stereoscopic 3D installations have been shown in galleries across Canada.
In 2012, Kazimi authored the nationally acclaimed book, Undesirables: White Canada and the Komagata Maru – An Illustrated History (Douglas & McIntyre) which was a finalist for the 2012 City of Vancouver Book Award and the 2013 BC Book Prizes (Roedrick Haig-Brown Regional Prize).
He has mentored and supervised several graduate students whose thesis films have received critical acclaim, among them Kathleen Mullen – Breathtaking (2010), Jorge Lozano – Moving Still-still life (2010), Zaheed Mawani –Three Walls (2011). Mawani’s thesis film, has won awards in Oberhausen and Atlanta and was nominated for Best Short Documentary for the Canadian Screen Awards (2013) and Vicki Lean’s documentary Until the Last River won the Nigel Moore Award for Youth Programming at DOXA (2015) and has been nominated for the Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary, Canadian Screen Awards 2017.
He served as Department Chair from 2015 to 2016.
Random Acts of Legacy (’17)
Rex versus Singh (’09).
Runaway Grooms (’06),
Continuous Journey (’04),
Documenting Dissent (’01),
Shooting Indians: A Journey with Jeffrey Thomas (’97),
Narmada: A Valley Rises (’94),
Depth in Motion
Fair Play (2014)
Oceans Within (2012)
Undesirables: White Canada and the Komagata Maru (Douglas & McIntrye, 2012)
Photo: Arlene Moscovitch
Cinema & Media Arts
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