Nasheed Faruqi

I’m an independent writer and director, working in both documentary and fiction. Right now, I am developing my first feature, which also deals with matters of race, with Dorothy Street Pictures. It was part Creative England’s iFeatures 2017/18 and is funded by the BBC and BFI.

In July 2021 I completed an hour long documentary, “Re-Reading Fanon” (commissioned by Daniel Pick’s Group at Birkbeck and funded by the Wellcome Trust).

I was educated at Wadham College Oxford; Queen Mary, London, and Columbia University in New York where I did my MFA. I spent many years working for Merchant Ivory Productions, starting as a runner and working through various production roles. I speak a number of languages and live with my British-Argentinian-Pakistani family (a husband and two small children) in a quiet corner of Cambridge.

How the Fellowship impacted me

Clore gave me greater faith in myself and other people. It helped me find the confidence, self awareness and clarity to do the work I’ve always wanted to do without distraction. I also gained a precious set of allies, mentors and role models along the way.

During my Fellowship I did a piece of AHRC research about the language of diversity in UK cultural life The project set me on a journey to understand the strangeness I experienced growing up brown In England during the 1980s. I began to see the impact having to navigate racialisation on a daily basis with more clarity. Since completing my research I’ve been able to articulate and reflect on different aspects of this experience in my films.

How I am using my skills for change

I try to apply what I’ve learned during the fellowship in the way I develop and make films. The fellowship has made me more skilled and mindful in the way I collaborate. My coaching skills have certainly had a very direct impact in this area.

I hope I’m doing my quiet bit to influence and forge fairer and more sustainable ways of working in the film industry, which can be an extremely challenging, inequitable, work environment. I try to advocate for a coaching culture in my projects and to build time in for reflection and stillness as well as activity.

The skills I learned during my fellowship have given me greater courage and clarity to tell the stories I think are important, and which I hope will contribute to a fairer, more open world.