Ali Kazimi is a documentary filmmaker whose research interests include race, migration, indigineity, history and memory, with a particular interest in South Asia and Canada. He also has a keen interest in emerging and cutting-edge digital image technologies, and is a collaborative researcher in the interdisciplinary Future Cinema Lab in the Faculty of Fine Arts at York University. He is currently engaged in the 3D Film Innovation Consortium (3D FLIC), an academic/industry partnership that will expand capacity for 3D film production in the GTA and Ontario.
Professor Kazimi's most recent publication is the book Undesirables: White Canada and the Komagata Maru (Douglas & McIntyre, 2012). Expanding on his film on the same subject, Continuous Journey, the book addresses an infamous incident in Canadian history, when a ship carrying migrants from British India was turned away when it tried to land in Vancouver harbour in 1914.
Professor Kazimi's films have been shown at festivals around the world, winning more than 30 national and international awards and a host of nominations. Highlights include the Donald Brittain/Gemini Award for Best Social/Political Documentary; Gold Award, Woldfest, Houston; Golden Conch, Mumbai International Film Festival; Golden Sheaf, Yorkton Short Film Festival; and audience awards for Best Documentary at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival and Los Angeles Indian Film Festival.
Ali Kazimi has 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 Thrissur, 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).
Alongside his creative roles, Professor Kazimi has guest-lectured internationally and been invited to serve on numerous national and international film juries. He has served as president of the Independent Film and Video Alliance and co-Chair of the Canadian Independent Film Caucus – Toronto, and is a member of the Director's Guild of Canada.
Keywords: Race; migration; indignity; history; memory; emerging and cutting-edge digital image technologies; South Asian Diaspora; India