Hello

I am a writer and director. I’ve made short films, documentaries and a handful of music videos that have played at festivals internationally. My first documentary, “David Hawkins: A Battle of the Mind” (2017) was nominated as AHRC research film of the year. In 2021 I completed an hour long documentary about Frantz Fanon.

Collaboration is at the heart of my what I do. I cherish the relationships I have with fellow creative and intellectual partners, from my editor Yann Heckmann, to actors such as Christopher Simpson, Nathalie Richard and Shabana Azmi, or academics like Daniel Pick and his research group at Birkbeck. These are just some of the people I am indebted to.

I have an MFA in Directing from the Film Programme at Columbia University in New York and was educated at Oxford, where I read English. I also have an MA in Modernist Literature from London.

The Long Story:

It all started at Children’s Film Unit where Colin Finbow and his team introduced me to filmmaking as a teenager. After working as a runner and trainee on a variety of films (memorably including “Jefferson in Paris”), I left school and worked in production and development for Merchant Ivory Productions (MIP) and as an editing trainee on Annaud’s Seven Years in Tibet.

After studying English at Wadham College, Oxford (where I was taught by Robert J. C. Young and Bernard O’Donoghue), I worked at Foyles for the summer before returning to film production. I returned to MIP in 2000, working as a Producer’s Assistant and APOC on films such as “Le Divorce” (James Ivory, 2003), “The Golden Bowl” (James Ivory, 2000) and the “Mystic Masseur” (Ismail Merchant, 2001). Ismail, Jim and Ruth mentored and nurtured me from these years onwards.

I continued to make short films and applied to film school a few times over these years. Rejected by the NFTS twice, I finally secured a place at Columbia University’s School of the Arts where I held a FOCUS Fellowship. My graduation film, My Father’s Son (2007) was crowdfunded and awarded a Milos Forman Award.

After film school, I returned to London (via a year and a half in Paris) and combined my creative practice with work as a film journalist, film policy researcher and a private tutor. Between 2008 and 2014 I made music videos and crewed on other people’s documentaries. In 2014, I made Bubbles.

In 2015/2016, I was selected as an Arts Council of England Fellow on the Clore Leadership Programme. Through the fellowship, I did a three month senior work placement at the Institute of Contemporary Arts and benefitted from a range of high level mentoring, training and coaching. I was also funded by the AHRC to write a piece of research on diversity and cultural policy.

In 2017/2018 I was selected for Widening the Lens which is run by the Encounters Film Festival. I also took part in BFI Network X BAFTA Crew and was selected for iFeatures 2018/2019.

I live with my family Cambridge. I know Spanish, French, Italian, Urdu and English. My other interests are food/cooking, poetry, 19th Century novels, psychoanalysis and shopping.

Select Filmography:

Re-Reading Fanon (2021) Writer / Director

“Re-reading Fanon” (65minutes, 2021) is a Hidden Persuaders film by Nasheed Qamar Faruqi, featuring Fakhry Davids; Stephen Frosh; Lisa Guenther; Jean Khalfa; Samia Khatun; Achille Mbembe; Daniel Pick; and Robert J.C. Young.

It is a documentary about one filmmaker’s journey to understand Fanon’s clinical, political and philosophical writing in today’s context.

David Hawkins, A Battle of the Mind (2017) Writer / Director

Commissioned by the Hidden Persuaders Group, Birkbeck in Association with The Wellcome Trust | Nominated AHRC Research Film of the Year 2017 | Selected for War of Nerves Exhibition at the Wende Museum of the Cold War, Los Angeles (forthcoming)

Alex (2016) – Short Animation for the Maudsley Eating Disorders Team – Writer


Bubbles (2015) – Writer / Director / Co-Producer starring Shabana Azmi

£10,000+ Successful Kickstarter Campaign | Short Film Corner of the 68th Cannes Film Festival | London Short Film Festival | Tongues on Fire, The London South Asian Film Festival | The New York Indian Film Festival | Washington DC South Asian Film Festival

We’re So LightMusic Video (2011) – Camera / Director / Editor

Transmusicales Festival | 40,000+ Youtube views

Bang Bang Cherry Music Video (2010) – Director / Editor

69,769+ Youtube views

My Father’s Son (2008) – Writer / Director / Producer

Milos Forman Award, Columbia University | £15,000 crowdfunded budget | Supported by Eurostar

Press:

ELLE India, Name to Know May 21st, 2015 

What the Eye Doesn’t See Maheen Pracha in Conversation with Nasheed in The Friday Times, April 24th-30th 2015

Ebuzz Interview, January 26th, 2015 (please note, there is currently a small error on this page. I wrote and directed Bubbles; Yann Heckmann is the editor).

Times of India, August 31st 2014

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