Ali Kazimi Filmmaker and Media Artist
Toronto, Ontario

Ali Kazimi, filmmaker and media artist

Veteran documentarian Ali Kazimi is one of Canada’s preeminent media artists. His body of work, which tackles complex issues of race, social justice, migration, history and memory, spans a broad spectrum of genres and media, and includes three feature documentaries (Narmada: A Valley Rises, Continuous Journey, and Random Acts of Legacy), several short and mid-length documentaries (including Shooting Indians and Runaway Grooms), experimental films, and 3D media art installations. He has been recognized as an innovator in stereoscopic 3D cinema in Canada, and founded the Stereoscopic 3D Lab at York University. Among other prestigious awards, Kazimi has received the Donald Brittain Award and the Gemini Award for Best Social/Political Documentary. Born and raised in India, he came to Canada in 1983 and now lives in Toronto, Ontario.

http://socialdoc.net/ali-kazimi/

“Kazimi’s lovingly rendered and profoundly insightful works demonstrate a deep-rooted empathy for his subjects, a singular cinematic eye, and an unflinching commitment to shedding light on difficult truths.

Over the past quarter century, Ali Kazimi has established himself as one of Canada’s most distinguished and celebrated independent documentary filmmakers and media artists. His larger project of elucidating the often-underexposed histories and experiences of racialized peoples, and exploring complex intersections of colonialism, racism, and immigration through the moving image, has significantly contributed to Canadian cinema and video art. Perhaps most remarkably, his works have quite literally inspired change in the world, informing and shifting public opinion and galvanizing efforts towards concrete political action.

Ali Kazimi is a consummate and inspirational artist, committed to excellence in his practice and pushing the boundaries of aesthetic and storytelling forms. Kazimi’s productions are formally and intellectually rigorous, but also highly accessible. Often employing self-reflexive first-person narration, he engages his viewers on a deeply human level. His works are nuanced and compassionate, but also hard-hitting, exposing current and historical injustices, and advocating for a more fair and equitable world.”

Nominator:
Karen Tisch, Arts Consultant and Incoming Executive Director, Koffler Centre of the Arts

“His larger project of elucidating the often-underexposed histories and experiences of racialized peoples, and exploring complex intersections of colonialism, racism, and immigration through the moving image, has significantly contributed to Canadian cinema and video art.”

Selected works

Ali Kazimi, still from Continuous Journey, 2004. A Sikh man and child stand before a ship full of people.

Ali Kazimi, still from Continuous Journey, 2004, feature length documentary, 87 minutes, photo-montage by Ali Kazimi

Ali Kazimi, the other is lying down, still from Fair Play, 2016. Two Sikh men in a room—one is seated and reading a note.

Ali Kazimi, Bunkhouse, still from “Fair Play,” 2014, 2-channel, S3D, mixed media, 7 minutes

Ali Kazimi, still from Fair Play, 2016. A woman using an image viewer and a man sit in a room facing away from each other.

Ali Kazimi, Stereo viewer, still from “Fair Play,” 2014, 2-channel, S3D, mixed media, 7 minutes

Ali Kazimi, still from Narmada: A Valley Rises, 1994. A woman raises her arm in a crowd.

Ali Kazimi, still from Narmada: A Valley Rises, 1994, feature length documentary, 87 minutes

Ali Kazimi, still from Random Acts of Legacy, 2016. Close up of old, empty cardboard film spool boxes.

Ali Kazimi, still from Random Acts of Legacy (A), 2016, documentary, 77 minutes

Ali Kazimi, still from Random Acts of Legacy, 2016. Two gloved hands handle an old, rusty film reel.

Ali Kazimi, still from Random Acts of Legacy (B), 2016, documentary, 77 minutes

Ali Kazimi, still from Shooting Indians: A Journey with Jeffery Thomas, 1997. A group of actors in a western.

Ali Kazimi, still from Shooting Indians: A Journey with Jeffrey Thomas, 1997, documentary, 16mm, 56 minutes

2019 Winners

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