Monday, June 3, 2013

Hasan Zaidi

Mr Hasan Zaidi is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker based in Karachi and manages his own companies, Tamarind Media and Tamarind Pictures. He freelances regularly for Pakistan’s largest English daily Dawn and other publications and also provides training and consultation to media organizations and others on media-related issues. He has been a reporter/producer for US network NBC, the Pakistan correspondent for the subcontinent’s largest English weekly India Today and Singapore’s satellite television Channel News Asia, and also directs and produces his own film projects. He is a founding member of the KaraFilm Society, a non-governmental body which organizes the Karachi International Film Festival – of which he is the Festival Director. 

Mr Zaidi is a LEAD Fellow and was nominated in January 2003 as one of 100 Global Leaders for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum. He graduated in 1991 from Dartmouth College (USA) where he studied computer science, political sociology and film. He has been the Features Editor of Herald for five years. He won the prestigious All Pakistan Newspaper Society’s award for journalistic excellence three times. His writings on the prevalence of AIDS in Pakistan, extrajudicial killings in Karachi, media censorship, social trends and grassroots community organizations as well as a film critic were widely appreciated. In 1998 he left Herald to help set up Geo TV, Pakistan’s first independent satellite television news channel as Deputy Editor of News and Current Affairs. From 2001 to 2002 he worked as an Executive Producer with TeleBiz, Pakistan’s largest independent television production house, heading up its documentary department as well as serving as correspondent for Channel News Asia, for which he did a series of television reports on ‘Life Under the Taliban’ as well as covered the Afghanistan war.

Mr Zaidi’s documentary on Orangi Pilot Project was screened at the United Nations’ Habitat II conference in Istanbul while a solo exhibition of his photographs from Zimbabwe/Mozambique was mounted at Dartmouth College. His debut feature film “Raat Chali Hai Jhoom Ke” (a.k.a “The Long Night”) won two awards (including the special jury prize) at the 1st KaraFilm Festival and has been screened at the Commonwealth Film Festival, the Leeds Film Festival, the Dubai International Film Festival, the Lahore Moving Images Festival, in New Delhi, Hanover, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC and Boston. It was also selected for screenings in Bristol, Glasgow and London by the British Film Institute. Two of his short films, “Out of Sync” and “Just Talk” have also been screened internationally. He is currently developing a script for a new feature film.

Mr Zaidi was born in 1969, is married to lawyer Tahera Hasan and has two young daughters.