“To say Deeyah Khan is an inspiration is an understatement. She is one of the bravest, most indomitable women… facing down bullies and extremists with intelligence and unflinching spirit.” - The Times of London
Deeyah Khan is a two-time Emmy Award-winning and twice BAFTA-nominated documentary film director; she is the founder of Fuuse, a media and arts company that puts women, people from minorities, and third-culture kids at the heart of telling their own stories.
In 2016, she became the first UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for artistic freedom and creativity. She is also the recipient of a prestigious Peabody Award, and her films have been nominated for a Grierson Award, a Royal Television Society Award and a Special Jury Prize at the Monte Carlo TV Festival. She was recently awarded an honorary doctorate degree by Emerson College in Boston for her achievements as a filmmaker, and is a nominee for this year’s Rory Peck Award for freelance film-makers.
Born in Norway to immigrant parents of Pashtun and Punjabi ancestry, Deeyah’s experience of the beauty and the challenges of living between different cultures shapes her artistic vision.
Her 2012 film, Banaz: A Love Story, which earned Deeyah her first Emmy Award, chronicled the life and death of Banaz Mahmod, a young British Kurdish woman murdered by her family in a so-called honour killing. Her second film, Jihad, was nominated for a BAFTA; it involved two years of interviews and filming with Islamic extremists, convicted terrorists and former jihadis; and White Right: Meeting the Enemy, in which Deeyah travelled to the United States to filmed with neo-Nazis, including attending the now-infamous Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, won her a second Emmy Award and a second BAFTA nomination.
One of Fuuse’s recent initiatives, born of Deeyah’s own experiences, is sister-hood, a digital magazine and a series of live events highlighting the voices of women of Muslim heritage. Deeyah has also produced a number of critically acclaimed albums, including Listen to the Banned, a compilation that brought together musicians from around the world who have been subject to persecution, censorship and imprisonment.
Deeyah’s documentary work, and the platform she provides to voices that are often overlooked and misunderstood, has led to increasing demand as a speaker at international human rights events and platforms including the United Nations. She has also received many honours for her work supporting freedom of expression, human rights and peace including the University of Oslo’s Human Rights Award and the Peer Gynt Prize from the Parliament of Norway.