“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 four-time 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.
Deeyah is considered one of Norway’s most successful filmmakers having won 27 major awards and received an additional 12 nominations for her work as a filmmaker. She has made six documentaries to date, all have been shown on ITV in the UK as part of its Exposure series.
In 2016, she became the first UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for artistic freedom and creativity. She is also the recipient of a prestigious Peabody Award, a Royal Television Society Award for Best Documentary film director, a Women in Film and TV Award and the Special Jury Prize at the Monte Carlo TV Festival. Her films have also been nominated for a Grierson Award, two Creative Diversity Network Awards and two BAFTA awards. In 2018 she was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by Emerson College in Boston for her achievements as a filmmaker, and she won the 2018 Rory Peck Award for freelance film-makers. Fortune named Deeyah as one of their most powerful women in 2016 and she has twice been included in London’s most influential list compiled by the Evening Standard.
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. For her most recent film, White Right: Meeting the Enemy, Deeyah travelled to the United States to film with neo-Nazis, including attending the now-infamous Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, this film 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. In 2019 Deeyah became a member of The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.