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|Born||Syed Azfar Ali Rizvi
|Alma mater||University of Karachi|
|Occupation||Producer, director, journalist, anchor|
|Known for||Hope Floats (2005)
Earthquake Diaries (2006)
The Inevitable Flight (2007)
Station 58 (2008)
When Brummies Met Sindhis (2008)
Syed Azfar Ali Rizvi is a Canadian documentary filmmaker, journalist, social critic and interfaith activist of Pakistani origin. The only journalist to reach Lus Puttian in the wake of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, he shaped a series of efforts including documentaries ‘Hope Floats’ and 'Earthquake Diaries’, radio shows, television appearances, and rehabilitation campaigns for a three-day children’s Eid carnival.
The first English narrative on firefighters in Pakistan, his film ‘Station 58,’ increased public awareness to the extent that Karachi’s mayor at the time, Syed Mustafa Kamal, initiated a life insurance plan exclusively for the city’s heroes and their families. Widely recognized for ‘The Inevitable Flight,’ he garnered enough public interest to eventually convince the government against relocating the world’s largest bird sanctuary in Pakistan. He is also the first producer to ever secure permission, and broadcast a live show from Wagah, the only border connecting India and Pakistan by road.
Born to Urdu speaking parents who emigrated in 1947 to Pakistan during the partition of India. He attended Habib Public School and Al Murtaza School, graduating from the latter, and moved on to obtain a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Karachi.
Rizvi began his career in radio broadcast, producing and presenting shows at the country’s first state-owned English radio channel – Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (Radio Pakistan). He quickly moved on to television, first leading the current affairs team at TVOne Global, and then at Dawn News. Gaining immense public response, and a Mayoral Commendation as a result of his documentaries, he decided to pursue film-making independently.
An advocate of education and intercultural dialogue, Rizvi has taught film, journalism and media studies at a university in Pakistan. He led the Citizens Archive of Pakistan’s creative team for their School Outreach Tour program, providing fun and educational curriculum to low-income schools. More recently, he was featured for international photography with the Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation, and with MDGFive.com, contributing to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals project as a mixed media artist. He also served as a judge for MIST Toronto’s short film and extemporaneous writing competitions at York University.
- Karen Armstrong—Letter to Pakistan (2011)
- Religious Extremism in Pakistan (2012)
- When Brummies Met Sindhis (2008)
- Station 58 (2008)
- The Inevitable Flight (2007)
- Earthquake Diaries (2006)
- Hope Floats (2005)
- "Earthquake Diaries". Azfar Rizvi. Archived from the original on 1 March 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
- "Faculty". Greenwich University. Archived from the original on 9 December 2011. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
- "Azfar Rizvi featured for international photography". Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation. Retrieved 12 March 2012.[dead link]
- "MDGFive.com: Make Your Own Advocacy Video for Maternal Health". Women Deliver. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- "Azfar Rizvi as a short film and writing judge" (PDF). MIST Toronto. Retrieved 4 April 2012.[dead link]
- "Letter to Pakistan". The D-Word. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
- "Religious Extremism in Pakistan". The D-Word. Retrieved 16 August 2016.