News Producer. Filmmaker. Social Media Consultant. Author. Founder.
Azfar is an award-winning filmmaker who has produced content for UN agencies and the US State Department across 4 continents. Before moving to NYC, he cultivated a decade-long career producing radio content, teaching journalism and filmmaking at global universities, and directing primetime documentaries for CNN, BBC and Al Jazeera. He has collaborated with Emmy and Oscar-award winning filmmakers, and continues to take time out to volunteer across local storytelling initiatives focusing on vulnerable youth.
His interest in issues around women empowerment, sustainable global politics, and youth mental health has resulted in digital storytelling projects across Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Besides serving as a multi-disciplinary lecturer and a frequent jury member at media and film events, he has also pioneered Participatory Journalism courses at major private universities across Pakistan and Canada. He has lent support to UN MDG social media workshops to help increase community engagement to improve maternal health and infant mortality. His work is regularly solicited by advocacy agencies, featured as awareness content on multiple platforms in the aftermath major global events, and is showcased at Sundance and HotDocs film festivals. In the past year, he developed social-capital development initiatives for clients like the PANAM Games, and Govt Of Canada.
His last overseas gig in Afghanistan placed him at the helm of a US State Department behavioral marketing project. As the Creative Director, he led a team in designing the brand DNA of the national counter-narcotics initiative. Produced 300 TV programs and over 1700 radio program, Azfar designed community engagement literature, magazines, comic books, sticker books and merchandise for the youth. During his time in Kabul, he also volunteered to be on the jury of the much celebrated "Afghan Contemporary Art Prize"
In 2016 his non-profit organization, the Institute of Canadian Archives formally launched a storytelling campaign to 'create, curate and celebrate' diverse stories across Canada. This year, the team behind ICA is traveling to different cities across the Greater Toronto & Hamilton Area in Canada, and Washington District of Columbia USA to build social capital around Canada's first Hearts & Minds Living Library series.
Azfar is currently consulting with the NYC-based 'Chowk Labs', and works out of the Centre Social Innovation NewYork. He collaborates with charities, non-profits, settlement agencies, and similar city-based initiatives to deliver custom workshops, training sessions and learning experiences for high performing teams.
Video: Panta Rei. Ettore Biondo.