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Shehzad Afzal

Artist Profile: Shehzad Afzal

Born in Dundee, Scotland, developed an interest in filmmaking at childhood, however a brief period of this early life was spent in Lahore, Pakistan, which later helped to inform his creative passion.

His first film was a short graduation piece called, The Full 10 Yards (2004), filmed in Edinburgh, Scotland, a controversial narrative which garnered awards and festival screenings.

The follow up project, a documentary called Bo Kata, was filmed in Lahore, Pakistan in 2004 but completed and released in 2007. It went on to receive a limited theatrical release in the UK, in-addition to screening at numerous film festivals.

Shehzad was nominated for the Satyajit Ray Film Foundation Award in 2007 for best film (Bo Kata) at a ceremony held in London (with awards presented by BAFTA winning filmmaker Asif Kapadia), in association with the British Council and British Film Institute.

His other projects, a number of game designs and concepts, won him a place as a finalist for the Global Digital Cities Game Design competition on two occassions (2005 and 2007).

Shehzad is a former graduate of Robert Gordons University, Aberdeen, and Abertay University, Dundee, studying computer science and creative writing. Gained a Postgraduate Diploma in Management from Dundee College (presented to him by Paul Sturrock - Dundee UTD football legend). In 2007, he commenced a Master of Arts in Screen Project Development from Screen Academy Scotland. He gained his Masters with distinction, winning the first prize award for his academic achievements, following it with a design course at Napier University in Interactive Entertainment.

During his time at the Screen Academy Scotland, Shehzad produced two short films, which went on to win many awards. One of which was a collaboration first between Screen Academy Scotland and Screen Academy Wales. In 2009 he was awarded the Abbey Santander Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film and Creative Media. The same year he was presented the Edinburgh International Film Festival Trailblazer award for this film work, celebrating emerging British talent in cinema, an award which was presented to him by Sir Sean Connery.

Shehzad's main focus is on actor performance and realisation within a neo-noir/social realist/expressionist dimension. Influences include maverick filmmakers such as John Cassavetes, Sidney Lumet, Jim Jarmusch and Mike Leigh.

After his time at the Screen Academy, Shehzad shot his debut feature film, Pendulum Drift in 2010 (shot near Glasgow, Scotland), building on research he undertook for his MA.

In 2010, Shehzad was selected for a european wide talent development inititive for emerging film talent in Europe, called ENGAGE. The initiative presented masterclasses, seminars, and film project development sessions from leading international filmmakers.

Current projects include post-production of debut feature film, Pendulum Drift, which is due for film festival release late 2016/17. Other projects in-development include off-beat drama 'McBride' and another unamed project, an action thriller set in Pakistan.