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Tarique Qayumi was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and came to Canada as a refugee. He attended the school of creative writing at the University of British Columbia and graduate school at UCLA, where he completed his Screenwriting MFA and developed a strong interest in directing.
After graduating, Qayumi was approached by TOLO TV, the largest television station in Afghanistan, to direct a docudrama series. Driven by two objectives-- to get in touch with his roots and to create Afghan-centered stories -- Qayumi made the difficult decision to return to Afghanistan.
While in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2015 he wrote, directed and produced "Truth Unveiled", Afghanistan’s first docudrama series; "The Defenders", a drama miniseries; as well as "Afghan Sesame Street", seasons two and three. During this time, he also directed his first feature film, "Targeting" in Los Angeles, a psychological thriller about a female American soldier who returns home from war. Upon returning to Vancouver, Qayumi was one of five chosen from across Canada for the NSI Corus Diverse TV Directing Program.
"Black Kite", a historical drama that intermixes animation, documentary, and live-action, was his second feature. Qayumi wrote, directed, edited, and shot the film while living there. He received both a grant from Canada Council for the Arts and as well the British Columbia Council for the Arts for "Black Kite". "Black Kite" premiered at TIFF in 2017 and screened at 20 festivals around the world. It has won three Leo Awards: Best Writer, Best Direction, and Best Picture.
In 2018, he was the Phil Lind Multicultural Artist in Residence at UBC Film School and as well chosen for the NSI Totally Television program to develop a TV series based on refugees.
Qayumi created a multimedia collage for the live performance of Jaap Hamburger's symphony "Children War Diaries" as part of the Montreal Holocaust Museum's "Violins of Hope" in 2019.
Currently, Qayumi is working on his next feature film as well as teaching at both Emily Carr and UBC.
Tajana Prka was born in Munich, Germany, but is of Croatian heritage. She entered the filmmaking world as an actor. Classically trained, she has played roles from Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams.
Prka has co-produced and starred in the feature length movie "Targeting" (2013) directed by Tarique Qayumi. A psychological-thriller about an American veteran who comes home unable to connect with her family. Its world premiere was at the Dances With Films Festival in Los Angeles.
She moved to Kabul Afghanistan to continue her collaboration with director Tarique Qayumi but this time as a full producer on a TV miniseries called "The Defenders" which aired on TOLO TV, the most popular TV station in Afghanistan.
While in Afghanistan, Prka wrote and produced "The Gift", which went to play at the Black Maria Festival, which screened the film across the United States in 2015.
Prka was the production designer, producer, and editor for "Black Kite", which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in 2017. It has gone on to play at 20 festivals and was honoured by the 2018 Leo Awards for best screenplay, best direction, and best picture.
Prka co-wrote and is the producer for a tv series called "Bonavista Drive" that got accepted into the NSI Totally TV program and is currently in development.
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