Tajana Prka and Tarique Qayumi have collaborated on many projects in hostile and impossible environments and thus developed a deep level of trust and intuition as a team. They hope to continue their work in the future.
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.