Ambarien Alqadar - Writer | Director | Producer
Ambarien Alqadar is an award-winning writer-director and producer. She is known for The Ghetto Girl, Four Women and a Room and Who Can Speak of Men? She was born in Azamgarh; a small town in north India known for its poets and political thinkers. She grew up in Jamia Nagar; a neighborhood on the margins of New Delhi; famous for its crushing lack of resources, police atrocities and delicious biryani.
Trained as a documentary filmmaker at India’s prestigious AJK MCRC, Jamia Millia Islamia, Ambarien found her passion in screenwriting and directing through several years of documentary work. She was a Fulbright-Nehru Leadership Development Fellow at Temple University, Center for Performing and Cinematic Arts from where she graduated with an MFA in 2012. Currently, she holds a tenure-track teaching position at The Rochester Institute of Technology Film and Animation Program, New York.
Ambarien is a recipient of The Mid Atlantic Creative Arts Fellowship at The Virginia Center for The Creative Arts for her feature-length screenplay, Bird Woman. Presently in development, it was selected to The Athena Screenwriters Lab, NYC and shortlisted at The Sundance Screenwriters and Project Development Labs. It is an adaptation of her thesis narrative short, Ayesha (2018). Developed collaboratively with the Muslim community in upstate NY, the screenplay won the 2019 Gitner Family Prize, recognized for artistic achievement and pro bono contribution of outstanding professional work for a community organization.
Ambarien’s work explores intersections of trauma, displacement, memory and history. Experiments with new technologies and hybrid forms is central to her border-crossing practice between narrative, documentary and experimental genres. She has apprenticed under prominent Pakistani filmmaker Sabiha Sumar, whom she assisted in the production of the Golden Leopard winning narrative feature Silent Waters and Dinner with the President. She has also assisted prominent Indian documentary filmmaker Rahul Roy and editor Reena Mohan.
Recent work has screened at New Filmmakers New York, Museum of Moving Image, New York, The Farocki Academy, Berlin and The Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia. She has won three National Public Service Broadcasting Trust Film Fellowships, India; ITVS Women and Girls Lead Fellowship (India Chapter); The European Union–India Documentary Exchange Fellowship UK and The Philadelphia Independent Film and Video Grant. Other prominent grants include two Advance Connect Fellowships, The Carole Fielding Award, and The Center of Study of Developing Societies’ Independent Research Fellowship, India.
Ambarien was a Kym Pruesse Speaker at The Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto as part of Art Creates Change series. She has presented her work in India, Korea, US, UK, Canada, Spain and Germany. Her films have been widely screened in international film festivals, art exhibitions and broadcast on TV networks.