Anjali Nayar is an award-winning storyteller and technologist, based between Nairobi and Montreal.
Anjali’s newest short film, Évasion (2018), captured the 17,000 km journey of a Rwandan-Canadian DJ on a fixed-gear bike ride across Canada and to the Arctic. The film is up for Best Short Film from the Director’s Guild of Canada (DGC).
Anjali's last feature documentary Silas (2017), profiled activist Silas Siakor and his network of citizen reporters, using smart phones to expose land grabs and corruption in West Africa. The film premiered at TIFF in September 2017, has played in almost 100 film festivals, and has won numerous awards around the world.
Anjali's feature directorial debut Gun Runners (2016), about two Kenyan warriors who trade in their AK-47s for marathon running, premiered at the Hot Docs Film Festival and is now available on Netflix. The film was nominated for both a Canadian Screen Award and Director's Guild of Canada award for Best Documentary.
Anjali is currently directing Just A Band, a fractionally-fictional documentary about an Afro-electric pop group that wants to go to Space. She's also writing her first feature-length scripted film on the intersection of data and politics.
Beyond film, Anjali founded TIMBY (This Is My Backyard), a suite of digital tools that help groups report, verify and tell stories safely. TIMBY - which is featured in the Silas film, is now available in 11 languages and in 25 countries around the word. The encrypted tools are used by activist and participatory science groups, NGOs and certification schemes, as well as development and investment banks and corporates, to monitor projects and clean up supply chains.
Anjali sits on several advisory committees, including the Environment and Human Rights Division of Human Rights Watch and the East African Documentary Film Fund. She has sat on selection committees and juries for film festivals and film and technology funds around the world. She also lectures in film, technology and journalism, with an emphasis on representation, democratizing narratives and whose stories we have the right to tell.
Before film, Anjali was a foreign correspondent based in Nairobi, and reported extensively across African and Asia for Nature Magazine, Reuters, the CBC, France 24 and the BBC.
Anjali has a Masters from Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, a Masters in Environmental Change and Management from the University of Oxford and a Graduate degree in Space Science from the International Space University. She's a Fulbright Scholar, a Commonwealth Scholar, a Governor General Bronze Medal Winner, a capoeirista and a triathlete. In her spare time, Anjali can be found making lavender macarons (badly).
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