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Shehzad Afzal

Artist Profile: Shehzad Afzal

Born in Dundee, Scotland, developed an interest in filmmaking at childhood, which later in life helped to drive 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 Full 10 Yards Film Poster Bo Kata Film Poster Pendulum Drift Film Poster

The follow up project, a documentary called Bo Kata (2007), 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 national and international 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).

Engage 2010 Participants Engage Bio EIFF Trailblazer Bio

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 and receiving the prestigious Edinburgh Napier University Class Medal. 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 2010 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.

EIFF 2009 Trailblazers Edinburgh Napier University Graduation - Masters with Distinction EIFF 2009 Trailblazer award presented 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.

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.

Awards presented by Asif Kapadia Dundee DCA Cinema - Premiere of Bo Kata Abbey Santander Awards Presented for Excellance

In May 2016, Shehzad attested and became a reservist in the British Army at the age of 47 with the Royal Engineers, passing his basic training at ATC Pirbright in February 2017 aged 48, making him just a handful of people to have ever accomplished this feat. Retired and Honourably discharged in 2022 and awarded Queen Elizabeth IIs Platinum Jubilee Medal 2022.

During 2019, Shehzad developed an Android Application called Bo Kata Digital, which took his documentary film, Bo Kata, and made it available as a downloadable app, which included the film and some extras such as film notes. Available to download from both Amazon App Store and Google Play Store.

In 2020, Shehzad was selected for the pilot programme run by Salutemyjob and IBM to reskill military veterans and serving personnel wishing to enter the cyber-security industry with an intensive week long programme delivered by IBM Security Experts at Abertay University. After successfully gaining IBM Cyber-Security credentials and certifications, Shehzad was offered a chance to study for ethical hacking penetration testing module(s), part of the BSc in Ehthical Hacking and Cybersecurity course at Abertay University, which he completed successfully. Also completed the IBM (Vets program) course to gain IBM Professional Cybersecurity Analyst Certification.

Also during 2020, Shehzad was offered a place at Edinburgh Napier University to study for an online module in Innovation Management, part of the Edinburgh Napier University MBA programme, which Shehzad successfully completed. In 2024, also at Edinburgh Napier University, Shehzad is currently studying a short course in Data Wrangling and Digital Analytics Strategy for Marketing.

Shehzad is continung his education in the fields of innovation and technology where it will allow him to explore and provide new avenues to develop and inform his creative and interactive entertainment career pursuits.

Engage 2010 Programme  EIFF Trailblazers 2009 Programme