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The Team

The team is composed of founders and advisors who have expertise in films, documentaries, Middle East, broadcasting, media, social entrepreneurship, distribution, launching foundations, and building online film networks. Their relationships with the UN, World Economic Forum, Sundance Institute, Global Faith Council, Young Global Leaders Forum, and top academic institutions and broadcasters will guarantee that the Foundation’s films will have the widest-possible reach. Together they seek to create a world-class institute.

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SHAMIR ALLIBHAI

Shamir Allibhai is a New Media Producer/Digital Strategist with the Doha Film Institute. Previously he co-founded and was the Commercial Director of the Channel 4 British Documentary Film Foundation, which launched in 2005 with US$5 Million in base funding. The non-profit organization, through non-repayable grants, funds filmmakers looking to make cinematic documentaries.

In 2007, he directed the UK/Canada documentary co-production An Islamic Conscience (www.agakhanfilm.org). His film screened internationally including on TV in Canada and in cinemas, at film festivals, and at universities in dozens of countries on four continents.

Shamir’s previous positions also include a Development Executive/Producer at BoomGen Studios, Commercial Director for the largest filmmakers’ community in the world, Shooting People, and Marketing Executive for the BBC. Shamir has a Master’s degree in Islamic Studies from Harvard University and is a graduate of the Richard Ivey School of Business and the Gulf Islands Film and Television School. He loves documentaries.

DEVIN DECIANTIS

Devin DeCiantis is a freelance consultant with experience in investment banking, strategic and financial management, journalism, and social enterprise. He has worked with private and public sector thought-leaders in Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Uganda, and the United States. He received a Master's from Harvard in international finance and economic development and a Bachelor of Business Administration from York University. He is half-Lebanese and has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, and has also written two feature length films. He loves documentaries.

 

YOUSRA FAZILLI

Yousra Y. Fazili is an attorney and writer based in Washington DC where she works on Middle East and South Asian policy. Her work focuses on public sector strategic planning, social network analysis and intercultural dialogue, with a unique emphasis on youth-related initiatives in the greater Middle East. Her expertise centers on civil society building in the Muslim world and she works directly with social innovators and entrepreneurs who seek to find creative means of building civic institutions in the Arab world. In her diverse career she has spanned continents and cultures. In the past she has worked with the Department of Justice, AMIDEAST, the UN Women’s Development Fund for Gaza Strip, the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights and Human Rights Watch.

A Fulbright Scholar and graduate of Brown University, Yousra attended law school at American University, Washington College of Law. She received her Masters in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, where her research focused on inter-gender dynamics in Islamic law. As a researcher with Harvard Law School’s Islamic Finance Program, Yousra worked on the intersection of Microfinance, Islamic Finance and faith-based socially responsible investing.

A contributor to Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, her works also include: Between Mullahs Robes and Absolutism: Conservatism in Iran in The SAIS Review of International Affairs (2010); Explorations of Peace and Reconciliation in the Islamic Traditions: A Case Study of Kashmir in Harvard University’s online journal Islamopedia (Harvard University 2010); Stumbling Towards Ecstasy in Living Islam Out Loud, (Beacon Press, 2005) and Perspectives on Islamic Law, Justice, and Society in American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, (2002). She loves documentaries.

PETER BISANZ

Peter Bisanz is the Director and Founder of Entropy Films in New York. He is one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders, a select group of visionaries who collaborate to formulate a positive vision for the world and put forward innovative strategies to translate that vision into action. Peter was also recently named a member to the WEF’s new Global Agenda Council initiative; he will focus specifically on Islam/West relations. This new appointment will supplement his past work on the Council of 100 Leaders, a group charged with bridging the growing divide between the Muslim world and the West. Peter’s upcoming film, Islam and the West, will be produced in conjunction with the World Economic Forum, as the first of three films to address globally relevant issues over the next five years. The feature-length documentary will provide a platform for leading Islamic and Western voices to explore this complex relationship and promote a new spirit of understanding. Peter recently co- moderated a session at Davos for the development of the film where World Economic Forum President Klaus Schwab, HRH Princess Loulwa Al Faisal and Lord Carey of Clifton made opening remarks and encouraged broad participation in the project.

Peter also just completed the documentary Beyond Our Differences (www.beyondourdifferences.org), a feature-length film that focuses on the positive role of faith and spirituality in modern times by exploring the fundamental unity of the world’s religions. While completing his MBA at Oxford’s Said Business School with an emphasis on social entrepreneurship, Peter obtained an internship with the Department of Information and International Relations (the DIIR) for the Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala, India. There, Peter produced filmed segments of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teachings and eventually developed the concept for the film. Peter has a Mid-Career Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School, Harvard University and has earned his BFA in Film and Television from New York University’s Tisch School of Arts. He served as the Vice President of Development at the Ladd Production Company in LA, working with Paramount Pictures to develop over forty projects, among them An Unfinished Life and Gone Baby Gone. He loves documentaries.

 

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