Director, The Samosa Media Project, Pakistan
Anwar Akhtar is the founding director of The Samosa, a London based arts and media charity that functions in both Britain and Pakistan, to facilitate positive cooperation and discussion through the arts and media. The Samosa also supports welfare, human rights, education, arts and citizenship groups in Pakistan. The Samosa promotes economic and social development by working with UK diaspora communities by connecting them to larger NGOs and international development networks in South Asia. In addition to his work at The Samosa, Anwar took lead on "Pakistan Calling," a film project initiated by The Royal Society of Arts & Commerce, which promotes collaborations between young filmmakers in Britain and Pakistan, resulting in over 60 films on issues of identity, equality, social development, culture, plurality, and tolerance. He was also a production consultant on Dara, a play and film jointly produced by Ajoka Theatre Pakistan and the National Theatre UK. Anwar is currently completing a documentary film about the story of the Lahore Museum in Pakistan and its collections. Anwar also works closely with Laal, a popular Pakistani band with songs influenced by great Urdu poets like Habib Jalib, Fahmida Riaz, and Faiz Ahmed Faiz. In 2016, he co-produced and filmed a peace concert by Laal, which was held at the Royal Festival Hall in conjunction with the Asian Dub Foundation. Anwar holds a degree in social studies from Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. He is a Fellow of Salzburg Global Seminar.