Filmmaker and photographer Ejaz Khan speaks about his inspirational journey.

Immigrant filmmakers

Immigrant filmmakers have been a powerful force in the film industry, bringing fresh perspectives and unique stories to the big screen. From acclaimed directors like Alfonso Cuarón to up-and-coming talent like Lulu Wang, immigrant filmmakers are making their mark on the world of cinema.

Alfonso Cuarón is a Mexican director who won an Academy Award for Best Director for his 2013 film Gravity. He has also received Academy Award nominations for films such as Children of Men, Y Tu Mamá También, and Roma, which he directed and produced in 2018. His films explore themes of identity, family dynamics, and displacement—all topics that resonate deeply with immigrants.

Lulu Wang is a Chinese-American filmmaker whose 2019 film The Farewell earned her critical acclaim and multiple award nominations. The semi-autobiographical story follows a family struggling to deal with their grandmother’s terminal cancer diagnosis while keeping it from her due to cultural expectations. It’s a powerful examination of identity and cultural differences between generations of immigrants that has resonated strongly with audiences around the world.

Other notable immigrant filmmakers include Iranian director Asghar Farhadi (The Salesman), Taiwanese-American director Ang Lee (Life of Pi), Chilean director Sebastián Lelio (Gloria Bell), and South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho (Parasite). In addition to exploring issues of identity in their work, many immigrant directors use their art to highlight stories that go unheard or underrepresented in mainstream media.

Immigrants are often depicted as “the other” in film but these groundbreaking filmmakers are challenging this narrative by creating thought-provoking works that celebrate diversity and cultural exchange. Through their work they are helping to create more inclusive representations of immigrants on screen and inspiring future generations of filmmakers around the world.

Immigrant stories

Immigrant stories are often deeply personal and reflective of the experiences of those who have gone through the process of leaving their homes in search of a better life or new opportunities. They provide an insight into what it’s like to uproot one’s life, build a new home in a foreign land, and come to terms with both the challenges and successes associated with such a journey .

Immigrant stories can take many forms, from documentaries to narrative films, and they often reflect a variety of emotions and experiences. Empathy is a key element in these stories as immigrant filmmakers bring their own unique perspectives to the screen, highlighting issues such as displacement, racism, identity, language barriers, assimilation and more.

By documenting these tales of resilience and triumph in the face of adversity, immigrant filmmakers create powerful works that resonate with audiences around the world and promote understanding and acceptance.

Film festivals

Film festivals are a great way to showcase the work of immigrant filmmakers and promote their stories. Every year, film festivals from around the world bring together a diverse selection of films made by immigrants, providing a platform for them to share their work with new audiences. This can often lead to opportunities for further recognition and success in the entertainment industry.

One example of an important immigrant-focused film festival is the New York International Film Festival, which has been celebrating immigrant stories since its inception in 2000. The festival showcases films from all over the world, including works by established immigrant filmmakers and emerging talent.


Immigrant-to-filmmaker stories are inspiring tales of resilience and triumph in the face of adversity. These filmmakers use their art to challenge existing stereotypes about immigrants and create inclusive representations of diverse cultures on screen. By celebrating their work through film festivals and other platforms, we can promote understanding and acceptance of immigrants in our society.

Feature films

Feature films made by immigrant filmmakers often explore the complexities of identity, culture and assimilation in ways that have a profound impact on viewers. These films can range from narrative dramas to comedies and documentaries, and they often center around stories of resilience and hope in the face of adversity. By telling their stories through film, immigrant filmmakers are able to create powerful works that challenge existing stereotypes and promote understanding and acceptance.

Some notable feature films made by immigrant filmmakers include Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-winning drama A Separation, Taiwanese-American director Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, Chilean director Sebastián Lelio’s Gloria Bell, and South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite. These films have resonated with audiences around the globe, and have gone on to win numerous awards and critical acclaim.

Foreign filmmakers

Foreign filmmakers are those who have come from other countries to make films in their new home. These filmmakers bring with them a unique perspective, allowing them to tell stories that differ significantly from those of domestic directors. Foreign filmmakers often use their films to explore themes of identity, culture and assimilation, providing viewers with an insight into the experiences of immigrants and refugees as they adjust to life in a new place.



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