Nelufar Hedayat is an EMMY winning journalist and director whos work focuses on environmental issues and cultural upheaval. Born in Afghanistan, she came to Britain as a refugee which has shaped her work, creating a unique point of view and a passion for telling the stories of fringe and marginalised communities.
Her impact driven work connects with a global audience and is immersive and impact driven, often shining a light on the consequences of our actions and challenging our perceptions of the world. Her film Plastic Time Bomb for Newsy’s In Real Life won an EMMY and was her directorial debut saw her investigate how less than 10% of plastic waste ends up recycled, and how much of what does go in the recycling bin can actually end up in landfills. She looked at how we can plug the gaps in the global recycling system and traveled to Malaysia to see the real impact of the world’s un-recycled waste.
Nelufar Hedayat’s work has worked consistently with both British and American broadcasters, from self-authored returnable series to guest hosting alongside Morgan Freeman, for the likes of Nat Geo’s The Story of God. Her other work has been across Vice, Fusion, Newsy, The Guardian and the BBC, with her signature empathetic, pioneering and insightful approach.
She also passionately works in the digital space and knows its a powerful medium to reach non traditional TV audiences and younger voices. She has hosted many a web series and has interviewed the likes of Malala, Yuval Noah Harari and a plethora of thought leaders but also the next generation of thinkers. She has also created her podcast Daily Ritual that explores spirituality and what that means for everyone in the modern world, from religion through to the daily habits we keep. Her limited season podcast Kabul Falling, which was nominated for a Peabody Award, told the stories from country of her birth of those who are living in Afghanistan and what their first hand experiences have been.
In 2016 she made the 8-part series The Traffickers (Fusion/Netflix), which saw her travel across the globe following the illegal trades of precious minerals, counterfeit drugs, endangered species and even people. In this series, and with all her other work, Nelufar gains the trust of her interviewees which enabled her to push for deeper insightful interviews that translate powerfully on screen. This trust enables her to explore and understand the actions and reasoning of characters often with polar opposite opinions including corrupt politicians and human traffickers without judgement or preconceived opinions.
An early pioneer of the subject of food ethics and suitability, Nelufar presented Food Exposed with Nelufar Hedayat which examined how our eating habits were impacting the world. The 8-part series, made for Fusion, saw her explore the journeys our food makes, the processes that go into this ever growing market and what the growing demand costs the planet and the people growing our food.
Nelufar Hedayat has received a plethora of awards and accolades including “Outstanding Science, Technology or Environmental Coverage” at the News and Docs EMMYs, a Peabody nomination for her podcast Kabul Falling and Correspondent of the year Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media. She was also invited by The Pope to join Summit of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences’ and to be signatory on the Resolution on Organ Trafficking, (ratified by the Council of Europe) following her film on the subject.
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