Mara Ahmed is an interdisciplinary artist and activist filmmaker based in Long Island, New York. She was educated in Belgium, Pakistan, and the United States, and has an MBA and a Master’s in Economics. She worked in finance until 2004, when she resigned from her corporate job to focus on art and film.
She studied art at Nazareth College, and film at the Visual Studies Workshop and the Rochester Institute of Technology. Mara’s artwork has been exhibited at galleries in New York and California. Her artwork and photography can be found at her online studio.
Her first film, The Muslims I Know, premiered at the Dryden Theatre in 2008 and started a dialogue between American Muslims and people of other faiths. It was part of the High Falls Film Festival and broadcast on PBS.
Her second film, Pakistan One on One, opened at the Little Theatre in 2011, and is a broad survey of public opinion about the US, shot entirely in Lahore. It was screened at international film festivals including the Rukesh Festival in Iran.
Mara’s third film, A Thin Wall, explores the partition of India and possibilities of reconciliation. It premiered at the Bradford Literature Festival, in England in 2015, won a Special Jury Prize at the Amsterdam Film Festival in 2016, and was recently acquired by MUBI India. In the US, UK and Canada it can be watched on Amazon Prime Video.
Mara is interested in dialogue across both physical and psychological boundaries. In 2017, she gave a Tedx talk about the meaning of borders and nationalism entitled The edges that blur.
She is now working on The Injured Body, a documentary about racism in America, focusing exclusively on the voices of women of color. Her production company is Neelum Films.