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Leesa Gazi

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Leesa Gazi is a British Bangladeshi author, award-winning filmmaker, and co-founder of Komola Collective. She has dedicated her career to presenting stories told from women’s perspectives. Gazi was the researcher, co-writer, and performer of the Offies-nominated play ‘Birangona: Women of War’. She researched and directed a multi-award-winning documentary feature, Rising Silence, that looks at the lives of sexual violence survivors in the aftermath of the Liberation War of Bangladesh.

The film won 15 international awards worldwide, including the Best Documentary Film Award 2019 at the Dhaka International Film Festival (Bangladesh); 2019 Moondance Winner, Feature Documentary category (USA); Best Documentary Feature and Best Message, Top Indie Film Awards 2020 (Japan); the Best Feature Documentary in the PSVI Film Competition 2019 by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, UK. ‘Rising Silence’ has been widely promoted and screened as an effective advocacy tool across the world to raise awareness about the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.

Gazi has written and directed several counter-violent extremism shorts for a UK-based think tank. In 2023, Amazon Crossing published Good Girls, an English translation by Shabnam Nadia of Gazi’s critically acclaimed Bengali novel Rourob. Her debut feature, ‘A House Named Shahana,’ based on her short story, won the ‘Gender Sensitivity Award 2023′ from the Film Critics Guild of India at the JIO MAMI Mumbai Film Festival and the LIFF Audience Award 2023 at the BFI London Indian Film Festival.

She recently toured nationally in the UK with Indigo Giant, a gripping new play. The production, dramaturge, and lyrics are by Gazi. She translated the play into Bangla and produced it in Bangladesh in 2022.
Gazi has written and performed for prestigious venues and platforms, including Shakespeare’s Globe, the BBC, Ted Talk, the Southbank Centre and Akram Khan Company. A stalwart in advocacy, she is a founding member of the Global Survivors’ Network, SEMA, established by Nobel Laureate Dr Denis Mukegwege Foundation. Gazi has been involved with the Collective Memory Group at SEMA.

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