International award winning filmmaker Junaid Ahmed was born in Durban, Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal) South Africa in 1959. He attended Southlands Secondary School in Chatsworth from 1972 to 1976. After completing a B.A. (Hon) degree in Drama from the then University of Durban-Westville (now UKZN), he began acting and producing both in South Africa’s previously disadvantaged community and in mainstream theatres.
Ahmed was the General Secretary of the Congress of South African Writers (COSAW) from May 1986 to November 1990.
Over the years, Ahmed produced and directed numerous documentaries. Through his company Fineline Productions, he has produced and directed short films for Channel 4 and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). He has also produced and directed a number of award-winning documentaries for the Discovery Channel, Arte (Europe), SABC and e-tv in South Africa.
Ahmed has also been the production manager on the feature, Gandhi, My Father, in India. His first feature as director, The Vow, was released in 1998, followed by More than just a Game in 2007.
His accolades include Best Sports Documentary at the Milan FICTS Festival for Iqakamba – Hard Ball and Lucky BAFTA nominated for Best Short Film and winner Best Short Film at over 40 international film festivals including the Oscar eligible festivals of Clermont Ferrand, Cinequest San Jose and Aspen Shortsfest.
His feature film More Than Just a Game, was acquired by Sony Pictures International (SPI) for world-wide distribution. Ahmed’s last feature film was Happiness Is A Four Letter Word which was released in South Africa in February 2016.
Junaid Ahmed passed away on 1 November 2016 in Durban KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.