Deeyah Khan – (Fuuse Founder & CEO). Director & Producer
Deeyah Khan is an Emmy and Peabody award-winning documentary film director and founder of Fuuse, a media and arts company that puts women, people from minorities, and third-culture kids at the heart of telling their own stories. In 2016, she became the first UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for artistic freedom and creativity. She has received many honours for her work supporting freedom of expression, human rights and peace including the Ossietzky prize, the University of Oslo’s Human Rights Award and the Peer Gynt Prize from the Parliament of Norway.
Born in Norway to immigrant parents of Pashtun and Punjabi ancestry, Deeyah’s experience of living between different cultures, both the beauty and the challenges, shapes her artistic vision. Her 2012 multi-award winning documentary Banaz: A Love Story chronicles the life and death of Banaz Mahmod, a young British Kurdish woman murdered by her family in a so-called honour killing. Deeyah’s second film, the Grierson and Bafta award-nominated Jihad, involved two years of interviews and filming with Islamic extremists, convicted terrorists and former jihadis. One of Fuuse’s recent initiatives, born of Deeyah’s own experiences, is sister-hood, a digital magazine and a series of live events spotlighting the voices of women of Muslim heritage. Deeyah has also produced a number of critically acclaimed albums, including Listen to the Banned, a compilation that brought together musicians from around the world who have been subject to persecution, censorship and imprisonment.
The focus of Deeyah’s work and access to voices that are often overlooked and misunderstood has led to increasing demand as a speaker at international human rights events and platforms including the United Nations. She was described by The Times of London thus: “To say Deeyah Khan is an inspiration is an understatement. She is one of the bravest, most indomitable women… facing down bullies and extremists with intelligence and unflinching spirit.”
Darin Prindle – Producer
Graduated from Texas A&M with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering Technology. He moved to Los Angeles hoping to record music and found a job at Soundcastle Studios where he assisted on projects with Stevie Ray Vaughn, Wilson Phillips, Edie Brickell, Jane’s Addiction, Michael Jackson and Ryuichi Sakamoto. After working with Dallas Austin in LA, he moved to Atlanta to begin his career in earnest. He has recorded and been involved with the careers of successful music artists including Boyz II Men, TLC, Usher, Madonna, Destiny’s Child, Sinead O’Connor, and Toni Braxton, his skill contributing to their sales of over 75 million records worldwide. These artists earned multiple Gold, Platinum and Diamond album awards and over 18 Grammy Awards.
Darin is the founder of Soapbox Studios, and co-owner from 1998 to 2011. Soapbox provided post-production, filming and recording services for clients including CNN, Turner Broadcasting, Universal Records, Sony Records, Oprah Winfrey Network, Cartoon Network, and Columbia Pictures. Artists and projects that have come through their doors include Rihanna, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Gwen Stefani, Katie Perry, Ludacris, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Alicia Keyes, and Fergie.
Turning his attention to social justice and story telling, as Managing Director of Fuuse, he and founder Deeyah inaugurated the company’s film division Fuuse Films with the making of Banaz, A Love Story. Originally conceived as an information piece about honour killings, Darin was instrumental in finding the human story of Banaz Mahmod and the detective Caroline Goode as the center of a more ambitious project. That experience changed his life and he has been tireless in creating the new company to support similar efforts.
Jett Mall – Director of Operations
Jett Mall was born in the UK’s second city, Birmingham. His family immigrated from India in the 1950’s. His childhood gave him first-hand experience of the joys, tensions and struggles that characterize many ethnic minorities as they strive for identity, role and structure in a new country.
Although he holds an LLB Law degree, Jett has built his career in creative digital media. He has taken expert and leadership responsibilities within major organizations including Siemens devising multinational digital campaigns and overhauling their social channels. He was also instrumental in the launch of a new multi-billion dollar technology company “Unify” introduced to the market in October 2013. Jett was part of the entire launch process which was executed digitally using live-streamed video, interactive sessions and multi-cast content relayed simultaneously from multiple locations worldwide.
Jett has been recognized for his ability to create imaginative rich-media content for digital consumption. His work has been instrumental in building online campaigns that have reached tens of millions of people. He sees the worlds of live events and online digital as being symbiotic and has worked with Fuuse and other major organizations to multiply the reach of live events to digital audiences across the globe.
Jett has contributed to Fuuse projects since its inception. Working as a key part of the Fuuse leadership team gives him the opportunity to exercise his multidisciplinary creative, digital and organizational talents and to challenge him to new levels of achievement in support of the essential, extraordinary and inspiring human rights mission which drives Deeyah and her team.
Adil Khan – Producer
Born and raised in Norway, of Pakistani and Afghan ancestry, Adil Khan is a critically acclaimed dancer, actor, photographer, artist and television personality. A household name in Norway, his work and his accomplishments personify the core values of Fuuse – a passion for artistic self-expression in all its forms, combined with a dedication to humanitarian activism, a belief that art and media can give a voice to the under-represented, the dispossessed, the overlooked and the undervalued in all our societies.
Adil first catapulted to national fame in 2006 by winning the Norwegian televised dance competition “So You Think You Can Dance”. He then turned to theatre acting, where he rapidly gained enormous criticial respect, becoming the youngest actor ever to be nominated for the prestigious Hedda Award, the Norwegian equivalent of the Tony Awards. After performing a series of lead roles on the national stage, he played the central character in the acclaimed NRK TV series Taxi. The series won Norway’s equivalent of the Emmy for Best Drama Production and earned Adil a nomination for Best Male Actor. Adil has achieved this success in dance, theatre and TV, despite having no formal training of any kind, relying instead on supreme talent, exceptional work ethic and an instinctive genius for creative endeavour.
From the very beginning of his career, Adil has been determined to use his public prominence to help others, standing for positive change in the lives of individuals, especially under-privileged children and young people. He has participated in a variety of campaigns with the Norwegian Directorate for Health and Social Affairs, Unicef and the Red Cross among others.
Starting out as an untrained street dancer, the son of an immigrant family, Adil has overcome many challenges and difficulties in his life. A multi-disciplinary artist, performer and activist, he has become a positive role model for change, and a symbol of the new and bold face of intercultural Norway. Ever intent on self-renewal and pushing back the boundaries of what is possible in artistic and popular media, he is now a part of the Fuuse family.
Dr. Joanne Payton – Research and Information Officer
Joanne Payton is an academic and activist with a particular interest in the global phenomenon of violence against women. Her doctoral thesis is on ‘honour’-based violence in the Middle East, drawing on over ten years of working with the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation. With three masters degrees, including one in research methods, Joanne provides vital background to Fuuse’s work, ensuring that our documentaries, events and productions are well-grounded in current knowledge and debate.
Joanne lectures and teaches at Cardiff University and has published research on ‘honour’-based violence, domestic violence, ethnic minorities and suicide, some of which she has presented at the United Nations. She is an advisor to various British public bodies for the development of policies around domestic violence. She is the co-founder of HBVA, Fuuse’s online resource centre, established to advance understandings of ‘honour’ based violence.
Jon Olav Kringeland – Administrative Coordinator
Jon Olav Kringeland has been working in the music business in Norway for almost two decades. He has held many positions, ranging from production management to marketing and management at several of the key concert venues in Oslo, including the Rockefeller Music Hall, Chateau Neuf and most recently, The National Jazz Scene, Victoria, a venue which he established and where he worked as the general manager from 2006 – 2011. For the past three years Jon Olav has been working as an agent and consultant for different jazz related artists, and today he runs his own agency, Polyfon, in addition to his work for Fuuse.
Andrew Smith – Executive Producer
Andrew Smith is the executive producer on Jihad: A Story of the Others. He is also a senior producer on Banaz: A Love Story and also performed editing and camera duties on the film. He has nearly 20 years experience making high-profile, prime-time investigative, narrative and observational documentaries on human rights, international conflict, social issues and public policy, and his work has been shown on Channel 4 and the BBC in the UK, as well as CNN, ARTE, PBS and other international broadcasters. In 1999, he filmed in Kosovo, Bosnia and Serbia for a six-month investigation into the massacre of an entire village of Kosovan Muslims, including tracking down and accusing suspected war criminals. The film won a number of awards including Best International Documentary at the Royal Television Society. In 2003 his Truth and Lies in Baghdad saw him filming an investigation into human rights atrocities in Iraq and he has gained two further nominations for Best Documentary at the RTS Awards in 2008 and 2012, for investigations into religious fundamentalism and child abuse.
In 2003/4, his investigation into the transnational trafficking of children became CNN’s highest rated documentary ever and won him the prestigious US award for journalism, the George Polk Award for Television Reporting. He has won a number of other awards worldwide.
A graduate in English Literature from Cambridge University, he has also made arts documentaries for BBC Radio 4, including A Very Theatrical Revolution in 2009, on Shakespeare’s indoor playhouse, the Blackfriars.
Sverre Pedersen – Senior Producer
Sverre Pedersen has worked in the film- and television industry since 1984. He has directed and produced several short films, music videos, commissioned films, TV dramas and one feature film. Though, it is the documentary film which has been his main area in film production.
He has made a large number of socially committed documentaries with a focus on international solidarity, nature and culture, cultural heritage, anti-war and anti-racism.
In 2005 he was elected President of the Norwegian Film Association and has since worked primarily with film policies, collective bargaining, conflict resolution, copyright and other areas that fall under his responsibility in the Film Association.
Kjell Skyllstad – Senior Project Advisor
GRAPHIC HAVOC – Brand Consultation, Identity Development, Art Direction & Design
Julie Tørrissen – Photography + Videography
Cohere – Production, editing, audio and grading services partner
Alice Firebrace – Production Assistant
James Wyllie – Legal & Business Adviser