In 2019, Ali Kazimi was honoured with the Governor General’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Visual and Media Arts for over three decades of ground-breaking work as a documentary and media artist whose work deals with race, social justice, migration, history, and memory. His film Continuous Journey (2004), alongside his book, Undesirables: White Canada and the Komagata Maru (2011), have played a key role in shedding light on the forgotten histories of early South Asian immigration to Canada. Born, raised, and educated in India, Kazimi came to Canada to study film production at York University in 1983. Two decades later, after establishing himself as an award-winning independent filmmaker, Kazimi returned to York University.
He is a full Professor in the Department of Cinema & Media Arts, where he has also served as the Chair of the Department. Kazimi’s films have received over two dozen national and international honours and awards, been screened in prestigious festivals and broadcast nationally and internationally. His films include: Narmada; A Valley Rises (1994), Shooting Indians: A Journey with Jeffrey Thomas (1997), Continuous Journey (2004) and Random Acts of Legacy (2016). The University of British Columbia conferred an honorary degree, Doctor of Letters (honoris causa), to Kazimi in 2019.