Shooting out of an open cable car in the Swiss Alps at 9000 feet; getting followed by Pakistani intelligence officials in Kashmir; smuggling a camera into the holiest Muslim site in the world; narrowly avoiding terrorists near the Afghan border; these are the many things that Nausheen Dadabhoy has done to “get the shot.”
Before she was a nomadic cinematographer, Nausheen was a Southern California native who received her MFA in Cinematography from the American Film Institute.
Since graduating she has lensed a number of narrative and documentary films: J'adore Nawal a short for HBO Documentaries which premiered at Sundance, Academy Award Live Action Short nominee La femme et le TGV (The Railroad Lady), Emmy Award winning Armed with Faith, and Aaja a music video for Riz Ahmed's hip hop group The Swet Shop Boys. Recently Nausheen was one of over 50 cinematographers filming across the country on July 4th for Jared Leto’s documentary A Day in the Life of America. Nausheen's films have played in competition at festivals like TIFF, Tribeca, Locarono, AFI Fest, IDFA and on platforms like Netflix, Showtime, PBS, MSNBC and MTV.
In 2011 Nausheen relocated to Pakistan shooting films like Josh (Against the Grain), and Downward Dog which were at the forefront of Pakistan’s New Wave of filmmaking.
Working on four different continents and traveling to over 25 countries still didn’t prepare her for filming 20 Regeln für Sylvie (20 Rules! for Sylvie), which helped her realize that it was possible to shoot a film when everyone around you was speaking in Swiss-German or French, but her ability to order a “café au lait, s'il vous plaît” was next to worthless on a film set.
Nausheen not only shoots with cameras but with a bow and arrow as well, her eclectic interests range from archery, to fine art, to superhero comic books, and urban exploration. As a Pakistani-American she has straddled two cultures all her life. That often gives her a unique perspective as an insider and outsider. Her singular background and experiences come together to inspire her as a storyteller and help her create visuals that resonate across many cultures. Nausheen has been a Film Independent Project:Involve Fellow, a Berlin Talents participant, a Firelight Fellow and is a current Chicken & Egg Eggcelerator Lab participant and she was part of DOCNYC’s inaugural class of “40 under 40” filmmakers. She is based in New York, Los Angeles and Karachi, where she has broken boundaries to become the only female cinematographer in Pakistan.