Riz Ahmed

United Kingdom

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@rizahmed
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British-Pakistani Riz Ahmed is, first and foremost, a performer. His ever-expanding list of credits includes turns in blockbusters like “Rogue One” and “Venom,” along with critically acclaimed indie pictures like “The Sound of Metal,” which earned him his Oscar nod in 2021; and rapping as Riz MC, one half the Swet Shop Boys, he’s performed at Coachella, Glastonbury, and Primavera. But he’s also known for being an outspoken activist, performing songs about prejudice and systemic racism, and speaking about diversity at the House of Commons. In 2020, Riz combined art and politics on “The Long Goodbye,” a nine-track concept album that explores the British state’s dysfunctional relationship with its South Asian population post Brexit. To coincide with its release, Riz partnered with us on an emotional short film of the same name set in a dystopian near-future, directed by Aneil Karia. The film went on to win the British Independent Film Award for Best British Short and three Cannes Lions awards, and in 2021, it took home the Grand Prix at the Oscars-qualifying HollyShorts Film Festival.

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There’s something hopeful in sharing experience. As soon as you articulate a feeling and people can connect with that and relate to that feeling, that in itself, that solidarity, that recognition, that is the seed of hope.