People are strange

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“People Are Strange” is the true story of how a skinhead became my au pair and lived with my Pakistani family for a year

In 1984, in a commuter town beyond the north circular, a Pakistani mother, Ayesha (32) and her daughter, Bubbles (7), seem to live a quiet suburban life. Bubbles is bullied at school. Single, after a violent marriage, Ayesha juggles work with parenting. She employs an agency to find an au pair. But when the au pair arrives from Glasgow she, Mary (18), turns out to be a skinhead. Equally desperate, Mary and Ayesha begin a wary collaboration which develops into a friendship. Mary helps Bubbles confront the bullies. At the end of a year, Mary applies to study anthropology at university.

The Team

Nasheed Qamar Faruqi (Writer/Director)

Nasheed Qamar Faruqi is a Pakistani woman who grew up in England. As a screenwriter and director, she explores violence and cultural difference through a personal lens.

Nasheed studied English at Wadham College, Oxford, and worked for Merchant Ivory Productions as Ismail Merchant’s Assistant on films including THE MYSTIC MASSEUR and THE WHITE COUNTESS. She completed an MFA from Columbia, New York, where she held a FOCUS Fellowship; her graduation film, MY FATHER’S SON, for which she crowdfunded £15,000/, received a Milos Forman Award in 2007.

Nasheed’s 25-minute documentary DAVID HAWKINS: A BATTLE OF THE MIND (2017), produced by the Hidden Persuaders Group at Birkbeck and funded by the Wellcome Trust, is about the youngest of 21 US PoWs who chose China after the Korean War. It was shortlisted for AHRC Research Film of the Year and selected for the forthcoming War of Nerves exhibition at the Wende Museum in LA. Her crowdfunded short, BUBBLES (2015), starring Shabana Azmi, is about a child’s encounter with domestic violence. It played at festivals including LSFF and NYIFF She has made three music videos for Hook and the Twin.

Nasheed was selected for Widening the Lens 2017/18 and as a 2015/16 ACE Fellow on the Clore Leadership Programme.

You can view Nasheed’s short film below: