Salford master's student eyes filmmaking career after securing scholarship through Aziz Foundation

Categories: School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

A Salford master's student has spoken of his dream to become a documentary filmmaker after securing a scholarship to study at the University through a charitable foundation.

Mohamed A. Baazir, 34, a trained IT engineer, swapped his career in London for a shot at making documentaries full time this year when he successfully secured a scholarship from the Aziz Foundation to study a master's in Documentary Production for TV, Film and Digital Media at Salford.

The foundation, established by philanthropist Asif Aziz, provides fully paid scholarships for British Muslims to undertake postgraduate qualifications that will help them to address social challenges facing British Muslim communities.

Baazir, who moved to the UK from Sri Lanka in 2009, is the first student at the University’s School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology to be awarded the scholarship from the foundation. He won’t be the last with three more scholarships available from the school for applications in 2023/24.

He said: “Documentaries have always been a passion of mine and I’ve made many over the last decade but I wanted to take my learning to the next step, upskill my knowledge so I could become make documentaries good enough for television and become a full-time filmmaker.

“I had always wanted to work at MediaCity and when I came up to see the facilities, I was very impressed by the campus and the equipment that was available to students. Wherever you go there, there are media companies everywhere so it is very inspiring.”

Baazir is a human rights activist and a member of multiple charities and community organisations which support British and Sri Lankan Muslims. He wants to be able to use the skills from the course to be able to make documentaries that are focused on human rights and issues of social injustice in the UK and in Sri Lanka.

“I would definitely recommend that others look at applying for the Aziz Foundation scholarships. Since I’ve joined, they’ve been very supportive of me and checking up on how i'm finding things. Others should really go for it and I’m really glad that I found it through the University’s website. I’d be happy to help anyone that is considering applying for these scholarships as it has been so helpful for me.”

Baazir received previous training in journalism from BBC Sri Lanka and the BBC World Service. He has had his work published through magazines and Sri Lankan newspapers but wanted to be able to learn the new digital talents that come with filmmaking in 2022, such as making films for social media as well as television.

The postgraduate courses open for applications with the foundation for 24/25 through the School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology are MA Editing and VFX for TV Film and Digital Media, MA Documentary Production for TV, Film and Digital Media, MA Journalism: News/Broadcast/Sport and MA Creative Writing: Innovation and Experiment. Applicants can also apply for a LLM International Business Law through Salford Business School.

More information on applying for the scholarships can be found on the foundation's website.

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