Iqbal Ahmed

Iqbal directs cinematic and emotional stories, finding the humanity in every project. His narratives straddle the line Iqbal directs cinematic and emotional stories, finding the humanity in each project.

Growing up in a farming and industrial town in Southern Virginia, Iqbal struggled with orthodoxies and felt constantly pulled in different directions, sometimes identifying as an Muslim, sometimes as a Southerner/American, and often neither.  Always planning to become a doctor, Iqbal attended Stanford University and graduated with degrees in biology, creative writing and studio art but realized that the long path to medicine would come at the expense of his creative interests. Pivoting to finance in New York, a circuitous journey followed and he eventually realized that his passion lay in visual storytelling.  He attended USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and graduated with an MFA in film production.

Informed by his childhood experiences, Iqbal often directs cinematic documentaries and narratives about marginalized people, making short films and commercials about outsiders who are not often represented.  His film “Bug Man,” is an acclaimed short documentary about a reclusive artist who uses live insects to paint. “Offbeat” is an award-winning short doc about a man who won’t allow his disability to stop him from his love for drumming.  “Pagans” is an immersive peek into a skittish community of witches, druids, and wizards.

Iqbal is equally adept at visual storytelling.  He directed a narrative branded film “Weave” about a night cleaner in a factory who discovers a garment that gives him unexpected dance powers. His striking spot for Toms is about a pair of shoes that come to life to find their “solemate.”  

He has always been drawn to the visually rich worlds of music, art, sports, and subcultures. The common thread through his work is his commitment to celebrating all of humanity through visual and emotional storytelling.

His work has been awarded Vimeo Staff Picks and featured in NOWNESS, DAZED, Vice, Directors Notes, Booooooom, and The Atlantic. His clients and collaborators include Nike, Adidas, Google, Spotify, Pinterest, Facebook, Snapchat, Microsoft and many others.  He was recently a Commercial Directors Diversity Program (CDDP) Fellow and has been recognized with a Shots showcase as well as numerous awards from global film festivals. He has developed feature film projects with Disney, Sony, and Fox and his scripts have been semifinalists for the Sundance Lab and the Academy Awards Nicholl Fellowship.

He lives in Los Angeles and loves playing soccer and shopping for records every chance he gets.

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