Nelofer Pazira is an award-winning Afghan-Canadian director, actress, journalist and author. She grew up in Kabul, Afghanistan, where she lived through ten years of Soviet occupation before escaping with her family to Pakistan. From there, they immigrated to New Brunswick, Canada, more than twenty years ago.
In 1996, Nelofer attempted to return to Afghanistan — still under Taliban rule — to find a lost childhood friend. Although unsuccessful, Nelofer became the star of Kandahar, a highly acclaimed feature film which was based on her journey. She was awarded the Prix d'interprétation by the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma de Montréal for her performance in Kandahar. She also assisted UNESCO as a goodwill ambassador in their cultural work inside Afghanistan. She has been a jury member at a number of film festivals including those of Locarno, Geneva, São Paulo, Edinburgh, and Montreal.
Nelofer later performed in, co-produced, and co-directed Return to Kandahar, which won the 2003 Gemini Award in Canada and also appeared in Christian Frei’s documentary, The Giant Buddhas.