- Firdaus Kharas
Firdaus Kharas is a Canadian director and producer of animation, film and television media. His current work focuses on creating various types of media to effect societal and individual behavioural change through mass communications spanning across many cultures and countries to better the human condition.
Kharas creates media specifically to educate and entertain across cultural barriers. His media positively influences audiences’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviour, especially amongst children and young adults. An outstanding example of this is [http://www.thethreeamigos.org The Three Amigos] , a series of twenty world-class animated public service announcements designed to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS throughout the world. The series has been awarded the [http://www.peabody.uga.edu/about George Foster Peabody Award]
An article on Kharas said "individuals can make a difference.... He is living testament to it". Canada’s national newspaper, [http://www.theglobeandmail.com The Globe and Mail] , captured Kharas' philosophy well in a headline: “I’m just trying to make a small contribution”.
His main avenues are short- and long-form television programs and animation. Mr. Kharas’ media creations have been seen by over one billion people in over 150 countries. Mr. Kharas also engages extensively in training and capacity building.
Mr. Kharas has also received several awards personally, including the United Nations Peace Medal from the UN Secretary-General, the medal of the
World Federation of United Nations Associations, an Honorary Doctorateand the Distinguished Alumnus Award from his alma mater, Thiel College, and the ReelWorld Trailblazer award.
In addition to the
Peabody Award, Mr. Kharas' work has garnered over 60 international awards in just the last 3 years. These include the Cine Golden Eagle, the Telly award, the Platinum REMI Award, the Chris, the Hugo, the Golden Reel , the Gold World Medal in New York and the First Prize at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival.
[http://www.magiccellar.tv Magic Cellar] , the first animated series to be based on African culture, was recently acquired for broadcast in the United States by [http://www.hbofamily.com Home Box Office (HBO)] . The sale is historic, as no African animated television series has ever been acquired by a major American network before.
Over 500 articles have been written in the international media about Kharas' work and graduate students in several universities have studied his efforts to cross cultural boundaries.
Mr. Kharas has been instrumental in strengthening the media industries in Holland, India, Malaysia, Singapore and South Africa, by creating original television series in each of those countries and training thousands of media professionals on his projects.
His travels have taken Mr. Kharas around the world; he has been to over 100 countries in every major region, from the High Arctic to crossing the Sahara Desert. He has been to animation studios in the Far East, war zones in Central America, refugee camps in South-East Asia, and to many AIDS-related NGOs, hospitals and youth centres in urban and rural Africa. Mr. Kharas has participated in Canadian trade missions to several countries led by the Prime Minister and the
Minister of International Trade. He has also had the opportunity to discuss broadcasting and content policies with ministers and senior government officials world wide.
Further information about his work can be found at [http://www.kharas.ca www.kharas.ca] . In addition, many articles have been written about Mr. Kharas' work in using mass communications to better the human condition in such prestigious publications as The New Yorker (US), MacLean’s (Canada), the Independent (England), The Globe and Mail (Canada), De Telegraaf (Netherlands), Washington Times (US), The Nation (Thailand), The Times of India (India), ABC News (US), the Ottawa Citizen (Canada), the Toronto Star (Canada), Taipei Times (Taiwan), The Citizen (South Africa), Screen Africa and in wire stories by United Press International, Reuters, Associated Press among others. Mr. Kharas has also appeared on dozens of television shows and radio programs on every continent.
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