Umar Riaz is a Student Academy Award-nominated filmmaker. He graduated with a degree in English Literature and Cinema Studies from New York University followed by a Master’s in Film at NYU's renowned Tisch School of the Arts where he was awarded the prestigious Ang Lee Scholarship for “exceptionally talented graduate film students.” His award-winning work has screened at film festivals internationally including Locarno, Raindance, Woodstock, Cinequest, Boston, HBO, BET's Urbanworld and PIFF. He was Artistic Consultant and Additional Editor to legendary director Terrence Malick for his films 'Knight of Cups' (2016) and 'Song to Song' (2017).

Films shown in Divvy Film Festival 2021

Umar Riaz, Pathways, 2021
Three stories of love and loss performed by non-actors based on their experiences and set in Lahore, Pakistan: a shy young boy develops a friendship with his visiting grand-aunt; an estranged couple cope with the difficulties of marriage; and, an ageing widower must confront a sudden vision of his long deceased wife.

Films shown in Divvy Film Festival 2020

Last Remarks, Umar Riaz, 2012
17 min
On the eve of the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the British rulers of the Indian subcontinent prepare to depart the region amidst waves of ethnic violence. Arastu Jan, a troubled and isolated native servant to a British master, takes a dose of poison and finds himself with ten minutes to record the confession of his brief lifetime.
Based on 'The Tell-Tale Heart' by Edgar Allen Poe
ʻLast Remarksʼ has won awards for its direction, cinematography and acting and in 2012, was announced as a Finalist in the Alternative Category of the 39th Annual Student Academy Awards.

Some Lover To Some Beloved, Umar Riaz, 2018
1 hr 40 min
A seven-year in the making documentary chronicling the life and work of two extraordinary Pakistani artists - veteran actor Zia Mohyeddin ('Lawrence of Arabia', 'A Passage to India') and revolutionary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, and a study of the Ghazal genre of Urdu poetry. The three subjects are presented as a triptych of broad, individual yet skilfully-interwoven canvases.
- “The film is equally, about Urdu, about Pakistan, about what it means to love, to lose, to recover” The Friday Times
- “Umar Riaz makes the film more than just a biography” Dawn
- “Stunningly photographed” The News

Gul-e-Daudi (The Chrysanthemum), Umar Riaz, 2016
'Gul-e-Daudi' (The Chrysanthemum) is a fictional short musical film for record label EMI Pakistan, made in tribute to legendary Pakistani singer Noor Jehan. The film follows a love affair which spans a lifetime - exploring themes of love, loss, attachment and memory.