Camera-stabilisation technology developer, Rizwan Wadan, is one of the few practicing Muslims to have broken through into the mainstream filming industry in the UK. It is his firm belief that it is important to open dialogues and debates through the visual medium and advocate film to the BAME and Muslim communities.
At the time of the Westminster attack in 2017, Wadan was working on the set of the Oscar-nominated film The Favourite, having cut his teeth on big budget features such as Star Wars: Rogue One, and Disney’s Artemis Fowl, as well as TV dramas such as BBC’s Luther. He was determined to use his knowledge and contacts in the industry to help try to solve problems in wider society.
He says he has seen, “enough of ineffective government campaigns, which don’t get to the heart of the problem. Enough of public campaigns, that exclude Muslims from the national conversation, of which their input is critical, to tackle extremism and terrorism.
“I decided to put aside my career, in order to dedicate the time and energy required to help create projects and initiatives that can help bridge the gaps between Islam, non-Muslims and the wider global community.”
Wadan contributed £70,000 of his own money to the production of The Error In Terror campaign. He also raised the equivalent of over £1.2 million in support from over 50 companies, gaining help from DPs such as David Higgs BSC, Robbie Ryan ISC BSC, John Conroy ISC, Gavin Finney BSC, Ed Wild BSC, Haris Zambarloukos BSC GSC and Peter Biziou BSC, amongst other respected industry professionals.
Armed with his provocative short film The Error In Terror, which was nominated as the best of the fest at the BFI, he has since set off on tour across the UK to help build bridges and bring communities together, seeking “face-to-face debate with groups and individuals who hold Islamophobic views, as well as imprisoned Islamic extremists, confronting fear and hatred with a visual, emotive and honest approach that has never been attempted before,” he says.
“With humour, raw dedication and direct connection from one individual to another, this is a personal fight against terror in a society more divided and angry than ever. With the problem-solving mindset I’ve learned on-set, there is no doubt that we will help to solve problems in our society, God-willing.”