Yazmeen Kanji is a Muslim Indo-Caribbean filmmaker, the Advocacy and Outreach Lead at BIPOC TV & Film, as well as the founder of Films With A Cause - a consulting startup for authentic storytelling practices. She graduated as a Dean’s Scholar from the University of Toronto in 2020, where she studied Peace, Conflict and Justice Studies at the Munk School of Global Affairs, Critical Studies in Equity and Solidarity and Cinema Studies. Throughout her undergrad, Yazmeen was offered grants to work on research projects exploring the social and political consequences of misrepresenting marginalized communities. Yazmeen is a Hot Docs Accelerator Fellow, a member of the Transmedia Zone and Social Ventures Zone at TMU (Toronto Metropolitan University) and a cohort member of Inspirit’s Narrative Change Lab alongside other Muslim creatives and content creators.
Alongside her filmmaking work, Yazmeen publicly speaks about the importance of representing communities of her intersections and works in consulting capacities on productions to ensure stories and marketing campaigns portray historically marginalized communities in meaningful ways.
Films With A Cause
Founded by emerging filmmaker Yazmeen Kanji, Films With A Cause launched as a non-profit, student-run volunteer organization in January of 2018. Team members from various academic backgrounds consisted of domestic and international students from the University of Toronto and the University of Ottawa who are passionate about storytelling that moves us to reconsider our actions and thinking patterns. From social media campaigns to public speaking engagements, screenings, documentary production and blog posts, Films With A Cause has been dedicated to uplifting content that prioritizes historically marginalized communities in their local contexts. Based in Toronto, Films With A Cause has amassed a substantial network of international filmmaking talent and has been highlighted by the Innis Herald, Her Campus, Women Advocating for Change and Let the Quran Speak among other media outlets. Films With A Cause has collaborated with various well-known organizations including BIPOC TV & FILM, Inside Out, Matthew House Toronto, Jumpstart Refugee Talent, Stories of Survival and York Region Muslims. Films With A Cause now shifts focus towards its two major operations; advocacy work and consulting in visual media industries.