Taghi Amirani read physics at Nottingham University where for his final year project instead of doing something in the lab he made Shades of Black, a documentary about an imaginary journey into a black hole. While completing a postgraduate film and TV course at University of Bristol, he made Mechanics of Love, a low-budget B&W silent comedy. This charming but somewhat over ambitious homage to Buster Keaton via Woody Allen landed him his first job at Thames TV as a researcher working on educational design and technology documentaries.
In 1989 he made his debut as a producer director with Earth Calling Basingstoke, a warm quirky look at the extraterrestrial lives of English amateur astronomers. Basingstoke, made for Channel 4’s flagship science series Equinox, was received with critical acclaim and launched Taghi as a director. He has since made 40 films, two fiction shorts, and a handful of commercials.
Taghi has been a jury member at the International Emmys, Royal Television Society, One World Media Awards and Sheffield International Documentary Festival where he’s also a member of the Advisory Committee. In 2006 he ran the New York Marathon and raised $10,000 for the homelessness charity Shelter. In 2009 he was awarded a TED Fellowship followed by a TED Senior Fellowship in 2010. He ran the New York Marathon again in 2011.
In 2012 he joined the Strategic Advisory Board of B612 Foundation. In February 2013 TED named Taghi Amirani the first recipient of the TED Fellows Hero Award.
Taghi lives in London and recently had his bicycle stolen.
Director Taghi Amirani manages to evoke a truly magical quality in the images he captures, turning the least auspicious ideas into absolute gems.... Intelligent cutting...and a genuine interest in the people he features make Amirani's gentle films presently some of the best on television
Taghi Amirani’s film reminded you how in a good documentary the word 'observation' always has a double sense, both the act of watching and an act of commenting.
It's Taghi Amirani's first film and a beauty of its quiet kind
Amirani has a special feeling for his subjects, which prevents his films from being the least bit patronising. The result is unusual amid the current plethora of heavily ironic documentaries, proving that film-makers don't need gimmicks if they have a sure eye and an open mind
Taghi Amirani's first entrancing film was about amateur astronomers, and Beyond The Barrier is just as good. He has a marvellous eye for what British television loves: individuals with enthusiasm, harmless obsession, and eccentricity - his subjects are not eccentric in any mocking sense but in the sense of ordinary people whose lives seem to run on axis slightly off centre from ours. He is a born miniaturist and they are a valuable, rare, and endangered species
If you're keen to understand how it is that the things we love shape our lives, Taghi Amirani's exquisitely made programme will fill both your eyes and your cuttings bin
EARTH CALLING BASINGSTOKE
An eccentric, entrancing, heart-warming film
...while the overall effect is similar to that of a formal exercise in surrealism by Peter Greenaway, the star watchers themselves are presented with respect and affection
It's rare for television cameras to capture such ingenuousness
So understated it transcends eccentricity.... it’s an affectionate film that never sends ordinary people up
Wonderfully buoyant, utterly entrancing. See it
Throughout the series, director and producer Taghi Amirani has displayed sensitivity and integrity, currently rare attributes among television makers, the collective noun for whom these days, must surely be a callousness