Ian Iqbal Rashid

Director, Scriptwriter, Poet, Activist
Dar Es Salaam , DS
Dar es Salaam TZ
Lives in
United Kingdom

Director, scriptwriter, poet, activist. Of South-Asian Ismaili descent via Tanzania, Toronto-bred Rashid was active on the local queer activist/arts scene in the late 80s. His first poetry collection Black Markets, White Boyfriends and Other Acts of Elision (1991) was well received, and queer audiences remember him for Bolo Bolo! (co-dir. Gita Saxena, 1991, 30), the irreverent but deep-probing queer South Asian entry into the Toronto AIDS cable series project. In 1991, Rashid moved to Bristol, England to pursue his writing and filmmaking career, and distinguished himself with several fiction film shorts that were popular on the queer community network as well as on UK public broadcast. Surviving Sabu (1998, 16) is a much-praised intersection of coming out/of age narrative with cinephilia, diasporic cultural clash and queer sexual affirmation. In 2003 Rashid came back to Toronto to develop these themes in feature-length format in his Canada-UK co-production Touch of Pink (2004, 91)—finally an excellent queer subversion of the oppressively heterocentric diasporic wedding cycle of the 90s and 2000s. Pink is an inter-continental, inter-cultural couple comedy-romance and family melodrama in which the hero’s queeny and closety Cary Grant guardian angel wonders what people actually do in this Toronto that wasn’t exactly his first choice for a vacation destination.