School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Staff Profile

Dr Tina Gharavi

Senior Lecturer in English: Digital Media/Film



Born in Tehran, Tina Gharavi is a BAFTA-nominated, award-winning TV and film showrunner and director initially trained as a painter in the United States later studying cinema in France. Her debut feature, I Am Nasrine, a coming of age story of two teenage Iranian refugees, was nominated for a BAFTA in 2013. The film received 4 stars from Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian calling it, "A valuable debut, shot with a fluent kind of poetry" while Deborah Ross in the Spectator described it as “affectionate, humane, tender and, ultimately, optimistic.”


Gharavi has made films from unique perspectives on subjects as diverse as Muhammad Ali, teenage sexuality, Yemeni-British sailors, The Lackawanna 6, death row exonerees, refugees and lighthouses. Her first short, Closer, a 35mm film was an official selection at Sundance where programmer, Shari Frilot, noted that ‘it takes documentary to the next level.’ Gharavi’s next major production chronicled her return to her mother’s house in Iran, 23 years after the Islamic Revolution. The resulting film, Mother/Country, was broadcast at prime time on Channel 4 in the UK where the national press gave it top billing. Further works such as The King of South Shields and People Like Us deal with “the outsider” and her work often explores the issues of strategies of power and “who speaks for whom.”


Since leaving Iran in 1979 she has been a true nomad; carrying no less than 4 passports she currently resides in Northern England and Los Angeles where she is working on her follow-up feature, The Good Iranian, with the BFI and Film 4; a gangster tale set in Europe and Iran, a further feature documentary about tribalism and othering, Tribalism is Killing Us . She recently worked as Second Unit Director on the high-end drama, The Tunnel, the UK version of The Bridge and is now engaged on several TV directing projects. Currently she is showrunning a returning episodic TV series, Refurinn (The Fox), an Icelandic Noir, together with Hilary Bevan Jones/ Endor Productions (Cracker, Red Dwarf, Deep State) and Red Arrow… 

Gharavi was elected into the BAFTA Academy in 2017 and is represented by Roxana Adle at Independent Talent in the UK and Noah Jones at Gersh in Los Angeles.



Research Interests

Documentary & Fiction Film Production,Screenwriting, Community Media & Interactive Digital Storytelling.

Postgraduate Supervision

Supervises students in practice-based research including screenwriting, adaptation, interactive narrative, documentary and poetry and censorship in Iran

Esteem Indicators

BAFTA Academy Member  
MIT Open Documentary Lab Fellow

Board of Trustees

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (current)
Tyneside Cinema
British Refugee Council
Regional Council, Arts Council North East


British Film Institute, Film Four, Arts Council England, British Council, Film Council UK, Heritage Lottery Fund, Baring Foundation, Northern Rock Foundation, New Writing North, Big Lottery Fund, Catherine Cookson Fund, British Council for Research in the Levant.

Industrial Relevance

20 years experience as writer/director/producer. Creative lead at Bridge Tunnel, an award-winning media production company based in the North East of England


Selection of Course Taught (past & present):

SEL3346 Contemporary Documentary 1: Theory and Practice Module Leader View

SEL3347 Contemporary Documentary 2: Theory & Practice Module Leader View

SEL3324 The Cultural Industries (Semester 1) Module Leader View

SEL3325 The Cultural Industries (Semester 2) Module Leader View

SEL8061 Personal Documentary Practice Module Leader View

SEL8062 Self-Reflexive Documentary Film Module Leader View

FMS8353 Screenwriting Module Leader View

SEL8640 The Profession of Writing Lecturer View