Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts

Associates Profile

Dr Tina Gharavi

Senior Lecturer in English: Digital Media/Film



Tina Gharavi is a BAFTA-nominated, award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter.  

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.” 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 recently worked  on the high-end drama, The Tunnel, the UK version of The Bridge and is now engaged on several TV directing projects including directing season one of African Queens (Cleopatra) for Jada Pickett-Smith's Westbrook and Netflix. She is working on her follow-up feature, The Good Iranian, with the BFI and Film 4; a family crime thriller set in Europe and Iran, a further feature documentary about othering, Tribalism is Killing Us.  Gharavi is showrunning a TV series, Refurinn (The Fox), an Icelandic Noir for Nomadic Pictures (Fargo) and Polarama… and writing and developing several projects.

In addition to her work as an academic, she has been committed to education outreach, working in informal setting and engagement since 2001 when she set up a refugee/asylum training programme (Kooch Cinema Project and Bridge Tunnel Voices), one of the first of its kind in the Region. Later the charity she set up worked with underrepresented communities. Her work as an academic focuses on representation, community empowerment and balancing power relationships through storytelling. Gharavi was elected into the BAFTA Academy (2017) and was received an MIT Filmmaking Fellowship. She is represented by Laura Rourke at Independent Talent in the UK and Sean Barclay at Gersh in Los Angeles.



Research Interests

Documentary theory and practice, Screenwriting, Community Engagement & Interactive Digital Storytelling.

Postgraduate Supervision

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

Esteem Indicators

BAFTA Academy Member  
MIT Open Documentary Lab Fellow
Directors UK 

Board of Trustees (previous)

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art 
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, UKTI, Netflix.

Industrial Relevance

20 years experience as practicing filmmaker. Creative lead at Bridge Tunnel, an award-winning media production company based in the North East of England and Los Angeles.


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