About Baktash

Baktash Ahadi is an Emmy Award winning filmmaker, human rights activist, and TEDx Speaker. He directs, produces, and writes films that explore the human condition and is particularly drawn to stories of forced migration, conflict, refugees, and vulnerable and underrepresented communities.

The recipient of numerous awards for public service and documentary storytelling, Baktash has worked on race relations in communities across the United States and on the peace process in Afghanistan. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Public Radio (NPR), Business Insider, The BBC, TIME Magazine, and The Atlantic.

Baktash is currently at work directing a film about combat veterans, mental health, and equine therapy. He also supports other filmmakers from concept to impact campaign as an executive producer and impact producer.

Baktash Ahadi
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Baktash's Story

The tragic events of 9/11 set Baktash on a path of examining why people do what they do. Upon graduation from college, he decided to serve in the Peace Corps as an educator in a rural village in Mozambique. His father learned English from a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kandahar in the 1960s and that experience was the inspiration for his family to come to the United States.

After completing his service in the Peace Corps, Baktash went back to Afghanistan, the country of his birth, to serve as a combat interpreter and cultural advisor for three years supporting military and reconstruction efforts throughout the country. This life-changing experience put his Afghan-American identity on the front line on the War on Terror in Afghanistan.

After his service in Afghanistan, Baktash has produced and translated a number of award-winning documentary films about free speech, photojournalism, conflict, the refugee crisis, and violence against women.

His lived experience as a former refugee, humanitarian, and combat interpreter shapes his understanding of living between different cultures, which informs his empathetic and creative approach to engagement, storytelling, and meaningful conversations. He writes, speaks, and teaches regularly about individual, organizational, and societal change.