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Parvez Sharma was born on 8 July, 1976 in New Delhi, India, is a Filmmaker and writer. Discover Parvez Sharma's Biography, Age, Height, Physical Stats, Dating/Affairs, Family and career updates. Learn How rich is He in this year and how He spends money? Also learn how He earned most of networth at the age of 44 years old?

Popular As N/A
Occupation Filmmaker and writer
Age 45 years old
Zodiac Sign Cancer
Born 8 July 1976
Birthday 8 July
Birthplace New Delhi, India
Nationality India

We recommend you to check the complete list of Famous People born on 8 July. He is a member of famous Filmmaker with the age 45 years old group.

Parvez Sharma Height, Weight & Measurements

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Parvez Sharma Net Worth

His net worth has been growing significantly in 2020-2021. So, how much is Parvez Sharma worth at the age of 45 years old? Parvez Sharma’s income source is mostly from being a successful Filmmaker. He is from India. We have estimated Parvez Sharma's net worth, money, salary, income, and assets.

Net Worth in 2021 $1 Million - $5 Million
Salary in 2020 Under Review
Net Worth in 2019 Pending
Salary in 2019 Under Review
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Source of Income Filmmaker

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Parvez Sharma is a New York-based Indian filmmaker, author, and journalist. He is a recipient of the 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship in the film/video category. He was amongst the 173 fellows selected from 3000 applicants in the 94th year of the fellowship, which originally started in 1925. In an official press release by the foundation, president Edward Hirsch said, "The winners of the 94th annual competition as "the best of the best...This diverse group of scholars, artists, and scientists are appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise." Sharma is best known for his two films A Jihad for Love, A Sinner in Mecca, and his book published in 2017 called, "A Sinner in Mecca: A Gay Muslim's Hajj of Defiance". His film, A Jihad for Love was the world's first film documenting the lives of gay and lesbian Muslims. He received the 2009 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary amongst several other international awards for A Jihad for Love. In 2016, Sharma was named "a human rights defender" by Amnesty International. This was an award given at the Hague in the Netherlands to "worldwide human rights activists" which he shared with the Saudi human rights activist Ensaf Haidar.

In 2018, Sharma was the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship in the film/video category. In a press release, president Edward Hirsch said, "It's exceptionally satisfying to name 175 new Guggenheim Fellows. These artists and writers, scholars and scientists, represent the best of the best. Each year since 1925, the Guggenheim Foundation has bet everything on the individual, and we're thrilled to continue to do so with this wonderfully talented and diverse group. It's an honor to be able to support these individuals to do the work they were meant to do." Sharma becomes one of "18,000 individuals in 94 years, among whom are scores of Nobel laureates, Fields Medalists, poets laureate, members of the various national academies, and winners of the Pulitzer Prize, Turing Award, National Book Awards, and other important, internationally recognized honors."

Best Documentary, Reeling Film Festival, Chicago [Oct, 2018]

The book had a four and a half star out of 5 score on customer reviews in Amazon in January 2018.

Out of almost two million books on Amazon the book ranks the following way in January, 2018:

In 2018, Parvez Sharma's book, A Sinner In Mecca: A Gay Muslim's Hajj of Defiance was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award in the category of Gay Memoir/Biography and for a 2017 Foreword INDIES Award.


On 18 November 2017, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Sanctuary for Independent Media said, "For the past decade he has made fearless, multiple award winning films about faith, identity, religious extremism and social justice. The Washington Post said about the second film, "In the film, Sharma condemns the Saudi government's strict interpretation of Islam, which he says promotes the dangerous ideology that produces groups such as the militant Islamic State." Reviewing A Jihad for Love the newspaper had said, "Sharma is right to keep his focus tight. He is interested in the faithful and their conflicts, not the broader cultural issues surrounding sex and Islamic society." The Los Angeles Times said Sharma "crossed several dangerous lines in his work and the government in Singapore banned A Jihad for Love and that the Muslim Judicial Council in South Africa has declared him an apostate." Fridae Asia reported, "A Jihad for Love - which Singapore censors say is too controversial to be shown at the country's international film festival last year - was broadcast to potentially more than a billion in India and other countries by India's NDTV." A Jihad for Love was banned from the Singapore International Film Festival in 2008 by the Media Development Authority, which oversees the censorship board, "in view of the sensitive nature of the subject that features Muslim homosexuals in various countries and their struggle to reconcile religion and their lifestyle." About 14 percent of Singapore's 4.4 million population is Muslim. Singapore banned A Sinner in Mecca as well as did Egypt, Iran, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Yet semi-open screenings were held in Cairo, Kuala Lumpur and Karachi. A Sinner in Mecca was also banned in Singapore, "The public screening of A Sinner In Mecca by Parvez Sharma is cancelled as the film received a 'Not Allowed For All Ratings' (NAR) classification from the Media Development Authority. Hence, the Festival is unable to go ahead with the public screening for this film." In just its opening week during a limited release of 33 cities, A Jihad for Love, for example, ran for four weeks at New York's IFC theaters. The film grossed "$22,287," (out of which, $10,519 was just in New York). The Domestic Total Gross for the film is $105,659. In comparison, A Sinner in Mecca was only released in four cities, for a week each. Its box office numbers were low, except in New York where it had a higher box office return of $11,220. However, in totality it made a much smaller amount during its run-time.

In 15 August 2017, Parvez Sharma released his first book "A Sinner in Mecca, A Gay Muslim's Hajj of Defiance (book)" by publisher BenBella Books.

The author recorded an audiobook version of this book for Tantor Media on 14 December 2017.

Sharma is doing a book tour with this "Islam Trilogy" in 2017 and 2018. One such event lead to the Times Union published out of Albany to publish a book extract as well, titled "In Mecca with eye, iPhone"


Best Documentary, Rapid Lion Film Festival, Johannesburg [March, 2016]

Sharma has been a featured speaker at more than 40 college campuses in the U.S., which include Stanford, Berkeley, Yale, Columbia, NYU, Harvard (1 April 2016 and 17 October 2016), Syracuse, Northwestern and the University of Chicago. He toured several US Southern States in 2009 and called it his "Bible Belt Tour" speaking directly to issues around LGBT rights (or the lack thereof) within conservative Christian communities.


His second film, A Sinner in Mecca, premiered at the 2015 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and is a New York Times Critics' Pick amongst other press attention. A Jihad for Love was theatrically released in 33 cities. A Sinner in Mecca was only theatrically released in four. Over the years, worldwide press have profiled Parvez Sharma and reviewed his work.[1] For example, The New York Times collectively in two excerpts and two reviews, says "There is no doubting the courage and conviction of the New York documentarian Parvez Sharma…We emerge from (Sharma's) films more enlightened, but arranging to meet (this filmmaker) is a little like setting up an appointment with an extremely polite spy. Nothing in his difficult processes -- including the threats to himself -- have destroyed Mr. Sharma's faith in the ability of Islam to tolerate diversity." The newspaper also showcased his short films online. In 2004 the New York Times had said, "threats to the director have become routine." This was almost four years before A Jihad for Love was released.

Sheffield International Documentary Festival [2015]

With his second film, A Sinner in Mecca, The New York Times ran a second feature profile feature on Sharma on 24 September 2015, saying "The documentary, largely recorded on an iPhone strapped to Mr. Sharma's neck with rubber bands, shows the pilgrimage in unflinching detail. The result is a religious reality film, but also a piercing indictment of Saudi Arabia" The piece also used clips from A Sinner in Mecca The film premiered in Toronto at the 2015 HotDocs Canadian Film Festival and opened in theaters in the US on 4 September 2015. The film won Best Documentary at Outfest, Los Angeles in July 2015. In 2016, A Sinner in Mecca won a Rapid Lion for Best Documentary Feature in Johannesburg, South Africa. The film won Best Documentary at the Reeling Film Festival in Chicago. It played at many film festivals including the Sheffield Film Festival in the UK in 2015, where it was nominated for Best Documentary. At IDFA 2015 in Amsterdam, A Sinner in Mecca won a "Best of Fest" award and screenings. A Sinner in Mecca received press and audience attention but also lead to online abuse, death threats and hate mail. The film premiered in Canada on CBC's The Passionate Eye on 10 October 2015. It premiered on Arte in France and ZDF in Germany on 6 November. The film was acquired by Netflix in October 2015 and is also available on iTunes.

A Sinner in Mecca opened theatrically at New York's Cinema Village theater (on 4 September 2015), Los Angeles' Laemmle Music Hall, Detroit's Cinema Detroit and San Diego's Digital Gym Cinema. These runs were short compared to A Jihad for Love's theatrical run. Variety magazine said the following about A Sinner in Mecca's theatrical run "A tiny Stateside release on Sept. 4 went virtually unnoticed, though TV sales should be more lucrative."

A Sinner in Mecca was available on Netflix from 2015-2017. It was theatrically distributed in 2015 in cities including New York, Los Angeles and Detroit. It was the opening film for the "Passionate Eye" series on CBC in Canada in 2015. It was broadcast in 12 countries including France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and more.

In 2015 he launched a global Muslim empowerment endeavor called Project 786. The project's website says "Project 786 is a worldwide Outreach, Dialogue and Measurable Change Project aimed at significantly impacting and changing contemporary discourse about Islam, today the worlds fastest growing and most contested religion."


Arts PAC—Artists for Freedom Of Expression [June, 2007]

A User MGallaway gave it five stars and said, "Like its author, this book resists easy labels and classification. Combining elements of family memoir, political analysis, history, exegesis, cloak-and-dagger meetings, and gay hookups, "A Sinner in Mecca" exposes religious intolerance—and its economic and colonial underpinnings—and celebrates the beauty of faith in its most intimate, personal form. An antidote to 'soundbite journalism,' this book should be read by anyone who wants to better understand the miraculous complexity of the world."

The Daily Beast extract, titled "I Survived the Hajj—Islam's Mashup of Boot Camp and Mosh Pit: Every Muslim is supposed to make the pilgrimage to Mecca, but Parvez Sharma discovered the hard way that this dirty, noisy, and nearly lethal trek was more hell than heaven." This is a quote from the book extract, "Both she and I knew that the bin Laden family, one of the largest construction conglomerates, had been charged to modernize (aka destroy Islamic history) Mecca and Medina. Osama bin Laden, one of the sons, was for a while in charge of this in Mecca. He like the 15 (of 19) hijackers of 9/11 had definitely performed Hajj. Perhaps more than once and perhaps these toilets were a bin Laden novelty of modernization. This family was the closest to the despicable, ruling Al-Saud monarchy. They always got all the contracts."

A Huffington Post book-extract titled " #WAR" in part says, "Fear is the strongest of emotions. And the strongest kind of fear can be manufactured by those who know that fear; real fear is that of the other. A man called Stephen Bannon knew it so well it was as if branded with a hot iron, or worse into his skull. Daenerys Targaryen, in Game of Thrones knows it well. So do all the pretenders to the Iron Throne in the HBO goldmine. It's a winning formula unlike any other. ***, dragons, and BOOM! Fear of the other is what gave a monstrous contractor and reality TV star the real-life version of the Iron Throne—the presidency of the United States last year."

One extract on NewNowNext titled "Parvez Sharma's "A Sinner In Mecca" Tells Of One Man's Hajj—With Potentially Deadly Consequences" details a major life-decision, one of many that Sharma undertook before leaving for Saudi Arabia, "Friends said my circumcision proved I was "crazy" and they would never take such an irreversible, life-altering decision. I had no choice."


In 2009, Sharma was named as one of "50 Visionaries changing your world" in a list headed by the Dalai Lama. On 29 May 2013 at a DNC event at 583, Park Avenue in New York Sharma was honored as a "LGBT hero" by first-lady Michelle Obama at a DNC fundraiser in New York. The event was hosted by Bravo's Andy Cohen and NBA star Jason Collins.


In 2009 Sharma was invited as a keynote speaker to the United Nations at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy during Durban Review Conference. The same year he also addressed one of the world's largest gatherings of LGBT activists at the Gay Games in Copenhagen. He was invited by the Foreign Services Institute of the US Department of State as a keynote speaker in Washington, D.C. on 21 June 2012. The event was called "The Rights of LGBT Persons in the Middle East and South and Central Asia." On 20 December 2012, he conducted a day-long workshop with officials from the USCIS in the Department of Homeland Security.


In early 2011 Sharma blogged about the revolution in Egypt, providing a local perspective on the events. He spoke about the nature and extent of social media influence in the Middle East to press across the world, including interviews with newspapers in China, including the South China Morning Post and interviews on various US networks including CNBC, MSNBC and FOX News.

By 2011, Sharma had conducted live events and screenings of A Jihad for Love in many Muslim nations and capitals ranging from Beirut, Lebanon and Istanbul, Turkey, to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In Indonesiathe world's largest Muslim nation, the film did an 8-city tour to acclaim and also protests. : a multi city tour in Mexican theaters organized by Ambulante used the film as a tool for advocacy in deeply religious communities in that country. The film also thrived underground, with private screenings of smuggled DVDs. In July 2009 Sharma conducted workshops on Islam and homosexuality with German parliamentarians in Berlin and was invited to screen and workshop A Jihad for Love by the European Union. Sharma was first profiled by The New York Times in 2004 which said "Given the hostility toward homosexuality in some Islamic factions, Mr. Sharma has gone to great lengths to reassure many of his interview subjects that they will remain anonymous."


In 2009 Sharma reported about the aborted Green Movement in Iran using firsthand accounts and interviews with friends in Tehran and often giving readers of The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast a look into the workings of the uprising.

Sharma continues to be a commentator on Islamic, racial and political issues. In 2009 Sharma wrote the foreword for the anthology Islam and Homosexuality (Praeger, 2009). He was interviewed and his work was profiled in journalist Robin Wrights book 'Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion in the Middle East'. His work on the Arab Spring was profiled in author Cole Strykers book 'Hacking the Future: Privacy, Identity and Anonymity on the Web'. In 2007 he wrote a chapter for the book Gay Travels in the Muslim World.


Filmmaker magazine in 2008 said " He also produced and edited the Sundance Grand Jury Award winner Silverlake Life (1993) and acted as assistant director on the award-winning Indian drama Dance of the Wind (1997)."

The US-based OUT Magazine named Sharma, one of the OUT 100 twice for 2008 and 2015- "one of the 100 gay men and women who have helped shape our culture during the year". In 2016 a year after Larry Kramer Sharma won the Monette Horowitz award given to individuals and organizations for their significant contributions toward eradicating homophobia.

GLAAD Media Award, 2008 for Outstanding Documentary

Milan International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival [2008]

Torino International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival [2008]

Special Teddy, Berlin International Film Festival 2008

Outfest, Los Angeles, Best Documentary, 2008 and 2015

Best Documentary, One World International Film Festival, Prague, 2008

Variety Magazine said in 2008, "A May theatrical run is planned, starting at Gotham's IFC Center"

A Jihad for Love was available on Netflix for five years from 2008 to 2012. It was televised in 18 countries including the UK, Germany, France, Australia, the Netherlands and India, Pakistan, Bangladesh.

The film also had its fair share of criticism. On 5 September 2008 Seattle Times said, "For all the research, courage and passion that went into it, the movie is sometimes curiously one-note."

The film producer Sandi DuBowski and Director/ Producer Parvez Sharma launched the International Muslim Dialogue Project in 2008.[2][3]

In a feature titled, "How Parvez Sharma made a Jihad for Love" the U.S. based New York magazine said on 18 May 2008 "As such, Sharma says his ideal audience is faithful Muslims—and not just 'gay white men or activists.' To reach them, he's 'smuggled tapes into Iran and Pakistan,' leafleted mosques, blanketed MySpace, and 'hosted a screening at a home in Astoria for fifteen key progressive Muslim leaders.' There's more to do: 'Over the last six years, some of the most amazing conversations I've had about this film have been with taxi drivers, but I'm stumped about how to reach them again.'"


H. van Ameringen Foundation [November 2005, June 2007, December 2007, October 2013, September 2015]

The film premiered in 2007 at the Toronto International Film Festival and in 2008 at the Berlinale. It went on to premier at more than a hundred film festivals globally and was released in theaters in the US and Canada in 2008 by First Run Features and Mongrel Media. It was produced by Sandi Simcha DuBowski in association with Channel 4 Television (UK), ZDF (Germany), Arte (France), MTV-Logo (US), The Sundance Documentary Fund and SBS. While the film reveals homophobia and persecution in the Muslim world, Sharma has stated that the purpose of the film is not to vilify Islam. In an early interview he said:

GCN wrote, "Sharma is no stranger to death threats; 'A Jihad for Love', his documentary about the lives of gay and lesbian Muslims, generated much controversy upon its release in 2007. Days after the film's April premier, Sharma says Iranian government propaganda websites accused him of promoting a "disgusting act of homosexuality," adding that the film was an 'insult to Islam.'" Pink News reported Sharma saying, "The very Muslims I'm seeking acceptance from are attacking me because I'm a gay man and because I made this film. As a Muslim, you are taught from a very young age that you do not mess with Mecca, and I'm doing exactly that." WNYC has a piece titled, "A Gay Muslim Filmmaker Faces his Fatwa." OUT said, "Parvez Sharma ... grew up gay in a conservative city in India, but he seems impervious to vitriol, which helps, considering that his latest documentary, A Sinner in Mecca — a story of his personal journey on the hajj — has resulted in death threats since it began screening.


Andy Warhol Foundation for The Visual Arts [Dec, 2006]

E. Rhodes & Leona B. Carpenter Foundation [March, 2006]

Rita J. & Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation, Inc. [May, 2006]

The Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program [June, 2006]

B.W. Bastian Foundation [Aug, 2006 and July, 2007]

The Ford Foundation Matching Gift Program [Sep, 2006]

Horizons Foundation [September 2006, October 2006, March, 2007, July 2007 and March 2008]

The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation [Dec, 2006] and [Dec, 2007]


The Yip Harburg Foundation [Nov, 2005 and Aug, 2007]


As early as 2 November 2004, a New York Times interview explained, "threats to the director have become routine. "About every two weeks I get an e-mail that berates me, condemns me to hell and, if they are nice, asks me to still seek forgiveness while there is still time." He was provided a personal security detail at the TIFF 2007 premiere of A Jihad for Love in 2007 and A Sinner in Mecca 2015 premiere at Hotdocs in Toronto. The death threats and hate mail continued over the years. In 2015, The Toronto Star said " Security is being added for the world premiere 29 April of A Sinner in Mecca ". On September 4, 2014, the day the film was released theatrically in the US, the New York Times said "After "Jihad," Mr. Sharma was labeled an infidel, and in the intervening years, he has gotten more death threats than he cares to recall.


Parvez Sharma worked as television journalist in India and the United Kingdom, including for India's 24-hour news television network NDTV. A journalist, Sharma has worked in radio, print, and broadcast. Sharma worked as a producer at Democracy Now! in New York in 2003. He has taught as an adjunct professor at American University, developing and teaching that university's first curriculum on Bollywood and other Indian cinemas.


Sharma has called the book as the final product of his "Islam Trilogy" in various interviews. In one titled "A Jihad for Love and Equality: A Chat with trailblazer, Parvez Sharma" he explains this as,"The Islam Trilogy is my contribution to history which actually began three months after September 11, 2001, when I started filming, A Jihad for Love, the world's first film on Islam and homosexuality. In 2011, just months after I reported the Arab Spring extensively and bin Laden's death I decided to go on Hajj. This would be my Hajj of defiance—and if found out I faced certain beheading. But as a filmmaker I knew this would be the greatest journey of my life and there was no way I would not film it. It was historic, you are not permitted to film in Mecca according to Wahhabi theology (even though short YouTube videos proliferate) but I did. Many shut their doors on me. Many foundations who had embraced Jihad were too afraid of this. In any case a three-year struggle ensued and we had another world first— A Sinner in Mecca, a film in Mecca and Medina shot entirely on an iPhone. Then I began writing the book that would say everything the film was not able to. That became A Sinner in Mecca: A Gay Muslim's Hajj of Defiance. Thus the trilogy which represents almost two decades of hard earned work ends as I had always planned it."


Sharma started writing professionally at an early age. Between the years of 1994 and 1996, he started writing as an undergraduate at Presidency College, Calcutta in India, for the newspapers The Telegraph, The Statesman and The Business Standard. He contributed to US publications like Trikone.


A Sinner in Mecca has been reviewed widely across the word. In San Diego KPBS did a mixed review saying "Laid out like some of the best personal documentaries of the 1990s, Sharma incorporates gorgeous shots, lovely animation and sometimes overly self-indulgent scenes and melodramatic voice-overs." The Hollywood Reporter called it "Wrenching… gritty… surreal and transcendent; Visceral and Abstract… a true act of courage and hope." The Guardian wrote, "With poetic simplicity… a delicately personal story and a call to action." OUT Magazine described it as "Brave... An unprecedented exploration of Islam." Indiewire wrote, "Powerful, Illuminating … a remarkable examination of contemporary Islam." NOW Toronto said, "Spectacular… Emotional core stands out". BBC Persian called it "Shocking and Courageous". Screen Daily referred to the film as ""Unprecedented… Surreal." The Toronto Star called it "A deeply personal film about faith and forgiveness." said, "Deeply personal … High Drama … A protest against Saudi Arabia". J.B. Spins wrote, "Nonfiction-filmmaking does not get much gutsier than Sharma video-documenting his hajj... Bold and stingingly truthful, A Sinner in Mecca is very highly recommended." Anne Thompson in Thompson on Hollywood wrote, "The film combines the political, the personal and the spiritual in a remarkable way".


Sharma was born on 8 July 1975 in New Delhi and grew up in various cities all over India. His High School was a Catholic School called St Mary's Academy where all students had to recite the Pater Noster during morning assembly. He studied English Literature at Presidency College of the University of Calcutta. He received his master's degrees in Mass Communication (Film and Television) from Jamia Millia Islamia University, Broadcast Journalism from the University of Wales, Cardiff, and Video from American University's School of Communication. He moved to the United States in 2000 as a student at Columbia University's Film School, but was unable to continue a second semester due to lack of funds and moved to American University where he was given scholarships.


He was involved in the organization of the first organized LGBT effort in the state of West Bengal and has spoken internationally on LGBT issues, Human rights violations across the world and the crisis in 21st century Islam.