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Perfect 10
Make Up

People are Strange

“People Are Strange” is the true story of how a skinhead became my au pair and lived with my Pakistani family for a year.




1984, in a commuter town beyond the north circular, a Pakistani mother, Ayesha (32) and her daughter, Bubbles (7), seem to live a quiet suburban life. Bubbles is bullied at school. Single, after a violent marriage, Ayesha juggles work with parenting. She employs an agency to find an au pair. But when the au pair arrives from Glasgow she, Mary (18), turns out to be a skinhead. Equally desperate, Mary and Ayesha begin a wary collaboration which develops into a friendship. Mary helps Bubbles confront the bullies. At the end of a year, Mary applies to study anthropology at university.


Nasheed Qamar Faruqi (Writer/Director)

Nasheed Qamar Faruqi is a Pakistani woman who grew up in England. As a screenwriter and director, she explores violence and cultural difference through a personal lens.

Nasheed studied English at Wadham College, Oxford, and worked for Merchant Ivory Productions as Ismail Merchant’s Assistant on films including THE MYSTIC MASSEUR and THE WHITE COUNTESS. She completed an MFA from Columbia, New York, where she held a FOCUS Fellowship; her graduation film, MY FATHER'S SON, for which she crowdfunded £15,000/, received a Milos Forman Award in 2007.

Nasheed’s 25-minute documentary DAVID HAWKINS: A BATTLE OF THE MIND (2017), produced by the Hidden Persuaders Group at Birkbeck and funded by the Wellcome Trust, is about the youngest of 21 US PoWs who chose China after the Korean War. It was shortlisted for AHRC Research Film of the Year and selected for the forthcoming War of Nerves exhibition at the Wende Museum in LA. Her crowdfunded short, BUBBLES (2015), starring Shabana Azmi, is about a child’s encounter with domestic violence. It played at festivals including LSFF http://shortfilms.org.uk and NYIFF http://www.iaac.us/nyiff2018/index.htm. She has made three music videos for Hook and the Twin.

Nasheed was selected for Widening the Lens 2017/18 and as a 2015/16 ACE Fellow on the Clore Leadership Programme.

You can view Nasheed's short film below:


Julia Nottingham (Producer)

Julia’s past credits include XY CHELSEA dir: Tim Travers Hawkins (Tribeca 2019), SKATE KITCHEN Dir: Crystal Moselle featuring Jaden Smith (Sundance 2018), KINGDOM OF US Dir: Lucy Cohen (LFF 2017) which won the Greirson Best Doc prize and was nominated for Outstanding Debut at BAFTA 2018, TROPHY (Sundance 2017) Dir: Shaul Schwarz, ALL THESE SLEEPLESS NIGHTS (Sundance 2016) which won Best Director at the festival and THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS ( SXSW 2014) Dir: Edward Lovelace and James Hall. Currently she has fiction projects in development with Film 4, BBC Films and BFI and non fiction projects with ESPN Films and CNN Films. In 2018 Julia was named by Screen International as a Future Leader. Before setting up Dorothy Street Pictures Julia worked in the film department at Pulse Films (AMERICAN HONEY, 20,000 DAYS ON EARTH) running their feature doc slate. 

Ariadne Kotsaki (Producer)

Ariadne is a producing partner at Dorothy Street Pictures working alongside Julia on the fiction slate.  She has worked in scripted development for over 8 years at indie companies such as Faliro House (BEFORE MIDNIGHT, ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE) as well as at Fox Searchlight.  Most recently she ran the film slate for producer Damian Jones working on films such as ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS: THE MOVIE and story editing period drama GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN.  She is attached to produce artist and filmmaker Sophia Al Maria’s debut feature THE MARINA, as well as projects set up with Dorothy St such as a feature from writer and actress Susan Wokoma.

Dorothy Street Pictures is an independent production company founded in 2018 by producer Julia Nottingham.


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In Association With

Creative England BFI BBC Films Screenskills