USMAN RIAZ is an inspirational storyteller, composer, musician and film-maker who’s start to fame began with his guitar-percussion performance on TEDGlobal’s main stage with his idol Preston Reed. Born in Pakistan, Usman began playing classical piano at the age of six and taught himself to play a variety of instruments using the internet as a learning tool.
By age 21, he was selected as the youngest TED Senior Fellow to present his own works on the TED Global stage inspiring new questions to how multimedia empowers art. Usman continues to present and perform music from his works globally, notably through collaborations with leading technology pioneers Apple Inc, TED Global, Google, TEDxTokyo, Coke, Coke Studios, Celtic Connections, Paper Fifty Three, NPR Tiny Desk, and more.
A Fine Arts alumni to Indus Valley School of Arts, Usman is currently completing further studies in composition with a full scholarship at Berklee College of Music, in Boston USA. One of the few directors who scripts, directs and scores his own films, Usman's works are celebrated as an inspirational form of cinematic storytelling.
His next work 'The Glassworker' will be the very first hand-drawn animation from Pakistan. Revealed with a teaser at TED Global's Dream Conference 2016, Usman has since raised over $60,000 on Kickstarter to fund the making of Part One. Drawing interest from leading multi-media culture publications and making ripples in the film industry, 'The Glassworker' has been featured in VICE -The Creators Project, WIRED, Konbini, Cool Hunting, Buzz Feed and more.
The first film to be made under his newly formed studio Mano Animation Studios, they plan to lay the foundations for a new industry to emerge in Pakistan by creating opportunities through their film production, which is seeding support for a new generation of exceptional artists in Pakistan, and beyond.