A MAN from Bradford has created a series of short films about racism, which have been featured on the BBC website and have reached over five million views online.

Usmaan Arshad, 29, who grew up in Girlington, Bradford, studied TV production at the University of Bradford and has now launched a successful career in the TV industry.

He has worked for names including Netflix, Apple TV, and as a production editor at the BBC, but recently, he has been using his platform to tackle the issue of racism - something he has first-hand experience of.

Usmaan said: “I had a tough time growing up, I was bullied at school and experienced racism from a young age. Those experiences have never left me."

"I failed all my GCSEs, I had eight percent attendance between Years 10 to 11, basically because of bullying and racism. It’s only when we talk about our experiences, that people can see what we see.”

However, it was thanks to a chance meeting with a BBC editor whilst working on videos about George Floyd that led him to create his own personal video and encourage people to change their perceptions online.

Usmaan added: "The video was about my own experience, it had about 500,000 views on Facebook within a couple of days. I remember one of the editors asking me if I had looked at the comments - she said not to because they were mostly racist."

"Two days later, most of the comments were positive and people were rebutting the racism. To me, that was a natural change, because I could see people were debating and changing their opinions.

In the weeks that followed, the videos were posted by the BBC around the world and I had a lot of positive feedback from colleagues.”

Usmaan went on to explore other people's experiences - one of the videos features, Gloria, who was a midwife for 48 years and recalls her own experiences of racism.

Usmaan added: “When you create films like that, you cannot tell people how to think. I am proud of the films. What the audience gets is a firsthand account, there is no bias in terms of us telling the story - it’s just them speaking, then people can make up their own minds.”

He now has plans to create more films and documentaries, including exploring the effect of drugs in the South Asian community and a creative project about throw-away culture.

Usmaan's videos can be seen here.