The meaning of Zara: Eastern Brightness. Princess. Light. As magnificent as the dawn. Blooming Flower.
Zara Durrani is a renaissance woman. Born and raised in Pakistan, her family lived throughout Southeast Asia before settling down in Vancouver, BC. She not only brought her suitcase but her passion for performing. Durrani has been a prominent figure in the Vancouver entertainment industry for almost a decade. She has held many titles including actress, model, television host, producer and humanitarian. Through her work, she has strived to make a positive difference in the world.
2010 was an intensely busy year for Durrani as she juggled several projects. Sindoor, a short film she starred in, had a great festival run around the world and was nominated for, four Leo Awards and opened the Vancouver Asian Film Festival that year winning the Best Short Award.
Durrani was announced as the Official Reporter for the We Canada campaign, Canadian Initiative for the 2012 Earth Summit in Rio. She represented the organization at various charity events and interviewed celebrities and campaign ambassadors to help raise awareness.
In the same year, Durrani was handpicked as the Field Producer and Host for VISAFF ( Vancouver Int’l South Asian Film Festival). The festival’s purpose and vision is to "bridge the gap" between South Asian talent and mainstream audiences and Durrani played a huge part as an ambassador for the festival in 2010 and 2011.
Shortly afterwards, Durrani was approached to produce and host VanEssence with Novus TV and Suhrwardy Brothers. 'VanEssence' aimed to promote fashion, music, arts and culture that make Vancouver what it is, 'one of the best cities in the world' and a champion for diversity. The show was well received and led to Durrani starting her own production company and creating the infamous talk show, as seen on four networks nationally across Canada, Life & Style with Zara.
Durrani interviewed many influential Canadians and Hollywood celebrities for the show including David Suzuki , Severn Suzuki, Bif Naked, Rick Campanelli (ET Canada), Adam Beach (CBC Arctic Air), Lana Parrilla (CW Once Upon a Time), Thomas Dekker (CW Secret Circle), Agam Darshi (Sanctuary, Played), Michael Eklund (Bates Motel, The Call) among many others. Founded on the principles of fairness, equality, spirituality and inspiration, Life&Style with Zara wrapped up it’s 13-episode first season which began airing in July 2011. Life and Style with Zara aired on four networks in Canada including CHEK and JOY TV nationally, and Shaw TV and Novus Community Channel in the Lower Mainland. The show nabbed prime-time on CHEK NEWS, airing at 7pm until fall 2012. For almost a year the show aired 10 times a week on three networks and was hard to miss for anyone who a owned a television. Currently, Zara is still producing online content for the show which can be viewed on the Life&Style with Zara website.
2012 was a very exciting and busy year for Durrani as she returned to her first love, acting. She finished four feature films in two different countries, Canada and Mexico. She worked as supporting lead in Kavi Raz’s three part feature film Maple Heart/Rukh/BC Gangs. Kavi Raz hand-picked her for this role after auditioning 300 actresses in Los Angeles, Toronto and Vancouver. For her role in Maple Heart Durrani trained physically to get in shape for the character and also had to learn Punjabi. The film is loosely based on Bindy Johal, a deceased South Asian notorious gangster’s life and deals with drugs and human trafficking.
In December, Durrani wrapped up filming Cancel written by famous Iranian director Mohammad Rahmanian. Durrani played the lead role of a street performer battling depression and addiction.
In January 2013, the long-awaited selection of the international Spokes Model Ambassador for Fashion Hope resulted with the choice of Pakistani born and Canada native Zara Durrani. Fashion Hope builds awareness and raises funds in the fashion industry, then partners with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) that are doing the front line work to rescue and rehabilitate survivors of human trafficking.
Durrani recently left her position at Fashion Hope and is working in Vancouver with Reel Causes to make a change on a local level as well as SAS Surrey to help women who are victims of human trafficking.
Most recently Durrani had a fantastic guest starring role on the well-loved USA Network show Psych opposite James Roday and Dule Hill and a week later she was spotted on CW's Arrow. Durrani’s star is definitely on the rise.
"As an entertainer and artist, I hope to inspire and heal the world around me." Zara Durrani
Zara Durrani is not just a model and an actress, but truly a Role Model.
Highlights to Life & Style with Zara:
Hosting VanEssence in Vancouver, BC: