Burhan Qurbani 's family fled Afghanistan in 1979, seeking political asylum in Germany. After finishing school in Stuttgart, he worked in the theater as a dramatist's assistant and later as a director's assistant. In 2002, he enrolled at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg to study Directing. His short films have been screened at festivals around the world and won numerous prizes including the German Camera Award and the German Film Critics' Award in 2008 for ILLUSION (2007). The same year he was honored with the Black Pearl for Best Newcomer of the Year from the Middle East International Film Festival. SHAHADA (2010), his graduation project and feature debut, premiered in the competition of the Berlinale (2010) and won, among other awards, the Golden Hugo in Chicago.