Skip to main content
BFI logo











Screenonline banner
Vir, Parminder


Main image of Vir, Parminder

In 1986, Parminder Vir produced a showreel on black filmmaking in Britain. The tape was viewed by senior BBC executives and led to an offer of work there. Starting out as a researcher, she progressed to assistant producer and eventually to series producer, staying with the BBC until 1994. Thereafter, she continued to make programmes for the BBC under the aegis of her own production company, Formation Films.

In 1991, she produced two programmes for the BBC series Our War, in which Middle Eastern directors explored the effect of the Gulf War on their different countries and people. This was followed by more international documentaries such as: Algeria - Women At War (1992, made for Channel 4's Critical Eye season) The Sex Warriors and the Samurai (1995, for Channel 4's Secret Asia series), African Eyes on Europe (1995, broadcast ZDF/Arté, Germany), and a mini-series on the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations.

In 1998, she produced the feature film Babymother (d. Julian Henriques), a reggae musical set in West London and in 2000 she produced the second series of Single Voices, four half-hour comedy monologues by writers Tunde Babalola, Maurice Bessman, Stewart Permutt and Rob McIndoe.

Throughout her career, Vir has been at the forefront of championing ethnic diversity, spearheading the Cultural Diversity Network (CDN), an industry-wide organisation committed to diversity in output and employment. In May 1996 she was appointed the Diversity Advisor to Carlton Television and in 1999 to the Board of the Film Council. In 2002 she was awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

She is married to the director Julian Henriques.

Seb Whyte

More information


From the BFI's filmographic database

Related media

Selected credits

Thumbnail image of Babymother (1998)Babymother (1998)

Black British film about a young mother with ambitions to become a reggae star

Related collections

Related people and organisations