Jigar is a documentary filmmaker and a journalist. He is the co-founder of the group storytelling platform, GroupStream, whose first project is the collaborative documentary project, 18 Days in Egypt.
He was most recently a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University, developing tools for collaborative journalism. Before coming to Stanford, he worked as a video journalist for The New York Times. He has a passion for telling stories through strong characters and accurate reporting.
Jigar received his Masters in Journalism from the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley where he studied under documentary filmmaker Jon Else . At Berkeley, Jigar developed a passion for character-driven stories and built the journalistic skills necessary to ensure those stories were both interesting and authentic.
His first documentary, Playing the News, examines whether video games are a revolutionary new way to engage young people in current events or an unethical marketing gimmick that merely seeks to exploit war. Playing the News profiles the first video game company to consider itself a legitimate news organization, taking us from the company’s Manhattan offices, equipped with satellite technology, to the frontlines of the war in Iraq. It premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival and is now part of media study coursework.
Jigar then shifted gears, going from the big screen to the online screen by joining The New York Times in their newly minted video unit as a video journalist. The in-house unit produced micro-documentaries for the website. Jigar was influential in pushing the boundaries of the form. He regularly teamed up with the multimedia team to produce stories that could only be uniquely told using video and the web and he contributed to multimedia pieces such as the Simmons Flip, which was nominated for a News and Documentary Emmy for New Approaches.
His first transmedia project was for reporter David Carr’s memoir, The Night of the Gun. The website provided documentary evidence for the user to explore from the author’s past. It was based on a three-year fact-finding mission to revisit Carr’s harrowing past as a drug addict and discovery that the search for answers can reveal many versions of the truth
Jigar currently splits his time between New York, Cairo and Silicon Valley.