Nays Baghai is an award-winning independent filmmaker and underwater cameraman from Sydney, Australia.
Inspired by 1970s cinema and David Attenborough documentaries as a youngster, Nays has had a camera in his hands as long as he can remember. In 2020, Nays’ feature film debut, Descent, won the Best Australian Documentary award at the Oscar-qualifying Sydney Film Festival, and was picked up for distribution by Madman Entertainment and CAT&Docs. The film was singled out for its character-driven style of storytelling and stunning underwater cinematography, and was given a grant by Screen Australia to be developed into an expanded series.
Prior to Descent, Nays’ student short films won a total of 20 awards from various international film festivals. He also holds experience in corporate videography, and has shot and edited content for dozens of businesses and corporations, including Telstra, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Deloitte, Raine & Horne, and High Resolves.
Nays is also well known for his underwater cinematography and photography work, which has been showcased by numerous premier brands, including Rolex, Tourism Australia, DeeperBlue, Cressi, Molchanovs, Rodney Fox Shark Expeditions, Channel 9, and many more. In 2021, Nays was featured amongst the Top 30 finalists of the Australasian Top Emerging Photographer competition in the Portfolio and Animal categories. He is a PADI-certified Freediving Instructor and Master Scuba Diver, and shoots with both RED and Sony cameras.
Nays graduated from the Bachelor of Arts (Screen Production) program at the Australian Film Television & Radio School in 2018 with high honours. In his spare time, he can be found playing his guitars and basses, guzzling coffee, cooking vegan food, playing chess, meditating, and coming up with ideas for future projects.
Audience: brands, artists, businesses
Product: fiction/documentary film
Style: narrative-based & artistic
Audience: short & long productions, brands
Products: underwater video
Style: naturalistic/observational OR dramatic/creative
Audience: large and small businesses
Products: corporate videos, promotional videos, ads
Style: brand-based & informative
Audience: production companies, dive brands
Products: prints, photoshoots, social media stills
"I had such a great time working as an underwater cinematographer with Nays. As a director, he was decisive when he needed to be, but also let the crew have enough freedom to get the shots needed. I would love to do more work with him in the future."
- Peter Lightowler, founder, Down Under Aquatic Imaging
"Nays is a hard-working and compassionate filmmaker I had the good fortune to work with. His clarity of vision and generosity as a director made acting in his film What Are You Looking At an absolute pleasure. Nays’ drive, energy and artistic intelligence, without egotistical desire, shows in the amazingly detailed work he produces. It is a joy to have worked with this wonderful young filmmaker."
- Rowan Freeman, actor & writer
"Nays originally completed work experience for me when I was in charge of corporate videos for Deloitte. Although he was still at school at the time, it was already very obvious that he had an unusual mix of talent, intelligence and creativity combined. Since then, I have observed Nays in action directing; I was amazed at how his confidence had increased and how in control he was. He knows what he wants, but he still appreciates constructive feedback.”
- Toni Hamilton, former Creative Director, Deloitte
“Nays is a truly gifted filmmaker with a sensitive and intuitive eye; he was a delight to work with and his flexibility with integrating our feedback was like a breath of fresh air. Nays had the knack of being quite inconspicuous when he was filming our meditation group, and we were very impressed with how he was able to draw hours of filming into a beautiful, coherent and informative short film; we look forward to making another film with Nays in the future.”
- Georgia Carr & Susan McFarlane, founders, HeartCentre
"Nays is an incredibly talented editor and pays great attention to fine details in his work. He has an amazing ability to create films that are beautiful and powerful, and his editing is seamless. He is a delight to work with and is a fast worker with a positive attitude. I look forward to working with him on some exciting future projects.”
- Ashley Kelly, founder, Mermaid Pictures
"Nays was an absolute pleasure to work with. For our company, we had to assemble various clips into two videos for work conferences, and he edited both with great speed and professionalism. He was very easy to work with, and I can’t recommend him highly enough.”
- Pei-Li Guan, senior auditor, CBA
"Nays’ underwater cinematography for my film Tides was nothing short of amazing. He took direction very well even in a challenging environment, and was extremely professional throughout the shoot."
- Jami Blood, director
"It was a pleasure to work with Nays on the set of Suburban Wildlife. He was very professional, attentive and produced beautiful, high-quality photos. He is a committed worker that is great to have on set, and I would definitely work with him again."
- Sophie Hatch, producer
"As the stills photographer for my film Leg It, Nays delivered great shots that captured the exciting and vibrant nature of the cast, crew and the film itself. Extremely punctual in editing, Nays delivered the shots on the afternoon of the shoot, a timeframe I was very impressed with."
- Rachel Mackey, writer & director