Nays Baghai is an award-winning independent filmmaker and underwater cameraman from Sydney, Australia.
Inspired by David Attenborough and the original Star Wars trilogy as a child, Nays commenced his filmmaking career in 2013. In 2020, he made his directorial debut with the feature documentary Descent, which won the Documentary Australia Foundation award for Best Australian Documentary at the Sydney Film Festival. He is currently working full-time on expanding Descent into a larger documentary series about the psychology of underwater specialists in challenging environments.
Prior to Descent, Nays won over 20 awards for his short student films, one of which was selected by two Academy Award qualifying film festivals in Canada and Australia. He also continues to operate as a videographer, and has shot and edited content for some of dozens of local businesses and corporations, including Telstra, the Commonwealth Bank fo Australia, Deloitte, Raine & Horne, and High Resolves.
Nays also specialises in underwater cinematography and photography, and his work has been showcased by DeeperBlue, Molchanovs Freediving, Rodney Fox Shark Expeditions, Master Liveaboards, Arctic Adventures, and Cressi Australia. 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: large and small businesses
Products: corporate videos, promotional videos, ads
Style: brand-based & informative
Audience: production companies, dive brands
Products: underwater video & photography
Style: naturalistic/observational OR dramatic/creative
"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