A skateboarding Muslim-American teenager struggles with her sexual desire when she falls in love with a boy.
Read more about the story here:
Hala, a sixteen-year old Muslim teenager, has a rich and complex inner world, which serves as an escape from her socially conservative home. When she meets Jesse, a boy from the skate park, she experiences a real and immediate connection. Hala must keep their relationship a secret from her religious parents. In their Islamic faith, dating and premarital sex are expressly forbidden. Her twin identities, however, inevitably collide, and not without consequences.
I was born and raised in Rogers Park, a small, diverse neighborhood in Chicago, by immigrant Pakistani Muslim parents. Like any teenager, I began to question the principles with which I had been raised. I started to discover who I wanted to be and the life I wanted to lead. Naturally, this led to questioning about my sexual desire, and how it would manifest given the limitations of my faith. The conflict, however, was far from binary. HALA is a story about a young, first-generation Muslim-American teenager’s sexual coming-of-age. Although the characters and plot are fictional, HALA has been shaped by my personal experiences.
Read the full director's statement here:
WHY SUPPORT THIS FILM?
HALA is a short film based on a feature-length screenplay. Our team fully expects to use the short film to raise interest and financing for the feature-length film, which we aim to shoot within the next year.
According to a study conducted by the Female Filmmakers Initiative (supported by the Sundance Institute), female narrative directors are one of the most underrepresented groups working in film. By supporting this short film, you will be supporting my career as a working minority female director, as well as financially backing a film featuring a complex, and multi-layered female minority protagonist and a story that my team and I believe is important to tell -- a universal and accessible story about the painful transition between youth and adulthood.
Minhal Baig, Writer/Director
Minhal Baig graduated from Yale University in 2012 with a Bachelors degree in Fine Arts. She wrote & directed several plays including ALL THE SAD YOUNG LITERARY MEN (AND WOMEN) (2011), about a young novelist in the midst of a creative and personal slump and THIS IS LOS ANGELES (2012), about an aspiring assistant’s descent in Hollywood. In 2013, she was selected as one of six fellows for the first annual week-long screenwriting residency in Las Vegas, hosted by THE BLACK LIST, with professional mentors Billy Ray, Brian Koppelman, Kirsten Smith and Jenny Lumet. Her most recent work includes her feature directorial debut, ONE NIGHT (2015), a drama that follows two couples as they reconnect over the course of one night at a hotel. The film stars Anna Camp (TRUE BLOOD, PITCH PERFECT), Justin Chatwin (SHAMELESS, WAR OF THE WORLDS), Isabelle Fuhrman (ORPHAN HUNGER GAMES) and Kyle Allen (XX, THE WAY).
Sara Nassim, Producer
Sara Nassim was born and raised in Iceland. She began as a production assistant and was quickly promoted to 2nd assistant director and production coordinator. Between 2011 and 2012, she was a producer at Pegasus Pictures, a prominent production company based in Reykjavik. Sara first developed her scheduling skills through her work in the AD Department, skills which cannot be underestimated in her subsequent work as producer. Since then, she has served as the production coordinator and 2nd assistant director on big-budget productions including HBO’s GAME OF THRONES (2013-2014), Darren Aronofsky’s NOAH (2014) and Ben Stiller’s THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY (2013). She also served as unit production manager on the Icelandic/Danish film, SPARROWS, directed by two-time Cannes nominee, Rúnar Rúnarsson, and produced by the renowned Danish production company, Nimbus Film. In 2013, Sara moved to Los Angeles to join the American Film Institute (AFI) as a producing fellow. Throughout her two years there, she produced several short films, including ZELOS (2015) by AFI Directing Workshop for Women fellow, Thoranna Sigurdardottir. Sara is the 2014 recipient of the Jerry Bruckheimer scholarship and the 2015 recipient of the Leifur Eriksson scholarship. As a producing fellow at AFI, Sara has produced several short films, in which her involvement was both creative and in the physical side of production. Her thesis film, WORKING BODY (2015), which she developed with the writer, tells the story of a woman who is shot and killed during a vacation with her family; the narrative follows the journey of her body until the casket is closed. She continues to develop independent features as she prepares to graduate AFI in 2015.
Benjamin Dell, Cinematographer
'Benji" Dell holds a Masters in Cinematography from the American Film Institute (AFI). He has lensed music videos, commercials and several short films, including ZUG (2013), a Student Academy Award Winner. He shot a feature with the Butcher Brothers and a pilot for the Discovery Channel. He has also served as a second unit DP on several films, including HOLY GHOST PEOPLE, a SXSW selection. He has been involved in ad campaigns for ASHWORTH, SKETCHERS, NIKE and MOUNTAIN DEW. He most recently completed his MFA masters thesis film, GRILL DOG (2015).
Salvador Pérez García, Editor
Salvador Pérez García graduated from the University of Guadalajara with a BA in Audiovisual Arts. He has mainly worked as an editor in a variety of short films, including ALPHA Y OMEGA and CHABELA QUERIDA, both of which played at international film festivals. He directed and edited a documentary about the making of ESCUADRÓN 2011, an animated miniseries for the 2011 Pan American Games, followed by A CONVERSATION WITH ARAM, a short doc shot in Paris. Currently, Salvador is earning his MFA degree as a fellow at the American Film Institute Conservatory, where he is one of the recipients of the prestigious Tom Yoda Scholarship for talent and academic achievement, and where he has worked on a several shorts including the upcoming GRILL DOG and THE DUKE.
Sara Higley, Production Designer
Sara Higley was born on Christmas Eve, 1985. She spent her formative years in Chicago where she attended DePaul University, earning a B.A. in Art History and Spanish Language. Shortly after returning to her native California in 2012, she cut her teeth in the Art Department working in the comedy TV world as an intern for Tim & Eric's Abso Lutely Productions. She has since production designed original content for Comedy Central, Funny or Die, and JASH Media. Her experience also includes work on TV shows for such channels as the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, and IFC, and companies like Target, Macy’s, and PopSugar.
Michael Beaudry, Casting Director
Michael Beaudry has been studying people since he was born, in Pago Pago, American Samoa. Raised mostly as an expat in Libya, Bahrain and Indonesia, he graduated from Georgetown University with degrees in English and History, then worked in features as a director of development at Sunset-Gower Studios and in International Sales/Domestic Distribution as the VP for Minemsha Films, where their features were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film or Best Documentary five straight years. Michael then built Blok M Casting. Its namesake comes from the mega shopping district in Jakarta, where he went to high school and over 13 million locals and expats shop for the same products featured in the commercials he casts—cars (Toyota, Kias, Nissans, Fords, Chevrolet), clothes (Nike, Reebok, Lacoste, Levis), tech giants (Dell, Microsoft, Google, Samsung), Gilette, Lego, Disney, Procter and Gamble, Visa, the World Cup, and so many more. Michael has worked on over 1,000 commercials and cast videos for Katy Perry, Kanye West, Rihanna, Drake, Skrillex, Tiesto, Mastodon, Nicki Minaj, Nicole Scherzinger, The Weeknd, Schoolboy Q, Alice In Chains, Big Sean, Rae Sremmurd and even the great Led Zeppelin. He cast a video for Queens of the Stonge Age that recently won "Best Rock Video of the Year" at the UK Video Awards; and his video for Childish Gamino’s “Sober” just won the MTV Woodie Award for "Best Music Video of the Year". Blok M's narrative work includes webisodes, features and shorts, including an award-winning film for Planet of the Apes.
HOW IT WORKS
Your contribution is vital to the film being made. We plan to raise $15,000 through our campaign and anticipate raising an additional $5,000 privately.
Some of the hard costs of the short film include:
- location fees
- camera equipment
- set decoration
- sound & color mix
Once our funding goal has been reached, any additional contributions will increase the production value of the film, offset post-production costs and cover festival submission fees.
Keep up to date on our filmmaking journey on our blog:
Please use the Kickstarter share tools to raise awareness of our fundraising campaign. Sharing the link on your various social media platforms helps connect people who may be passionate about our project with our campaign.
Every little bit counts! Your contribution is appreciated and our team is so thankful for your support in making this film.
Risks and challenges
There are unique challenges that will always pop up in production of a film. From changes in cast & crew to locations, production delays are inevitable part of the independent filmmaking process.
If any setbacks do arise, we plan to keep you informed and give you reasonable dates of completion for the film. We so appreciate your trust in us as filmmakers; your dollars count!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)