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A Muslim-American girl faces the tensions between faith, family and sexual exploration.
A Muslim-American girl faces the tensions between faith, family and sexual exploration.
272 backers pledged $24,123 to help bring this project to life.
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$24,123

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THE FILM

A skateboarding Muslim-American teenager struggles with her sexual desire when she falls in love with a boy.

Read more about the story here:
http://www.halathefilm.com/story/

SYNOPSIS

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.

DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT

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:
http://www.halathefilm.com/dirstatement/

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.

THE TEAM

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 
  • permits 
  • insurance 
  • catering 
  • camera equipment 
  • set decoration 
  • wardrobe 
  • transportation 
  • 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.

UPDATES

Keep up to date on our filmmaking journey on our blog:
http://www.halathefilm.com/blog/

SHARE

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.

THANK YOU

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!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1

    THANK YOU

    Any click, like, share or donation of any amount supports the film and makes you a part of our team! We want to personally thank you on Twitter and Facebook to show you just how grateful we are.

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    BACKER

    We are so grateful for your generous support of the film! We'll send you project updates, including behind-the-scenes photos and videos, and an invitation to our wrap party so we can thank you in person. We can't wait to meet you.

    Note: You must be an LA resident to be invited to the wrap party.

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    FRIEND

    For helping make HALA a reality, you'll get access to all the updates, an invitation to the wrap party and your own link to view the film on the day of our premiere. Plus, we'll also send a sneak preview of what we're working on while we're in post-production.

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    SUPPORTER

    Not only do you get all of the above and a private link to the film, but we'll send you an additional behind-the-scenes featurette of HALA.

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    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    BENEFACTOR

    So we'd like to honor you with a "Friend of HALA" credit on our official website in addition to the above. You'll also receive an additional special featurette: a deleted scene, a prologue or alternate ending.

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    PATRON

    To show our gratitude for your contribution, we'll send you all of the above, an advance private link to the film upon its completion and I'll come to thank you in person. I'll present you with a lookbook, mood boards and a playlist of film references that inspired HALA, curated just for you.

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    PHILANTHROPIST

    We will honor your incredible support with all of the above, a "Special Thanks" credit on the film and on IMDb, and we'll support you too: our director and producer will meet with you one-on-one about your own filmmaking aspirations. Plus, you get two tickets to a friends-and-family sneak preview, including the after party. We'd love to have you join us.

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

    The best way to support the film: join our crew! You're a member of the team and will have an "Associate Producer" credit on the film and on IMDb. You'll receive all of the above plus we'd love for you to join us for pre-production meetings and set visits! You'll also get two tickets to the official premiere and premiere party. We'll be honored to have you by our side.

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    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About US$ 2,500

    CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

    Your contribution makes you such an integral part of our team, you'll be credited as "Co-Executive Producer" on the film and on IMDb to recognize it. You'll receive all of the above, plus we'll send you the script, shot lists and edited cuts of the film as we move through production. We can't wait to hear your thoughts! We'll also take you to dinner to celebrate and discuss festival strategy along with four tickets to the official premiere and premiere party!

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    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

    You're an "Executive Producer" and your generosity astounds us. You'll be a part of it all. You get all of the above, you will stand with us on the stage at the premiere to present the film, and you will be invited to all film festival screenings and events throughout the life of the film. We promise to deliver a film that will amaze you.

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Funding period

- (30 days)