Muslim List Reveals Scribes Selected For Sophomore Contest; MPAC HWood, Black List & Pillars Fund Partner To Pick Writers

Muslim List Reveals Scribes Selected For Sophomore Contest; MPAC HWood, Black List & Pillars Fund Partner To Pick Writers

EXCLUSIVE: Talk show reunions, heartland justice, stateside backlash to the 1970s Iranian hostage crisis, and faith vs a child’s transgender identity are among the stories that make up the second annual Muslim List.

The collaboration between The Black List, the Muslim Public Affairs Council Hollywood Bureau and Pillars Fund has once again selected 10 writers out of the hundreds of submission received for this latest apportionment. The deadline for the second Muslim List was February 28.

First announced back in September 2020, the List aims to amplify the depth and range of voices and perspectives of Muslim scribes and storytellers on both the big and small screen. So, producers, agents and A-listers, see the full list of the 2022 coterie below.

“I said last year that it was an honor to partner with both MPAC and Pillars Fund and it’s doubly so this year,” stated Black List boss Franklin Leonard today. “These scripts and writers are incredibly exciting, and I look forward to seeing these and other stories on all manner of screens in the not too distant future.”

It should be noted that of last year’s Muslim List winners Saleem Gondal’s MFA thesis film Post Term won the 2022 National Board of Review Student Grant. Fellow 2021 alum Shireen Alihaji’s Blue Veil premiered at SFFILM and played LALIFF. Shireen was also picked for the 2021 Cannes List, accepted to Athena Film Festival Workshop, and is participating in the 2022 NALIP Media Market.

In that context alone, the 2022 Muslim List finalists are in pretty fine company.

“Congratulations to our 2022 winners!” says Arij Mikati, Managing Director of Culture Change, Pillars Fund. “Once again, the Muslim List shows our communities are brimming with an abundance of creative talent and provides Hollywood with a remarkable opportunity to invest directly in this next generation of Muslim creatives.”

“It’s so wonderful to be back for a second year,” notes MPAC Hollywood Bureau director Sue Obeidi, in congratulations of her own to the 2022 winners. “Each of the ten writers and their projects fills me with great hope for the future. We’re honored to be partnering again with the Black List and the Pillars Fund. Thank you to Franklin Leonard, Kate Hagen, the Black List team, Arij Mikati and the team at the Pillars Fund for their collaboration.”

As with last year, requests for the 2022 Muslim List scripts can be made through the Black List. Below, in alphabetical order by title, are the 10 scripts selected for the second Muslim List:

ANDI, TODAY by Ida Yazdi
Andi Jamali, a 15-year-old Iranian American living in New Jersey, is suddenly reunited with her mother after ten years on a popular daytime talk show. After being apart for most of their lives, Andi and her mother, Maryam, must find a way to reconnect and make up for lost time.

ASTRAY by Faizan Kareem
A widowed Muslim doctor, also an aspiring Imam, grapples with his faith upon discovering his child’s transgender identity.

CHOKE by Rolla Selbak
Sara Beda is a martial artist whose dreams were destroyed, along with her family home, in the war in Syria. The story follows her and her family’s journey as Muslim refugees in the suburbs of America and her rise against adversity on her quest to become an MMA champion of the world.

CHOP CHOP by afshan d’souza-lodhi

CHOP CHOP is a dramedy that gives us an insight into the goings-on of an all-female halal butchers just outside the city. With Eid just around the corner and butcher shops nearby being closed down, the women won’t let anything, or anyone, get in the way.

COCOA DOLL by Jumai Yusuf
A young Black woman takes a nanny job for a rich white family, but soon uncovers that they’re hiding a deadly secret.

HEIRLOOM by Fawzia Mirza
Zareen, a queer, South Asian, Muslim woman, just got engaged to the love of her life. But when her mother refuses to let her wear the family heirloom jewelry at the wedding, she, her best friends, and fiancée turn their joint bachelorette party into a good ol’ fashioned heist.

LOST IN THE PINES by Chris Pickle & Asil Moussa
When a headstrong 14-year-old Muslim American girl Layla and her father, Will, crash their canoe on an epic backcountry camping trip, they are forced to hike 100 miles across the perilous forest to get help. Now in the unforgiving wilderness, they battle wolves, struggle against the elements, and join forces with a stray dog, all while finally coming to grips with their relationship after the death of Layla’s mother years earlier.

MIDNIGHT IN KANSAS by Malik Aziz

An established Black Muslim Hollywood attorney flies home to Kansas to defend his sister against her alleged attack on a white man.

RULES FOR CONDOMINIUM LIVING by Nastaran Dibai & Firoozeh Dumas
Set in Newport Beach in the late ’70s, this comedic coming-of-age story is told from the perspective of an Iranian teenager whose California dreams and family’s life are upended when Iran and America become official enemies due to the hostage crisis.

THE SKY WE LOOK UPON by Ali Imran Zaidi
On an overnight train through the rural Pacific Northwest, a newlywed couple returning home to feuding families is trapped in a bloody high-wire conflict — where they must choose a side to survive.

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