The Black List has teamed with the Muslim Public Affairs Council Hollywood Bureau (MPAC) and Pillars Fund for the inaugural Muslim List, which spotlights screenwriters who are practitioners or followers of Islam. There were nearly 200 feature film and pilot scripts and 10 were chosen.
“While not a surprise, the response to the competition was very strong,” said Sue Obeidi, Director of MPAC’s Hollywood Bureau. “We were moved by the plethora of stories submitted, many of which were inspired by true events. Choosing the top ten was not easy, to say the least, but we are so proud of the final result. Many thanks to The Black List’s Franklin Leonard, Kate Hagen, and their entire team, and to Arij Mikati and the Pillars Fund team for their partnership.”
Read the full list of scripts and descriptions below.
4 MONSTERS – Khurram Mozaffar
Four Monsters mixes up Hollywood’s favorite villains into one ridiculous road trip — zombies, vampires, aliens, and… Muslims?! When a virus outbreak starts turning Los Angeles residents into the undead, all evidence points to a terrorist attack. Hoping to clear their names, four friends venture into a locked down LA and discover that Hollywood has an underbelly too ridiculous to believe and yet too believable to ignore.
BLUE VEIL – Shireen Alihaji
After 9/11, Amina and her father Muhammad move to a small town to build a home and life of anonymity. This becomes virtually impossible when Muhammad wins the Lotto. Amina struggles with hiding who she is until she discovers and begins sampling her mother’s tape collection. The songs reflect her parents’ migration stories to America and serve as a roadmap to Amina’s identity.
BROOKLYN BENGALIS – Zubaira Ahmed
When the Mafia threatens to deport her imprisoned father, a Bangladeshi woman takes the household reins and works for the crime family while managing her chaotic and culturally strict home life.
CORPORAL GANDA – Idrissou Mora-Kpai
In 1951 Indochina, an African colonial soldier deserts the French army to reunite with his Vietnamese wife and son and finds himself hunted in the process.
DRUM AND VERSE – Saleem Nasir Gondal
In the Walls of Solomon, where Jinn and their magical Drum are controlled by Humans who wield the Holy Verse, life-long rebel Amal finds a path to freedom when she meets the enchanting Benazir, a mysterious Jinni with knowledge from the outside.
LADY LIBERTY – Jenna Mahmoud Bosco
Jamila, a brash and disillusioned parking enforcement officer, haphazardly decides to run for city council when her beloved immigrant community is threatened by a snazzy real estate developer with political ambitions. This story is inspired by the tenacious congresswomen of The Squad.
NAILA – Nadra Widatalla
A Black Muslim video game designer by day and prison abolitionist by night needs to quickly decide what side of capitalism she really sits on.
NOOR – Nijla Mu’min
Caught in the throes of grief following her brother’s unsolved murder outside of a Brooklyn bodega, a Black woman develops an unexpected physical connection to the Arab man who works there. A surrender to lust and a search for truth lead their worlds to collide.
ULTIMATE SUCCESS – Nabeel Arshad
Sameer Sheik, a former valedictorian — now a bitter, burnt-out adult — ends up back at his former high school teaching remedial English, but his life changes when his estranged sister and niece enter his life.
UNTITLED CHUBBY MUSLIM PROJECT – Mike Mosallam
On the verge of failing 8th grade due to a physical education requirement, Bilal, a 13-year-old Muslim boy, is forced to move into his brother’s jock-filled college party pad after their grandmother has a stroke. Bilal soon realizes he isn’t the only one who needs help, as he and his brother Mark (opposites in every way) find love and humor and heal unresolved issues relating to their parents’ recent death.