Groundbreaking Rom-Com “Americanish” Now Available Worldwide

“Americanish” is the first American Muslim rom-com made by American Muslim women, and it has gone on a nearly decade-long journey to earn the home release it has today.

Groundbreaking Rom-Com “Americanish” Now Available Worldwide
Set in Jackson Heights, Queens, "Americanish" follows a relatable and endearing storyline offering a fresh perspective on classic rom-com tropes.

“Americanish” (2021), Iman Zawahry and Aizzah Fatima’s award-winning rom-com, has gotten its worldwide release at long last. As of today, the film is available for digital rental or purchase by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. 

“Americanish” is the first American Muslim rom-com made by American Muslim women, and it has gone on a nearly decade-long journey to earn the home release it has today. The film was inspired by Fatima’s critically acclaimed one-woman show “Dirty Paki Lingerie” (2014), which explored “what it means to be a Muslim Pakistani woman in America post-9/11.” Fatima started her show after feeling a lack of understanding of Muslim Americans, and specifically, the experience of Muslim American women.

It was after Fatima’s New York performance of “Dirty Paki Lingerie” that the first seed of “Americanish” was planted. Impressed by the show, Zawahry approached Fatima about adapting her performance into a film. Fatima agreed, and the two conducted a fundraising campaign within the Muslim American community to get their plucky project off the ground.

Seven years later in 2021, “Americanish” premiered at CAAMFest, the largest Asian American film festival in the United States. There, it won the coveted audience award and caught immediate critical attention. “Americanish” proceeded to win 25 festival awards before its acquisition by Sony Pictures earlier this year. And more recently, following its limited theater run, “Americanish” has received a 100% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Regarding audience reception to the film, Fatima stated, “I made this film for all the little girls like me living in small-town America who never see themselves being heroes of their own stories.” 

Zawahry echoed that sentiment, saying that, “Words can’t describe the feeling of watching the audience’s reaction to the film. You make a film, and you don’t really understand its value until you hear, ‘Thank you for making this film and making me feel seen.’” 

Directed by Zawahry and co-written by Fatima and Zawahry, “Americanish” follows career-driven sisters Sam (Fatima) and Maryam (Salena Qureshi), as well as their fish-out-of-water cousin Ameera (Shenaz Treasury), as they navigate romance, culture, career and family in New York City. In the film’s own words, it is “a break from the traditional romantic comedy, [highlighting] different layers of womanhood as they intersect with cultural and societal expectations … ‘Americanish’ delves into the complexity of trying to both honor and break from cultural traditions while balancing personal values and career goals in a society that does not always accommodate both.”

Joining Fatima, Qureshi and Treasury in the cast are Lillete Dubey, Mohammed Amer, Ajay Naidu, Godfrey, Kapil Talwalkar, George Wendt and David Rasche. Zawahry and Fatima served as producers alongside Roy Wol, Paul V. Seetachitt and Maddie Shapiro. The film also received support from the MPAC Hollywood Bureau, the Islamic Scholarship Fund and The Concordia Forum.

“Americanish” is available now anywhere you rent or buy movies. 

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