ISF Announces 2023 Film Grant Recipients

This year, ISF has grown their film grant program in order to provide American Muslims with the support they need to produce transformative narratives that center their communities. Accordingly, ISF is awarding 7 filmmakers a total of $65,000.

ISF Announces 2023 Film Grant Recipients
Since its inception in 2014, ISF has provided funding to over 80 filmmakers for 59 films through grants totaling $510,000

The Islamic Scholarship Fund (ISF) has just announced their 2023 film grant recipients. At its inception in 2014, it was the first American Muslim film grant supporting Muslim filmmakers to “change the narrative and tell their own stories.” The program aims to create a stronger narrative of Muslim stories and support Muslim filmmakers, specifically focusing on emerging Muslim filmmakers who are creating artistic, engaging, positive stories about their community.

This year, ISF has grown their film grant program in order to provide American Muslims with the support they need to produce transformative narratives that center their communities. Accordingly, ISF is awarding 7 filmmakers a total of $65,000. Read on to learn more about the filmmakers and their projects.

Distribution Grant

“36 Seconds: Portrait of a Hate Crime” by Tarek Albaba 

In 2015, three Muslim American students were executed while eating dinner in their home in Chapel Hill, NC. The film charts the victims' families' agonizing overnight pivot from trauma to advocacy as they struggle to prevent their loved ones' deaths from being dismissed as the result of a random parking dispute. 

Narrative Grants

“The Curfew” by Shehrezad Maher

As Ayaan cares for his frail grandmother, the shards of a distant memory pierce the silence of their language barrier, shifting the resonance of his everyday encounters.

“HALF” by Arti Ishak

Sri, a mixed-race Muslim, is often deemed the wrong "half" for whatever situation they encounter. Not Indonesian enough, not Lebanese enough, never American or Muslim enough. Until they meet Erren, a Black American Muslim working through his own identity who may see Sri as a whole for the first time.

“Diary of a Muslim Cynic” by Sarah Mokh

Desperate to escape her Midwest small town in the aftermath of a tragedy, a teen girl's pursuits of love and big city dreams are upended by the ghosts of her past and mystical encounters.

Documentary Grants

“Karachi Sky” by Sofian Khan

Karachi Sky is a personal, poetic archival film about the late journalist and writer Annie Ali Khan — from her start as a Pakistani model and TV personality to the posthumous publication of her book “Sita Under the Crescent Moon” a year after her tragic death in 2018.  Told through the eyes of documentary filmmaker Sofian Khan — her longtime friend, collaborator and husband for seven years — it's an intimate story of love, creativity and loss spanning 15 years and two continents. 

“Life After Terror: Justice and the Muslim American Experience” by Mohammed Naqvi

In post-9/11 America, filmmaker Mohammed Naqvi confronts his own internalized Islamophobia and speaks to other Muslim media makers, delving into the pervasive media biases and institutional racism that contributed towards targeting innocent Muslims.

“Clara's Fruit” by Morgan Mathews

Clara's Fruit is a short documentary that delves into the remarkable history and vision of educator and activist Clara Muhammad and the ongoing 80-year legacy of a nationwide private school system she started for African American Muslims. Today, her grandson and the film's main character, Khalil Ali, is the principal of one of the last remaining schools in Atlanta, GA and we watch him, his staff and the K-12 students endure the challenges of an underfunded school while persevering through faith, community and the transformative power of education.

In addition to funding, the grant recipients will also receive mentorship and networking opportunities from industry professionals to help further the advancement of their script, film and career.

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