Meet our Semi-Finalists for the ISF x Rifelion Writers Access Initiative

"There is a whole new generation of Muslim screenwriters ready to share their stories with the world," said Asad Butt, CEO and Founder of Rifelion. "Muslim creativity is alive and shouldn't be overlooked any longer."

Meet our Semi-Finalists for the ISF x Rifelion Writers Access Initiative

Fourteen short film scripts have been selected as Semi-Finalists for the inaugural Islamic Scholarship Fund x Rifelion Writers Access Initiative.

The Initiative supports up-and-coming American Muslim writers and is open to Muslim individuals or teams in which one person identified as a Muslim. This year's theme was "Stories about Ramadan or Eid." Writers submitted scripts of up to 20 pages that feature Muslim characters and storylines. An open call for scripts took place in May, and nearly 50 scripts were submitted from around the world.

The Initiative is a partnership between Islamic Scholarship Fund and Rifelion.

"There is a whole new generation of Muslim screenwriters ready to share their stories with the world," said Asad Butt, CEO and Founder of Rifelion. "Muslim creativity is alive and shouldn't be overlooked any longer."

The Semi-Finalists include:

"Nani's Biryani" by Faroukh Virani and Jeff Chanley
Synopsis: A class assignment during Ramadan prompts a young Muslim American boy to connect with his culture through food content, but he ends up getting schooled by his grandmother on how to prepare a traditional dish for social media.

"Danny's Stand" by Mellak Abduelal
Synopsis: As Ramadan approaches, Maha is away in Europe for her first year of college. As she struggles to balance the distance between herself, her family and her friends during the holy month, she turns to a Palestinian Falafel-store owner for guidance.

"Gedu's Gift" by Sarah Mostafa
Synopsis: A grandfather’s ritual of gifting his grandchildren a riddle every Eid turns into a high-stakes game when they are given a week to solve his final riddle to them … or risk losing their entire fortune.

"Saving Leilani" by Sarah Mostafa
Synopsis: On Eid day, a rural town in Maryland goes on a frantic hunt as two boys suddenly vanish along with a curious mix of farm animals.

"Dead Fast" by Vignesh Ramesh and Faris Khaleeli
Synopsis: Three Muslim friends attempt to uncover the mystery behind the death of a housemate during the last night of Ramadan.

"Missing Family" by Omar El Alami
Synopsis: Malik must find his suddenly missing father before their tough-to-please relatives arrive at a Eid party destined to go off the rails.

"30 Days" by Amatullah Shaw
Synopsis: Split up right after their engagement, Amina and Bilal are faced with an outbreak that leaves them with two options; will the two live long enough to see their wedding day, or will an outbreak cut their love story short?

"Playmates" by Wahab Shayek
Synopsis: Four young cousins at a family Eid party plan the heist of a lifetime: getting their hands on their uncle's Playboy stash

"Emo" by Sheherzad Raza Preisler
Synopsis: A Pakistani teen sneaks out of an Eid party to attend a DIY house show with her best friend.

"The Eid Gift" by Halimah Iman
Synopsis: A husband and father tries to find the perfect way to celebrate Eid for his wife and daughter.

"In the Meantime" by Sarwat Siddiqui
Synopsis: A newly married woman with epilepsy contemplates divorce at the emotional minefield that is her family's Eid party.

"29 Days of Ramadan" by Tamiz Rezvi
Synopsis: When the holy month connects you with the perfect person.

"Dead Serious" by Luveza Mubasher
Synopsis: After her mother’s failed suicide attempt on Eid, an underachieving queer Pakistani millennial must confront the realities of her unstable mother, her overbearing sister, and her own executive dysfunction, all while trying to do what she does best: avoid the whole thing.

"The Eid Mix" by Nesa Huda
Synopsis: When 11-year-old Jameela's best friend gets her period for the first time, she finds herself questioning the concept of womanhood and her place in the world.

Semi-Finalists will get access to mentors and be able to attend workshops this summer to improve their scripts. Winners will end up receiving $1,000 and the chance to get their script produced by Rifelion.

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