During Ramadan, Zubair attempts to connect with his culture through food content on social media ... he ultimately ends up getting schooled by his grandmother on how to prepare a traditional dish.
Winners Announced for the ISF x Rifelion Writers Access Initiative
The Initiative, a partnership between the Islamic Scholarship Fund and Rifelion, was created to support up-and-coming American Muslim writers. Each winning team includes at least one person identifying as a Muslim. This year's theme was "stories about Ramadan or Eid."
Five films by promising American Muslim writers have been selected as winners of the inaugural Islamic Scholarship Fund x Rifelion Writers Access Initiative. The announcement was made publicly last night at the Islamic Scholarship Fund Annual Banquet in Redwood City, California.
The Initiative, a partnership between the Islamic Scholarship Fund (ISF) and Rifelion, was created to support up-and-coming American Muslim writers. Each winning team includes at least one person identifying as a Muslim. This year's theme was "stories about Ramadan or Eid." To qualify for the Initiative, writers submitted scripts of up to 20 pages of a screenplay that featured Muslim characters and storylines. An open call for scripts took place in May, and nearly 50 scripts were submitted from around the world.
Fourteen semi-finalists were selected earlier this summer and stayed busy with a series of writing workshops. "All summer, our semi-finalists have been workshopping their scripts with each other and amongst industry professionals,” said Rifelion founder and CEO Asad Butt. Those industry professionals included Genevieve Ze'eva, a filmmaker and film professor at the University of Florida, and Abdullah Saeed, creator of the upcoming Hulu comedy series “Deli Boys.”
Winning scripts include the following:
“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.
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.
“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.
“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.
Each of the individual screenwriters/teams have won $1,000. Their winning scripts will be produced by Rifelion this fall as part of a Ramadan and Eid anthology, the first of its kind.
When speaking of the project as a whole, Butt said that across all submissions, "the depth of quality scripts from our American Muslim creative community is astounding. We can't wait to work with these writers in the future."
Fann will be tracking the production of each short. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date.