AMERICANISHDirected by Iman Zawahry
Cast: Aizzah Fatima, Ajay Naidu, George Wendt, Godfrey, Lillette Dubey, Mo Amer, Salena Qureshi, Shenaz Treasury
In Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, two career-driven sisters (Maryam and Sam) and their newly-immigrated cousin (Ameera) must navigate the consistent — and sometimes conflicting — demands of romance, culture, work, and family. Serving both as a lighthearted reimagination of and critical divergence from the classic romantic comedy, Americanish tackles and celebrates the complex intersectionalities of womanhood by welcoming us into the world — with all its joys and tribulations — of these three marriage-aged women. Americanish meditates on the sometimes-inevitable tension that arises between competing societal and cultural norms, or between personal obligations and ambitions, with a fresh perspective, weaving from it a story that is unconventional, funny, and heartwarming.
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Iman Zawahry is one of the first hijabi American-Muslim filmmakers in the nation. She has worked on numerous films that have played at over 100 venues worldwide. She has worked as a producer on the feature film Paperback with Moonlight producer Adele Romanski and Sundance alum Adam Bowers. Her short film “Tough Crowd” won an Emmy Award and qualified her as a finalist in the NBC Comedy Short Cuts to pitch a sitcom with NBC executives. She is the recipient of the coveted Princess Grace Award for her film “Undercover” and was selected as a Lincoln Center New York Film Festival Artist Academy Fellow in 2015. Iman also collaborated with the non-profit Islamic Scholarship Fund to create the first ever American Muslim film grant where she currently serves as director. Iman works to amplify the underrepresented female voice. She wrote and directed her debut feature film Americanish with a majority female crew. She currently is a professor of film production at the University of Florida.