I’m a Pakistani Muslim film maker studying in Emerson college Boston. I pay for college through student loans and I want to make engaging films and be able to bring about culturally diverse stories on screen. It is very important to me to create the space for poc artists in the film and tv industry. Especially those who don’t have the funds to be able to put their work out.

Artist Statement:

Life motivates me, people and their stories motivate me. I get awestruck by very mundane moments. I guess humans on average don’t live the most unique lives. It’s their emotions and the complexities of their characters that brings about the magic to the screen. I feel Muslim representation in media is really scarce that has lead to a lot of islamophobia. I want to shed light to normal, muslim, poc lives and their stories. I want to tell stories of people who may live ordinary lives but are extraordinary individuals. There is so much in this world art wise, there’s so much beauty and such incredible stories, albeit cheesy life and the incredible individuals around me motivate me.

Project Description:

I want to use this grant to have my own bipoc film festival in Boston. I want to screen the work of upcoming minority film makers. As a low income artist I understand the need for financial support. I want to give all the participating artists $100 instead of taking money from them and by the end of the festival the top three filmmakers will get $500 to help them apply for other film festivals, fund future projects and promote their work. Having the privilege of going to Emerson, a lot of my professors are industry professionals and I would love to have them as the jury of the festival. I want there to be live music after the screening to give space to those artists to promote themselves. I also want to reach out to local poc but especially south Asian artists and let them exhibit their visual works and most importantly have free food and beverages for everyone present.

By the end of this project I would like to push to create a mutual fund for bipoc artists who can apply for financial support for their future projects.

I think due to the still prevalent white washing of media a lot of bipoc art does not get the attention and appreciation it deserves. Boston in itself is a very white city. I believe that this festival will provide the opportunity for bipoc artists to meet, network and strengthen their community. Since this is mainly focusing on upcoming young filmmakers it will uplift their efforts and give them the space to show their work even if it may seem amateur. Most importantly the film festival cycle although helps filmmakers get their work out also costs alot of money to apply to. Which is why alot of young people like myself despite having good movies may not be able to enter these festivals due to the high application fees, I find that a way by which low income art can be gate kept. Through the cash prize they can meet the festival costs and get their work out. I would hope that this project resonates with young ,bipoc , South Asian , lgbtq+ communities who are not given the same opportunities as others and that through this we can give financial support to young upcoming artists who tend to need it the most.