"Niya" Muslim Feature Film Project
Muslim's have been depicted very stereotypically incorrect as hardline extremists in cinema. My journey and passion was to direct a film that spoke to the mainstream, ordinary, practicsing Muslim that lives every day as a moral law-biding citizen working hard to take care of their respective families. The genesis of this notion led me to revamp a screenplay I wrote almost 7 years ago.
With the help of talented fellow filmmaker, Hasan Muhammad, we put the film together shooting it in roughly 21 days. It was not an easy task as filmmaking can be very expensive. We literally financed the film ourselves after not reaching our intended budget.
The premise of the film focuses around a happy Muslim family raising a daughter about to get ready for college. The Patriarch, Yusuf, loses his job during this critical moment and searches desperately for a job as his wife, Anisa, is now th only one working. After many failed attempts due to his being an identifiable Muslim man, he loses his way staying in the company of an unsavory Muslim antagonist.
This journey puts him at odds with is family, best friend, and future. The main character must chose which path he will continue to go down as frustration and temptation threathen to tear the family apart. It's a film dedicated to remind people to appreciate the simple joys and learn from every struggle that arises.