Iman Zawahry Authors Blog Post on the Lack of Muslim Women in Lead Film Roles
Iman Zawahry, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Telecommunication Lecturer, is the author of the guest blog post “Is Hollywood Ready for Muslim Women Leads?” published on thewrap.com. on Nov. 21.
Zawahry comments on how women are often missing in lead film roles. She asks, “How are we as a community championing Muslim women filmmakers and actors and are we putting them at the forefront?”
“The importance of being the agents of our story cannot be understated,” Zawahry said. “Along with my fellow American-Muslim female filmmakers, like Lena Khan and Nijla Mu’min, we have been pushing hard for our communities’ representation for several years with our films. I finally decided to make the first female rom-com made by Muslim women about Muslim women, ’Americanish.’”
According to Zawahry, “We have to champion and commandeer these efforts to make American Muslim women uniformly represented in the portrayal of the American narrative. I made a film in an accessible genre that I feel has a globally relatable story with the potential to reach audiences from intersectional experiences. It’s particularly meaningful to our cast and crew, as many of us are women, women of color, and/or Muslim women.”
She adds, “Not many understand what it means to be Muslim in America and we are often portrayed as a monolith in the media. I hope that when audiences watch authentic portrayals of American Muslim women they can begin to understand that there is more unifying us than separating us.”