Film Independent announced the 10 projects selected for the 14th annual Fast Track film finance market.  The primary goal of Fast Track is to help producer-director teams propel their projects forward through meetings with top industry executives–financiers, agents, managers, distributors, granting organizatiFilm Independentons, and production companies.  During three days of intensive meetings, participants gain valuable exposure and build vital relationships as they fast track their films towards completion.

“We look forward to connecting this wonderful group of filmmakers with our participating industry executives at the 2016 LA Film Festival.  Fast Track provides an extraordinary opportunity for independent producers and directors to gain critical support for their feature films, and for high level executives to discover some of the outstanding and diverse talent that Film Independent curates and develops through our Artist Development programs.” – Jennifer Kushner, Film Independent’s Director of Artist Development

Writer/director Nijla Mu’min and producer Avril Speaks have been chosen for the 2016 Film Independent Fast Track Program alongside 9 additional producer/director teams.

Mu’min is the filmmaker behind the feature film Jinn, that revolves around a 17 year old carefree black girl named Summer whose world is turned upside down when her mother abruptly converts to Islam and becomes a different person which prompts Summer to reevaluate her own life and identity.

“I am making this film because I am tired of seeing the same old recycled images of Muslims when I turn the TV on, when I google search them. None of those Muslims reflect the ones I know or grew up with. When a group of people are routinely painted with one sinister brush, it becomes okay to dehumanize them and strip them of their rights. I am not okay with that.” – Nijla Mu’min, Filmmaker

Mu’min is a writer/director whose past work has been recognized by the Sundance Film Institute, Urban World Film Festival, and the Princess Grace Awards.  Her 2011 short film Two Bodies has screened at festivals across the country, including the Pan African Film Festival, Outfest, Frameline and Newfest.  Jinn will shoot in Los Angeles this summer.  Avril speaks will produce the film and Topher Osborn, the cinematographer of Dear White People will serve as the Director of Photography.

The entire list of the 2016 Fast Track Projects and Fellows are listed below, congrats to all of the recipients!


A Woman’s Work, Yu Gu – director/producer, Elizabeth Ai – producer

Football and feminism collide in this feature documentary that follows three former NFL cheerleaders and their class-action lawsuits brought against their teams.

All That We Love, Yen Tan – writer/director, Jonathan Duffy and Kelly Williams – producers

The death of a beloved pet compels a wistful middle-aged man to examine what he’s holding onto from his past.

College Girl, Joshua Tate – writer/director/producer, Maritte Go – producer

While attending a postsecondary program for adults with intellectual disabilities, a young woman with Down syndrome questions her place in the world in the face of impending motherhood.

Falcon Lake, Sara Seligman – writer/director, Anne Clements – producer

Ester and her mother run a motel where they drug their guests and murder them for their money. Two drug runners arrive and hold them hostage, not realizing the women’s dark secret.

Jinn, Nijla Mu’min – writer/director, Avril Speaks –producer

A shape-shifting, pepperoni-loving, black teenage Instagram celebrity converts to Islam. Here’s what happens.

Rogue, Mark F. Kindred – writer/director, Reinaldo Marcus Green – producer

An ex-cop gone rogue wages ‘asymmetric and unconventional’ warfare on the police force that fired him, resulting in the biggest manhunt in LAPD history. Inspired by true events.

The Gold Bug Variations, Mark Levinson – writer/director/producer

A double helix of two love stories that spirals across twenty-five years and the mystery of the disappearance of a brilliant scientist on the verge of understanding the code for life who is derailed by music and the search for the code for love.

United Skates, Tina Brown and Dyana Winkler – directors/producers

United Skates follows an underground subculture growing inside our country’s last standing roller rinks. Through the eyes of two unassuming leaders, Reggie and Phelicia, they battle in a racially charged environment, to save a movement still undiscovered by mainstream America.

Waiting for Kate (female is not a category), Amy Goldstein – writer/director, Anouchka van Riel – producer

Waiting For Kate (female is not a category) tells the story of endearingly flawed, fiercely girl-powered singer/songwriter Kate Nash. After a Platinum album, Nash defies the silo-like boundaries of the music industry and inspires millions of young women to blaze their own trails, while tensions between her outward self and her inner turmoil are pushed to breaking point.

You and Me Both, Jennifer Suhr – writer/director, Carolyn Mao – producer

Upon the death of their adoptive mother, two Korean American sisters, estranged by the older one’s drug addiction, set out on a road trip to find their birth mother.