After a successful Kickstarter campaign that exceeded it’s $25,000 goal, writer-director Nijla Mu’min will officially begin production on her first narrative feature, Jinn this month.

Jinn, based loosely on the filmmaker’s Black and half-Islamic upbringing, is a coming of age tale about, “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. Summer initially resists Islam, then becomes drawn to its teachings particularly around a ‘Jin,’ which, in Islam, are supernatural beings who occupy another world and have free will. Summer soon comes to realize that the religion is more complex than she thought, and that people interpret it in different ways.”

This upcoming film is a true testament to the “representation matters” movement and Nilja’s own words speaks to that. On why she decided to create Jinn:

“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 consistently creates stories that are representative of black women who find themselves between worlds and identities.  Her 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, and was selected to attend Film Independent’s 2016 Fast Track program.

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Tonja Renée Stidhum is a screenwriter/director with cheeks you want to pinch... but don't (unless she wants you to). She is made of sugar and spice and everything rice... with the uncanny ability to make a Disney/Pixar reference in the same sentence as a double entendre.

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