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Tweetable Logline: A dependent Pakistani housewife comes to America to find her husband, but instead is forced to find her emancipation.
Inspired by the words of Nelson Mandela and a personal story, my upcoming film, In Search of America, Inshallah, explores the meaning of freedom. The film’s protagonist, Shaheen Ilyas, is a young Pakistani woman who arrives in Los Angeles to search for her husband, Ali Ilyas. While Ali has been absent and living the American dream, Shaheen—bound by the rules set by her husband and his family—has remained a good and loyal wife, expected to uphold the obligations that come with traditional marriage. Yet Shaheen, an educated Muslim woman, can no longer stand the injustice.
Danish Renzu (Director/Writer)
Born and raised in Kashmir, India, Los Angeles-based filmmaker Danish Renzu moved to the United States in 2005 by himself to pursue his higher education. After studying at Pasadena City College, he successfully transferred to his dream school, UCLA, in 2008. Renzu graduated from UCLA in 2010 with a BS in electrical engineering. Fond of filmmaking since childhood, he did not let this passion fade away. He took film classes at UCLA and studied screenwriting in the prestigious UCLA Writers’ Program for two years. He has worked on several screenplays and short films in the past, and is currently raising funds to complete production of In Search of America, Inshallah. Besides this film, he is working on a short film on Kashmir, Loving, Dying or Being Killed, and a few feature films titled The Winters of Kashmir and The Illegal.
Demo Reel: http://www.rawartists.org/renzufilms
Arati Misro (Executive Producer)
After receiving her MFA from the American film inst. in producing, Misro has worked in all capacities of independent film with several credits including crowd funding manager on sunrise & the Devils Double released by lionsgate. Misro also worked in independent film sales attending all the international film markets and licensing films to domestic and international buyers. She currently consults in development, marketing, programs international film festivals and chairs Women in film international. Misro also works as a producer too.
Antonio Cisneros (Director of Photography)
Antonio Cisneros is an award winning cinematographer and documentary photographeroriginally from San Antonio, Texas. His interest is to create social documentary work in both still and motion photography. A graduate of New York University Tisch School of the ArtsClass of 2008 and the American Film Institute, he specializes in Cinematography and Documentary Production. His film As Waters Recede, a documentary following the lives of Katrina Survivorsdisplaced in New York City, won the Carl Lerner Award for Social Relevance andwas a Wasserman Nominee at the First Run Film Festival 2008. The film went onto screen at the Directors Guild of America. Over the years, Antonio camera assisted under such prestigious cinematographers as Lisa Rinzler ASC, Bradford B. Young (BestCinematography Sundance 2011), and Claudio Rocha before becoming a cinematographer himself. He has lensed over fifty films including feature documentaries, music videos, commercials, web series and narrative feat ures. In 2011, Antonio won an award for Best Cinematography at the Philadelphia FirstGlance Film Festival for the short film Love me Tender. Antonio is currently lensing the feature documentary The Graduates by Bernardo Ruiz (Reportero, 2012) slated for broadcast on PBS Independent Lens September 2013.
Demo Reel: http://www.cisnerosfilms.com
Aashrita Kamath (Production Designer)
Aashrita is a Production designer based out of Los Angeles, CA. Prior to attending AFI for Production Design, she designed an independent short film Seher Hone Tak ( Till the morning comes). She has also worked as a set dresser and prop master on various films and commercials in Mumbai. She was the receipt of Tom Yoda Scholarship Award at AFI. Her thesis film, INTERSTATE and DUSTLAND will be showing at various film festivals in 2014.
Demo Reel: http://www.aashritakamath.com
Roopashree Jeevaji (Lead Actress)
Roopashree graduated with honors in Theatre Arts from Temple University, Philadelphia. Later she continued her studies at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, Los Angeles where she was awarded a scholarship at the studio. Her acting career in India took off after her debut in a national commercial for Bru Coffee (India’s largest instant coffee brand ). What followed were numerous national TV spots in India. She has accomplished a stunning transition from a promising Bollywood career to Hollywood film and TV with her debut in the romantic comedy “Wedding Crashers” to the more recent Disney film “Planes”. Soon to be releasing is “Taco Shop” alongside Eric Roberts, Tyler Posey and Parvesh Cheena (Outsourced). She a also known for NBC’s “Outsourced,” and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”. In 2012, she was selected as one of the top 22 actors from the 6000 that applied to perform and train for the CBS Diversity Showcase.
About the Production: I have an agenda for creating this film. It is to encourage a social initiative to create awareness of the need for gender equality and respect toward women on the part of men. I want to make sure that women–mothers, sisters, wives, daughter, and friends–can be proud of the men in their families and circles of friends, and that women feel respected, valued, and safe with the men around them, because that is what women deserve. Education and awareness can bring this change.
Current Status: Pre-production
For more information and to support this project: Indiegogo Page
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