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‘Abu’ Explores the Relationship Between A Gay Son and His Fundamentalist Muslim Father

'Abu' Explores the Relationship Between A Gay Son and His Fundamentalist Muslim Father

Here’s your daily dose of an indie film in progress — at the end of the week, you’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite. In the meantime: is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments.


Tweetable Logline: A gay son reconciles with his fundamentalist Muslim father in #abufilm.

Elevator Pitch: “Abu” is a film about young gay people fighting invisibility within Muslim and South Asian culture. I use my personal story of my complex relationship with my father to weave a tale about migration, self-actualization, spirituality, sexuality and love. We were one of the first families in 1980s Pakistan to get a VHS movie camera. I was eight when I started shooting my family functions and events. Using family photographs, letters, animation, interviews and this VHS footage and other video ‘memory’ I am creating a documentary that humanizes the gay Muslim experience in the west.

Production Team: 
Director/Producer Arshad Khan (Threadbare, Doggoned, Zen)
Cinematographers: Arshad Khan, Bob Gundu (Siddharth), Justin Black
Editors: Etienne Gagnon (H2Oil, Fennario: The Good Fight, )
Animation: Davide Di Saro

About the Film: My father fell ill on a trip to Pakistan. I confronted some of my childhood sexual abusers at the same time. The questions of sexuality, spirituality and now mortality went through my head as I stayed up nights taking care of my father. I wondered how my joyous, cosmopolitain father turned into a religious fanatic and he wondered how his obedient, sweet son turned into a vociferous, confident, faggot. We were at war most of my life and I want the audience to follow me on my journey of discovery of a father and son’s relationship.

Current Status: This deeply personal project is piecing together like a mosaic. I am concurrently raising funding, paper editing and working with an animator.

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