Me, My Mom & Sharmila - From Stage to Screenplay

Chicago, Illinois | Film Feature

Comedy, Drama

Fawz Mirza

1 Campaigns | Illinois, United States

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This campaign raised $5,580 for development. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

52 supporters | followers

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We're excited to be teaming up to adapt Fawzia's successful one woman show and we want you to be a part of the journey from the beginning. For the next three months we will be writing, researching and developing the film adaptation of Me, My Mom and Sharmila, please join us!

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
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Mission Statement

Me, My Mom & Sharmila explores the intersection of identity, family & being South Asian in pre/post partition India, 60's Pakistan & now N. America. It is helmed by activists, Fawzia Mirza, a South Asian, queer, Muslim multi-hyphenate & Terrie Samundra, an Indian American screenwriter & filmmaker.

The Story

Karachi, Pakistan 1967. Miniskirts, cigarettes and rock and roll. A young woman’s memories of youth and liberation and love. These were the tales, like distant dreams Fawzia, South Asian, queer and Muslim, pieced together of her mother's youth, life and country before she got married and moved to the West. Like a tattered puzzle with missing pieces, undone and slightly forgotten under a veil of nostalgia, Fawzia's search for self is directly connected to her mother's personal journey and to their shared love for the glamorous, Sharmila Tagore, the starlet of 1960’s Bollywood.

 

This campaign is to raise development funds to turn Fawzia's acclaimed play ME, MY MOM & SHARMILA into a screenplay with screenwriter Terrie Samundra. Deeply rooted in the spaces of family, identity, and intersectionality, the play explores the parallel lives of three uniquely different South Asian women, Fawzia, her Mother and Sharmila Tagore. Fawzia’s journey of self-discovery carries her all the way from childhood as a Pakistani, Muslim in small-town Canada to living out as an actress in the heart of Chicago. Told through the lens of two women’s shared love for glamorous Bollywood film star Sharmila Tagore, the play is about family, identity and the space in between. 

 

 

The play was originally developed with Brian Golden and Catharsis Productions and toured to theatres and universities around the country. The play was sponsored by the U.S. Embassy on a 3-city tour of Pakistan.

 

Zia Mohyeddin, acclaimed Pakistani actor and President of the Pakistani National Academy of the Performing Arts said: “Some actors hold an audience, a few possess it. Some actors light up a scene, a few ignite it. Ms Fawzia Mirza, the Pak-American actress, belongs to the latter category. Her one-woman act, Me, My Mom and Sharmila, which she staged at NAPA’s recent International Theatre Festival was, in the jargon of Variety, a 'Win Win Win.' In all the years that I have been watching plays and players I have not come across any actress from our subcontinent who has shown such self-assurance and theatrical ability in bringing to life characters that Fawzia Mirza portrayed…”

 

Pakistani director and filmmaker Jami called the play, "Beautiful. I could imagine it in film-form as a heart-breaking cinematic experience."

 

 

Sharmila Tagore, the Bollywood icon herself watched the play at the Chicago South Asian Film Festival in 2016. She said, "I’m very privileged to have seen this. Fawzia made us laugh, she made us cry, she made us think."

 

 

Wishlist

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SCREENPLAY

Costs $2,500

We are in the story development phase and writing the screenplay.

SCREENPLAY DEVELOPMENT PART II

Costs $2,500

We are in the story development phase and writing the screenplay.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

FAWZIA MIRZA- Creator, Actor

Fawzia is an actor, writer, producer and storyteller. She believes in using art and comedy to dispel the myth of the model minority and as a tool to dispel stereotypes across race, gender, orientation, class and religion. She was named a White House ‘Champion of Change’ in Asian American Art & Storytelling, a 3Arts Grant Recipient in Acting, a ‘Top 10 Creative’ by Indiewire magazine, one of Chicago's ‘Rising Stars’ of indie filmmaking, named to New City Magazine’s ‘Film 50’ list and selected as the 2017 3Arts Fellow at the Djerassi Residents Artists Program in Woodside, CA. Fawzia's award-winning short films and web series have screened at festivals around the world. She was named one of “8 Muslims Defying Donald Trump” for her internet mockumentary, The Muslim Trump, about Donald Trump's illegitimate Muslim daughter. She is part of the ensemble of the acclaimed, Emmy-nominated, Gotham and GLAAD-award winning web series Her Story. Her work has been covered nationally and internationally, including in Marie Claire, Jezebel, Al-Jazeera, AV Club, .Mic, Chicago Tribune, Esquire, NBC News, VICE, The LA Times, Red Eye Chicago, New City Magazine, Chicago Magazine, Indiewire, DNA India, Newsweek Pakistan, and a lot of Indian and Pakistani tabloids. Fawzia's first feature she produced, co-wrote and stars in SIGNATURE MOVE world premiered at SXSW in March 2017. The film has already become a festival favorite, having its international premiere as the closing night gala film at the BFI Flare in London and many more soon to be announced.

 

TERRIE SAMUNDRA- Screenwriter

Terrie Samundra is a 2013 Sundance Institute Screenwriter's Lab alumna for her screenplay ‘Betamax.’  Samundra has co-authored many screenplays including an adaptation of ‘Town Bloody Hall’ by legendary documentarians D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus. Her other feature screenwriting credits include 'Nala,' 'Western Interior Seaway,' and the trilogy The Ballad of Pooja, consisting of 'Pooja's Honor,' 'Pooja's Warriors' and 'The Legacy of Pooja.'

 

Samundra is the Writer and Director of the short films ‘Ice Cream Wallah,’ ‘Kunjo’ and ‘A Short Tale of Xuan,’ which have all had successful film festival runs and garnered numerous awards. She is a Princess Grace Award recipient, a National Geographic All Roads Seed Grant recipient, and an active member of the Writer's Guild of America. Samundra grew up between a rural village in India, a small farming town in Missouri, and along the coast of California; informing her work as a multi-cultural artist. She is the daughter of Punjabi author and poet, Shashi Samundra.

 

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