I’ve talked a lot about what I am, and not much lately about what I do. I’ve been treated to some pleasant news which through sheer coincidence of timing came while I’ve been fasting.
The last script that I wrote was a semi-autobiographical story about growing up as a Muslim in pre and post 9/11 America. I didn’t and still don’t view it as the next Will Smith picture, so I only sent it to those who I thought might have an interest in the point of view I was presenting. One of those groups were the Sundance Institute, and I learned about a week ago they liked what I’ve pitched enough that they want to see more. Very flattering. Even my folks back home who know nothing about the Biz recognize that brand name (‘the thing in Utah’ as my father put it), so potentially down the line, that could be a game changer.
Right now it’s just an opportunity so I only gave myself a little time to ‘daydream’ on what could be. What I write in this space on the subject matter is a reflection of my outlook on the world, but if you keep up with me at all, you know when I put on ‘a show’, I’ll give you a show. The story I wrote is not an in your face political statement like some of Spike’s films. Even with the subject matter, it’s not a redemption story like a lot of Tyler’s movies. The comment I’ve heard the most from people who’ve read the script is “I was surprised at how funny this is,”; in other words it’s an extension of my strong suits as a storyteller, the self deprecating clown, the sarcastic geek, the hopeless romantic (think Lady In My Life).
So I completed another pass of the script this weekend, and we’ll see what happens at the end of the year. Through the circles I run in, I know I’m not the only film school geek in the mix, nor am I the only Muslim filmmaker they’re looking at. Nothing is a done deal, but they’re getting my best effort so if I’m meant to go down that road, I will. For the time being, I’ll return my focus to what I can control this week and this month, and hopefully get another pleasant surprise down the line.