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USA | 2018 | 92 minutes | Nijla Mu’min

A rift develops between Summer, a carefree high school senior, and her mother, who has recently converted to a strict Islamic practice, that grows wider as the teen fights to discover her own identity and finds herself attracted to a Muslim classmate. Winner of the Special Jury Prize for Writing at the SXSW Film Festival.

Winner of the 2018 SXSW Special Jury Award (Narrative Feature).

It's senior year for Summer Dawson (Zoe Renee), an African-American 17-year-old living in Los Angeles' Baldwin Hills neighborhood, and she's counting down the days until she can get into CalArts and pursue a career in dance. She seems content to fill her days with social media, talent show rehearsal, and her deep, unabiding love of pepperoni pizza, but a change is on the horizon; her meteorologist mother (Simone Missick, "Luke Cage") reveals that she wants to convert to Islam. Though Summer simply doesn't understand her mother's newfound religious interests, she tries her best to be supportive and joins her at their local masjid. Not only does she find a welcoming community for the both of them, but also that one of the mosque's attendees is none other than Tahir (Kelvin Harrison, Jr., Mudbound), an attractive high school classmate. As both mother and daughter balance their newfound faith with their previously secular lives—Summer runs afoul of her skeptical best friends; Jade wears a hijab during a news broadcast—they must also contend with their own oft-competing desires and spiritual priorities. Winner of the Special Jury Prize for Writing at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival, writer/director Nijla Mu'min considers the social, political, and familial changes that come with being an African-American Muslim in this day and age.

Director Biography
From Oakland, California, Nijla Mu'min was a dual-degree graduate of CalArts' MFA programs in Directing and Creative Writing. Her short films include Deluge (2012) and Dream (2015). Mu'min has received support from independent film organizations such as Film Independent, The Sundance Institute, and the Islamic Scholarship Fund. She was named one of 25 New Faces of Independent film by Filmmaker Magazine in 2017. Additionally, she has written film and cultural criticism for VICE among other publications and served as a Production Assistant on Ava DuVernay's feature The Middle of Nowhere (2012).

Sponsored by Ingeniux

  • Director: Nijla Mu’min
  • Principal Cast: Zoe Renee, Simone Missick, Dorian Missick, Kelvin Harrison, Jr., Hisham Tawfiq
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2018
  • Running Time: 92 minutes
  • Producer: Avril Z. Speaks, Maya Emelle, Arielle Saturne
  • Screenplay: Nijla Mu'min
  • Cinematographers: Bruce Francis Cole
  • Editors: Collin Kriner
  • Music: Jesi Nelson
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: SXSW 2018 (Special Jury Recognition for Writing)
  • Filmography: Jessica's Mom (or the Science of Triangles) (2012)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: United Talent Agency