Hala is picture-locked!

Dear friends & supporters,

We have finally picture-locked Hala. This is a very big step for our film, which I'm very excited to share with you.

With the holidays approaching, post-production facilities are largely booked with features and projects premiering at festivals early next year. The team and I are taking a short break and will return working on the film the first week of January.

Our plan is to finish color and sound design once we come back and have a completed film by January’s end, at which point we will be submitting to festivals and seeking support for the feature-length version of Hala.

We are so grateful for your kindness, patience and support throughout this process, and hope to have a beautiful film to share with you very soon.

Thank you,


We are wrapped on Hala!

Dear friends & supporters,

You may have noticed that we hadn’t posted an update in a while. My team and I were deep in pre-production, and we finally finished shooting four days of principal photography yesterday. I am very excited to work with my editor and can't wait to share more details about the post-production process.

I wanted to thank the amazing team that made it all happen: Benji Dell, Sara Nassim, Constanza Castro, Chava Cano, Sara Higley, Mallory Evelyn, Kimberly Govea Romo, Michael Beaudry and Ali Helnwein, as well as my actors, Tess Granfield, Jasper Newman, Alfred Adelpour, and Nina Nayebi.

I also wanted to thank you — my Kickstarter backers who made this possible. Thank you for believing in this story, in my team and in me. We could not have been made it this far without all of you.

KS Still.png

Our Kickstarter campaign is over! THANK YOU!

Thank you so much for all your contributions.

At over $24k, we are 160% funded! 

This couldn't have happened without you. My team and I are so grateful for your support. We are stunned by your generosity and kindness. Making movies is an amazing privilege and we are lucky to have all of you behind us.

Very soon, we will have specific details regarding our schedule for the film! Please continue following the project on this page.

We have FOUR days left in our campaign + Thanks!

We have FOUR days left in our campaign for HALA.

I wanted to thank everyone who has contributed since last time I posted a public thanks on Facebook. Your support means so much to my team and me. We're going to make an awesome movie together!


Victor Zhao
Rasputin 3000
Travis Lee Ratcliff
David C. Germinario
Jessica Ureste
Jonathan Daniel Brown
Rick Mizuno & Radhaa Nilia
Claudia W
Ted Sakowsky
Julia Wolfe
Michael DiBiasio
Hilary Barraford
Adam Wright
Ales Kot
Katty Janeh
Daniel Armour

We made Indiewire Project of the Day + FIVE days left.

HALA made Indiewire Project of the Day on August 24th. 

There will be voting for Project of the Week, so please keep an eye out for this! We will be posting details on Facebook & Twitter.

We have exactly FIVE DAYS left in our campaign.

Our stretch goal is set at $20k, so please continue sharing our project with friends and family. All of your support means so very much to us. 

With additional funding, our team will be able to afford an expanded production design budget, quality post-production services (including color-correction and sound mix) as well as festival submission fees. 

Every contribution counts! Thank you for believing in our film and in us.


As promised on our Kickstarter page, anyone who has contributed $150 or more to our film receives special recognition as a Friend of Hala.

Thank you so very much for your generous contributions. We are floored by your support and there's no way we would be able to make this film without you.


Rebecca Theriot
Mark Wheaton
Gary & Christine Granfield
Corry Addison
Jackson Rathbone
Kalinka Borkiewicz
Tony Vennettilli
Nikhil Mulani
Lorene Scafaria
Jon Matteson
Lena Chen
Paul Horan
Lynn Pounian
Rosa Shah
Mike Le
Jess Rivera
Tom Eliopoulos
Deric A. Hughes
Catrin Cooper
Donnacha Kenny
Nick Rheinwald-Jones
Tamara Cook

We're now at $17k of our $20k stretch goal - THANK YOU!

A quick update on HALA:

Our stretch goal is now $20k. Financial contributions in excess of our initial fundraising goal help us pay for quality post-production services, including color-correction and sound mix, and festival submission fees.

Thanks to these amazing supporters, we are now at $17k!

Mia Sargent
Rosa Shah
AB Williams
Luke Cutforth
Avishai Weinberger
Rajeev Dassani
Tiffany Roohani
Hunter Wolk
Jordan Bringert
Susan Bianconi
Jinjin Sun
Dara Covick
Jeff Loveness
Wilma Damen
Peter Kaufman
Jill & Gina
Roberto Clemente
Jarrod Murray
Erin Williams
Christina Lee
Isa Qasim
Joseph Nguyen
Chris Rossi
Nadeem Marc Haddad
Tom Eliopoulos
Jess Rivera
TA Snyder
RJ Kinsley

We are FULLY funded - but we have stretch goals!

Thanks to everyone who helped us reach our fundraising goal for HALA. I am floored by all of your support.

Although we've reached our fundraising goal, which is the absolute bare minimum we need to make this film, my team and I are setting a STRETCH GOAL of $20k.

An additional $5k will buy us:

  • expanded production design budget
  • quality post-production services, including color-correction and sound mix
  • finishing services
  • festival submission fees

Any financial support in excess of our fundraising goal is greatly appreciated and will help us make a better film.

Thanks to these amazing people who pushed us over 100%:

Ben Collins
Ilya Khodosh
Si Hui 
Kaitlin Linse
Kevin T. Morales
Genaro Dominguez
Charles Atencio
Shelby Weldon
Ali Zia
Tim Rhomberg
Sherrie Gulmahamad
Lorene Scafaria
Sean Cruser
Rafael Souza
Christopher Jason Bell 
Audry Taylor 
Stover Ryan 
Mathias Hansson 
Roberta Curry 
Robert Carroll 
Shannon Heffernan
Max Taxe 
Sela Shiloni and Jeremy Baril
Cat Cooper
Brian Ward
Bonnie Cao
Tony Vennettilli 
Nirpal Bhogal
Shunori Ramanathan
Tam Nguyen
Jena Carter
Deric A. Hughes
Travis Oberlander
Rick Jones
Nikhil Mulani
Nathan J. Campbell
Belinda Man

We are beyond excited to share this film with you.

Thanks to everyone who contributed on the 2nd day!

With all of your support, we have raised 91% of our fundraising goal. I am floored by all of your generosity and kindness.

Our goal for tomorrow is to raise 95% of our goal. Please share the project with others who you think might be interested in contributing. Every contribution counts.


Mike Le
Ryan Halprin
Jon Matteson
Sue Morris
Aaron Horwitz
Alexandra Addison
Nic Izzi
Ilana E. Strauss
Rachel Kauder Nalebuff
Kelly Roberts
Sujata Day
Jesse M. Feldman
Michael Fraade
Keya Vakhil
Madeline Patricia
Ezra Sherman
Andy Horwitz 
Taylour Chang
Jes Vu
Ross Putman
Stephanie C.
Dylan Brod
Chris Hager
Christian DeAngelis
Steven Bercovitch
Sabir Pirzada
Joe Miller 
Renee Mancuso
Patricia Kelly 
Todd Remis
Michael Patrick Sullivan
Tim Kressman
Jason Killpack
Scott Fleishman
Nick Rheinwald-Jones
Cassian Elwes
Harley Copen
Jason Hellerman
Gus Hickey
Donnacha Kenny
Katie L.
Mylissa Fitzsimmons
Jaron Presant
Ari Lubet
Sara Ataiiyan
Hans Canosa
Coleman Ranahan
Michael Ragen
Brian Gallagher

Shout-out to all the 1st Day contributors

I want to give special thanks to every single person who contributed on the very first day and helped our project get Kickstarter Staff Pick.

Your support means a lot to us.


Matthew Kane
Lydia Mulvey
Ethan Rodriguez-Torrent
Noah Berman
Isabelle Fuhrman
Debbie Moon
Josh Christopher Mills
Samantha Dixon
Noah Harald
Ela Naegele
Alex Tompkins
David Sugarman
James Kicklighter
Sarah Rappaport
Amos Posner
Shelley Gustavson
Geoff Tock
Max Folkman
Scott Grierson
Garrett Tripp
Lynn Pounian
Mila Hursey
Jill Evyn
Susana Orozco
Christopher Santiago
Nick Geiser
Han West
Jerry Pyle
Devin Conroy
Medha Jaishankar
Brad Wilke
Charles Witosky
Eric McGaw
Paul Horan
Bryan Berg
Casey Scharf
Michael Botti
Ellen Su
Mere Smith
Jan Arnold
Mike Smith
Justin Hook
Samuel Douglas Miller
Gil Kruger
Elise Brown
Alicia Grijalva
Shruti Swaminathan
Cameron Carpenter
Illimani Ferriera
Brian Gefrich
Stephen Soltanzadeh
Antonia Karlotta Czinger
Emily Ricketson
Pippa Bianco
Tamara Cook
Linda Granfield
Amber Alexander
Jon Wu
Jesse Cohn Marcelo Quinonez
Garrick Dion
Natasha Shafqat
Ken Hershey
Nate Ruegger
Justin Kremer
Jan Johnston
Jordan Michael Ianucci
David Lowery
Hamis Mahmood
Keith Calder
Anida Kulla
Garrett York
Romi Moondi
Jackson Rathbone
John Arends
Kylie Sparks
Deb Margolin
Kalina Borkiewicz
Corry Addison
Ava Jamshidi
Scott Myers
Dahlia Metchis
Jacob Roman
Lena Chen
Gary & Christine Granfield
Sujana Gowni
Ian Smith
Bob Saenz
Matthew Nemeth
Josie Massey
Leslie Laurence
Nikki Mann
Deandra Tan
Adam Pachter
Eric Heisserer
Britany Alyse
Andy Webb
Siddhant Adlakha
Roberto Alexander Meza
Rich Lozardo
Marisa Stotter
Lucas Barker
Travis Heine
Karen Ariel Huang
Jaclyn Rogers
Ariana Brinckerhoff
Tara Violet Niami
Wyatt Kent
Lyle Shelley
Aaron Stewart-Ahn

Our first day of crowdfunding is over!

Good morning, everyone! 

It's our second day crowdfunding for ‪#‎halathefilm‬. Our first day was a phenomenal success. We are currently at 120 backers and 58% of what we expect to raise. 

Here are my action items for you today:

  • Share the project with three people through email, Facebook message, phone, text, or in person!
  • Share the project on your Facebook page or Twitter feed.

Our goal is to raise 75% of our budget by the end of today and have at least 150 backers. I am already so grateful for the outpouring of support.

Please support this movie & the filmmakers working so passionately to make it happen. We can't make this movie without you!

As a little bonus, here's me on our location scout with Benji, our cinematographer:

Our second teaser is live today!


It's been a long time coming, but the second teaser for Hala is finally live. I've been raring to share this with you since we finished color last week. 

We launch our crowdfunding campaign on August 3rd. Every contribution counts. $50 or $25 would be an enormous help to us.

If you're interested at all in contributing or supporting this project, please contact me directly (minhalbaig@icloud.com), via Twitter (@minhalbaig) or through Facebook. I'm taking commitments now so that our campaign is successful the day of our launch. 

Share the teasers with your friends, family and anyone who you might think might be interested in contributing to or supporting our movie. 

The teaser would not have been made possible without the help our our friends in filmmaking.

Special thanks to:
Michael Beaudry
Kyle Allen
Mark Lester
Scott Fleishman
Shadi Chabaan
Matt Sanchez
Jesse Cohn
Wooden Nickel

A story about the script for HALA

The script for Hala came to me while I was at home in Chicago.

The past year and a half, I'd spent a lot of time working on scripts with characters I liked but didn't love, concepts that interested me but didn't fascinate me. I had convinced myself that I needed to consider my audience, and in doing so, I erased my own experience from my work. My own experiences didn't seem worthy of a script. For a while, I believed that.

And then a lot happened, and a lot changed. 

I had gotten my hands on the superb first copy of Ms. Marvel (about a female Pakistani-American Muslim superhero) when I thought to myself: What am I doing? Why did I get into filmmaking in the first place? The films and filmmakers I had loved drew heavily from their own experiences in their own work. What was stopping me from doing the same? The harsh answer, buried deep in the back of my brain, was offensively there: my experiences were "minority," "niche," and "irrelevant." 

The first draft of Hala was furiously written in the span of two weeks. This was the character I'd been thinking of for a very long time; this was the story I needed to tell. By the time I'd typed the final words, I knew I had something. It wasn't perfect, and there were many more months of revision needed, but this was the story unique to me. Oftentimes as filmmakers we ask ourselves: Why me? Why do I need to tell this story? Why should this story be told at all? 

With Hala, I knew. The personal reasons were all there. I'd been thinking of Hala since I graduated college, but didn't know how to articulate my experience. Now, having already made a first feature, I knew. Initially, I was not motivated by social and political reasons to write Hala, but it has become increasingly clear that many stories, whether or not the author intends, have socio-political implications.

American cinema lacks female representation, in front of and behind the camera. Compelling female protagonists are challenging to find in mainstream Hollywood. They are often relegated to demeaning, sexist or 'sidekick' roles that don't take advantage of their talents (though Hollywood is slowly recognizing this). In the same note, American cinema hasn't fully explored what the Muslim diaspora looks like in the United States, or the first-generation Muslim-American experience. 

I didn't set out to make a film to break glass ceilings or affect social change. I hope, through telling an authentic and personal story, that it resonates with you.

I couldn't find a film I wanted to see, so I set out to make it.

That film is Hala.