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Over Half of Filmmaker’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film Are Women

Nijla Mu’min, one of Filmmaker’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film:

Filmmaker Magazine has published its annual 25 New Faces of Independent Film feature and over half of the individuals profiled are female. Fifteen women—including 12 solo filmmakers and three women who are part of a unisex filmmaking duo — made the cut.

One of the female filmmakers is writer-director Nijla Mu’min, who is finishing up the post-production on her next project, “Jinn.” The movie is about a teenage girl who faces an identity crisis when her mother unexpectedly converts to Islam. “Jinn,” like much of Mu’min’s work, was influenced by her family; her parents divorced when she was young but she would often visit her father, who practices Islam.

“I really loved going to masjid and being around different Muslim people,” the “Jessica’s Mom (or the Science of Triangles)” helmer told Filmmaker. “Then I went into the public school system, where I was exposed to sexuality, pop culture, and friends who weren’t Muslim. My mom, who is not a practicing Muslim, would encourage me to be free. So, my scripts and films usually center on black women and girls straddling dual worlds.”

Beth de Araújo, another filmmaker on the list, is trying to get her first feature screenplay, “Josephine,” produced. The story centers on the titular character, an eight-year-old girl who witnesses a sexual assault while out on a jog with her father. “Josephine slowly starts to lose her mind,” de Araújo explained. “As adults try to explain what rape is to a young girl, problems emerge, and she becomes more and more cautious of the world around her.”

Also a director, de Araújo has helmed episodes of Lifetime’s “My Crazy Sex” and a short film that’s in post-production, “I Want To Marry A Creative Jewish Girl.” She’s also set to shadow on Season 3 of “American Crime Story” as part of the Ryan Murphy Half Program.

Like Mu’min and de Araújo, director Liza Mandelup also has a project in post-production, her feature debut, “In Real Life.” The documentary examines the parasocial relationship between internet stars and their teen fans. “I insert myself into people’s lives in a way that doesn’t feel professional,” Mandelup said of her directing, “and I’m fine with that.” She previously helmed “Sundown,” a short film that looks into the lives of kids who are allergic to sunlight.

Below are all the women included in Filmmaker’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film.

Laura MossNellie KluzNijla Mu’minElan Bogarin (alongside Jonathan Bogarin)Alexa Lim HaasCeline Held (alongside Logan George)Liza MandelupCirocco DunlapAna Maria VijdeaBeth de AraújoJessica KingdonIlana ColemanRachel Wolther (alongside Alex H. Fischer)Sofia SubercaseauxJa’Tovia Gary

Over Half of Filmmaker’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film Are Women was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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