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Shireen Alihaji

RespectAbility Entertainment Professionals Lab, Summer 2019

Shireen Alihaji smiling in front of a fence

Shireen Alihaji

“In a society that has systematically demolished concepts of home including; people, land and their histories, it is radical to tell stories. The tradition of storytelling has become a tool of resistance, as our histories have survived through memory. We transcend our displacement and restore our truths, when we choose to remember.” Shireen is a Latinx, Iranian, Muslim, Disabled filmmaker born and raised in LA. Her revolving identities inspire her to create space through film technologies.

After supporting inclusion initiatives for major film studios, she transitioned into community scale media organizing and co-founded an LA-based media cooperative that supports the restoration of voices.  She serve as Artist Support for the Islamic Scholarship Fund where she co-created Muslim-Centered film programming; an evolving framework that supports Muslim filmmakers to restore, center and define their narratives. Today, she is a student of UCLA Arts Healing and is prototyping a creative lab for caregivers.

Her film screenplay Blue Veil was placed on the inaugural Black List X Muslim List, Cannes Screenplay List, awarded the Sundance Institute Latine Scholarship  and was published in The Blue Print for Muslim Inclusion (Pillars Fund, Riz Ahmed / Left Handed Films, USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative).

LEARN MORE

After an extensive search and interview process, 22 individuals were invited to participate in RespectAbility’s Summer 2019 Lab for Entertainment Professionals. This 5-week, nine-session innovative summer lab series for people interested in – and with experience in – development, production and post-production, including careers as writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, animators and other production roles, takes place June 18 – July 18, 2019. Participants include diverse people with physical, cognitive, sensory, mental health and other disabilities. Learn more: www.respectability.org/respectability-la-lab.

This program, which continues building the talent pipeline of young professionals with disabilities looking to work behind the scenes, is made possible with support by: Comcast NBCUniversalJonathan Murray and The Walt Disney Company.

Meet the Author

Eric Ascher

Eric Ascher is the Communications Associate for RespectAbility. He is responsible for supporting RespectAbility’s Vice President, Communications in developing and implementing advocacy efforts and communications of various types. Ascher manages RespectAbility’s social media channels, website and emails; organizes and develops webinars; and supervises Communications Fellows.

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