‘American Eid’ Director Aqsa Altaf on the Importance of Muslim Stories and Finding Her Voice

Disney’s Launchpad: Shorts Incubator — a filmmaking program dedicated to amplifying underrepresented voices — celebrates six directors in its inaugural year to create a story centered on the theme of ‘Discover.’

One of the voices came from Los Angeles-based filmmaker Aqsa Altaf who wanted to capture what it meant to be a Muslin American. Growing up in Kuwait by Pakistani and Sri Lankan parents in a Muslim home, Altaf realized there were not many stories surrounding Muslim stories, especially positive ones that celebrates the culture. Instead, Altaf only saw negative stereotypes of Muslims in the media. She wanted to change all of that and became fascinated with telling diverse stories that reflected on subject matters that are universal.

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Disney’s ‘Launchpad’ Inspires Filmmakers to Tell Their Stories to Disney+

When you first hear the words Disney’s Launchpad, fans immediately think of the famous pilot from Disney’s DuckTales, Launchpad McDuck. It pops up in the Google search when you look up Disney’s Launchpad, but now, Disney is using the word for something greater (sorry, DuckTales fans) and something that will have a lasting impact on diversity and inclusion in filmmaking and storytelling in Hollywood. 

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