When Disney’s Launchpad debuted in 2021 on Disney+, it offered a slew of storytelling from diverse perspectives that aren’t usually in the mainstream. From American Eid showing the struggles of a Pakistani Muslim immigrant family, to The Last of the Chupacabras showing the magical realism of an aging Mexican woman, to several more, Launchpad offers an opportunity for lesser known filmmakers to have their work on the large platform Disney+ offers, and hopefully find more work after.Continue reading “Disney’s ‘Launchpad’ Producers on What to Expect from Season 2”
When we find the Hassan family at the start of Ramy Season 3, the son of the family has brought not only shame, but severe consequences for his family that threaten the life they’ve built in the States. Where do they go from here, and will they ever be able to pay back their debts? How will the Hassan family change through their experiences this season?Continue reading “The Cast of ‘Ramy’ on What’s in Store for the Hassan Family in Season 3”
We discuss episodes 1-2 of the new MCU Disney+ series Ms. Marvel, joined by Nerdist contributor Maryam Ahmad!Continue reading “The Middle Geeks Episode 40: ‘Ms. Marvel’ Episodes 3-4 Review”
There’s a new speedster in town on The Flash! Dr. Meena Dhawan made her debut in “Keep it Dark” and received the spotlight in last week’s “The Man in the Yellow Tie.” Who is Dr. Meena and why has she sought Barry Allen and his team out?Continue reading “Kausar Mohammed on Joining ‘The Flash’”
We discuss episodes 1-2 of the new MCU Disney+ series Ms. Marvel, starring Iman Vellani!
Ms. Marvel is here! We discuss the first two episodes of the series, discussing how wonderful Iman Vellani is in the main role, how well the series does at portraying Kamala and her family and friends, how well it does on portraying Islam, the change to her powers, and where it can do better in certain fronts.Continue reading “The Middle Geeks Episode 39: ‘Ms. Marvel’ Episodes 1-2 Review”
Dominic and Britney break down the Ms. Marvel trailer — including the live action version’s controversial power set — and discuss the character’s pop cultural significance before speculating about Moon Knight and other sides of Disney+ Marvel.Continue reading “Hard NOC Life 258: ‘Ms. Marvel’ Stretch Goals”
Ms. Marvel is finally coming to the MCU! And we finally have a trailer! In it, we get to see Kamala Khan as a regular Pakistani American Muslim teen girl fantasize about Captain Marvel and the Avengers, drawing fanart, and dealing with the ins and outs of American high school as a brown girl.Continue reading “The First ‘Ms. Marvel’ Trailer is Here”
Ms. Marvel has a new comic series out! In the five-issue Beyond the Limit, Kamala must deal with unexpected multiverse shenanigans as she visits her cousin Razia in Chicago. Writing her in this series is author Samira Ahmed, who is the first Desi Muslim to write Ms. Marvel!Continue reading “Samira Ahmed Talks about Writing ‘Ms. Marvel: Beyond the Limit’”
Middle East and North African (MENA) and Muslim people have had scant options when it comes to the superhero genre or comic book adaptations generally. Arab and Persian people in particular have most often been vilified in popular media through the decades. But this is thankfully starting to change, such as with the Tarazi siblings on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow for Persian people, but perhaps now for Arab people with the news from Deadline that Netflix is developing a Grendel series, based on Matt Wagner’s comic series of the same name, and has cast The CW’s Katy Keene star and Abubakr Ali in the starring role!Continue reading “Abubakr Ali Cast as Titular Anti-Hero for Netflix’s ‘Grendel’”
Iman Zahawry provides a refreshing and heartwarming romantic comedy centered in a community that is so often ignored in media. What might feel like a run of the mill indie film straight from the early 2010s, the films sets itself apart and elevates itself with its likable characters and message of trying to find one’s independence and what it means to be Americanish.Continue reading “‘Americanish’ Shines a Heartwarming Light on its Community”
Shayan Sobhian, aka Behrad Tarazi of Legends of Tomorrow, joins Swara to discuss his upcoming episode, “This is Gus!” They talk about how Shayan relates to his character, the importance and impact of representation, and how Behrad may be developing this season. Enjoy listening!
This is a podcast form of the interview published here for The Nerds of Color.
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.Continue reading “‘American Eid’ Director Aqsa Altaf on the Importance of Muslim Stories and Finding Her Voice”
Tala Ashe, who plays our favorite TV superhero Zari Tarazi, joins Swara for a discussion of the next Legends of Tomorrow episode, “The Ex-Factor!” They talk about the importance of Iranian, MENA, and Muslim representation, where Zari’s journey goes this season, and the experience of working on a show as exciting as Legends. Enjoy!
This is a podcast form of the interview published here for The Nerds of Color.
In the second of our interview series, author Reem Faruqi and artist Fahmida Azim join us to discuss their new book, Amira’s Picture Day, out now! We discuss the impetus for this delightful children’s book that takes place on the Muslim holiday Eid-Al-Fitr, celebrating the end of Ramadan, and what else inspired them in the creation of this wonderful story, from the beautiful art to the deeply embedded cultural elements Enjoy listening and buy your copy of Amira’s Picture Day today!
Being a Middle Eastern kid in an American high school can be an awkward experience. You may struggle to fit in and have an unclear sense of your identity, making friends and relationships as a result. With the new show Chad on TBS, in which she plays the titular 14-year old character, Nasim Pedrad seeks to encompass that experience through reveling in the awkwardness that being an insecure MENA teenager can often entail. And it works for the most part, though the humor sometimes falls flat, especially when it leans too much into the awkwardness.Continue reading “NOC Review: ‘Chad’ is Good, but Revels in Cringe”
We’re back with a LOT to discuss. Joining us is a prolific cosplayer, streamer, and friend, Jasmin! We discuss Jasmin’s cosplaying and how the cosplay community has been doing in quarantine. We also discuss the announcement of a queer Ramadan rom-com coming out next month, highlights of the MCU announcements from last week, and how MENA people are WINNING as directors for Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight, why we’re so excited for these series, and our thoughts on the castings (and on the ones that are controversial), and discuss Netflix’s Mosul as our movie of the month. Enjoy!
A few weeks ago, Keith had the pleasure of welcoming to Southern Fried Asian human rights lawyer, policy advocate, and candidate for State Senate in the 28th district of Virginia, Qasim Rashid. With less than two weeks to go until voters go to the polls in Virginia, Keith and Qasim talk about why he’s running and why it’s important to get involved in politics at every level of society.
I went to Aquaman for two reasons: First, the ticket was free. Second, this is basically underwater Magic Mike, right? I came for the pecs, I stayed for the pecs. But also for the analysis of what it is to be of two cultures. I mean races. I mean… worlds?
With less than a week to go before Election Day, Southern Fried Asian sits down with a candidate to represent the 97th District in the Georgia House, Aisha Yaqoob!
Former Vertigo editor Pornsak Pichetshote comes to Hard NOC Life to talk about Infidel, his new comic series from Image!
Pugilist, champion, leader, prophet, husband, father, excellence. Muhammad Ali earned many titles. But only two words adequately define him: The Greatest!!
It’s been quite a while since I’ve contributed anything, but with the news that Iron Fist has a showrunner and also with Donald Trump wasting our time and being overtly bigoted, I thought it was an opportunity to look at the importance of introducing more POC characters in our fiction, and the importance of identity, on a wide range of levels.
As you know, we’re pretty big fans of Kamala Khan’s turn as Ms. Marvel around here. And last week, the original inspiration for the character — Marvel editor Sana Amanat — became the inspiration for even more people when she addressed a TEDxTeen 2014 in New York.