Justin Mashouf – ISF Film Grant, First Recipient
Justin Mashouf is a four-time Emmy winning filmmaker and artist. His 2008 feature documentary Warring Factions, on breakdancers and the rift between the US and Iran, has received over 20,000 digital downloads internationally. His 2011 short, Spring Movements, is a dance film dedicated to the Arab Spring uprisings throughout the Middle East and North Africa. His 2017 feature documentary The Honest Struggle is the story of a Muslim convert ex-offender and his journey re-entering society in Chicago after being incarcerated for over 25 years.
Caroline von Kuhn – Director of Artist Development, San Francisco Film Society
Caroline von Kühn is one of the founders of the Points North Institute. Von Kühn is also the producer of Burn Country, a Tribeca Film Festival prizewinner and SF Film Society-supported feature film starring Dominic Rains, Melissa Leo and James Franco. Von Kühn was a 2016 IFP Cannes Producers Network Fellow, and received her BA in Financial Economics from University of Virginia and an MFA from University of Manchester (UK).
Iman Zawahry, ISF Film Scholarship Recipient and Film Grant Director
Iman Zawahry’s films have been shown in 100 venues worldwide. Her film Tough Crowd won an Student Emmy Award and was a finalist in the NBC Comedy Short Cuts. Iman was also a recipient of the coveted Princess Grace Award. Iman also collaborated with the Islamic Scholarship Fund, to create the first-ever American Muslim grant launched in 2014. She is currently writing a feature with critically acclaimed theater actress, Aizzah Fatima, and teaches production at the University of Florida College of Journalism.
Michael Morgenstern – Grant Founder, Film Director
Michael creates narrative films, commercials, and VR experiences. His two shorts have been featured in over 70 film festivals. He also created a fire safety video in December in response to the Oakland warehouse fire. Michael started Nametag Day, a citywide event that distributed nametags to over 15,000 New Yorkers, and coordinated international operations for nonprofit FilmAid International. His work has been covered in The New York Times, TIME Magazine, AM New York, and CBS. He is currently adapting a story into a week-long interactive experience + feature film.
Zainab Khan – ISF Scholarship Recipient
Zainab graduated in 2016. She founded Mozzified and is working for AJ+ as a YouTube strategist. She was born in Peshawar, Pakistan and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, IL. Zainab serves as a freelance cultural commentator for several American-Muslim publications, as a monthly columnist for Altmuslim at Patheos, and is the Head Writer and Marketing Assistant at AQL Online. Her work has also appeared in publications like The Feminist Wire, The Islamic Monthly, and AltMuslimah.
Faroukh Virani – ISF Scholarship Recipient
Faroukh Virani is a Los Angeles-based director and editor who has completed studies in Film Production at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts (MFA) and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts (BFA). Faroukh’s USC graduate thesis short VIMANA has played in multiple international festivals and recently won award for Best Drama at USC’s First Film showcase and was one of 25 films featured in PBS’s 2015 Online Film Festival. He is also involved in post-production as an Assistant Editor on CW’s iZombie.
Khalilah Waajid – ISF Grant Recipient
Z.Khalilah won the 2012 Georgia State University Jury Film Award for Into The Mirror, a project she started as a senior in high school. She was accepted into one of the nation’s top film schools, Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television in Los Angeles. As a Dean’s Fellow she is currently pursuing her Masters of Fine Arts and is set to graduate in 2018. Her latest documentary, Undiscovered Princess, explores the importance of cultural and self-identity for a child and is set to debut in 2016.
Imran Javed Khan – ISF Scholarship Recipient
Imran J. Khan has spent the better part of a decade creating Muslim-related online viral videos. After completing his degree in Biological Systems Engineering from the University of California at Davis, Imran worked for a number of years in the medical device industry before deciding to pursue filmmaking, his true passion, full time. Imran J. Khan is currently pursuing a masters in fine arts concentrating in film production from New York University. Imran hopes to explore the Muslim American experience through film in hopes of building bridges of understanding to mainstream America.
Assia Boundaoui – ISF Film Grant Recipient
Assia Boundaoui is an Algerian-American journalist and filmmaker based in Chicago. She has reported for the BBC, NPR, AlJazeera, VICE, CNN and was the recipient of a first place Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Assia has worked in an editorial capacity on the production of a number of documentary films, including HBO Documentary Films’ MANHUNT (2013) which was awarded an Emmy. Assia has a Masters degree in journalism from New York University and is fluent in Arabic. THE FEELING OF BEING WATCHED is her directorial debut.
Rhym Guisse – Actress, Activist
Rhym was born in Annaba, Algeria, to a Malian father and Algerian mother. A true artist, Rhym continues to effortlessly float between the disciplines of acting, music and art. She started working with a singing coach to fine-tune her melodic voice after wrapping up the film Deer Crossing with Ernie Hudson, Christopher Mann and Doug Bradley. Between photo shoots, filming and auditioning, Rhym stays involved in the community through the non-profit organization FeelGood World.