Historic Television Screenwriting Lab for Black Muslim Writers Led by The Blackhouse Foundation and MPAC's Hollywood Bureau Wraps

August 13, 2021


August 13, 2021




Historic Television Screenwriting Lab for Black Muslim Writers Led by The Blackhouse Foundation and MPAC's Hollywood Bureau Wraps


August 13, 2021, Los Angeles, California - In an unprecedented time when the importance of historically excluded voices, experiences, and perspectives has been pushed to the forefront, The Blackhouse Foundation and MPAC’s Hollywood Bureauheld their first-ever Television Screenwriting Lab for Black Muslim Writers.

The Television Screenwriting Lab for Black Muslim Writers was created to begin to open a pathway for writers who have not been represented in television, but whose perspectives and stories are needed now more than ever. While the scripts are written from the lens of Black Muslims, their stories about life, love, adventure, work and family are universal.

Held on Smashcut, an innovative platform for online film education, the lab was led by talented industry instructors Qasim Basir, DMA, Hanelle Culpepper, and Fanshen Cox, who worked with the screenwriters to embrace their unique voices and experiences, hone their craft, refine their pitches, and prepare them for careers in the industry. As DMA told them, “Your existence as creators is revolutionary.”

Presented in alphabetical order by title, here are the exceptional screenplays and their screenwriters from New York, LA, Detroit and London - who completed the Television Screenwriting Lab for Black Muslim Writers:

DIASPORA - Maram Ahmed

Four Muslim women navigate adulthood as they try to figure out love, their careers, and this thing called life.

HOUSE CALL - Aiman Mimiko

When a young Nigerian doctor's immigration papers are lost in the system, he’s forced to go under the table to make ends meet.


After her husband’s wanton betrayal and a bitter divorce, Karimah Hassan, a Black American Muslim woman, has to laugh to keep from crying—until two men are vying for her hand.


A wormhole whisks this shy Black Muslim girl away from her small town to AFROTOPIA, a spaceship searching for a home planet.

NAILA - Nadra Widatalla

A Black Muslim video game designer by day, and prison Abolitionist by night, needs to quickly decide what side of Capitalism she really sits on.


Stumbling onto Wall Street, this Black junior banker struggles to earn her spot among the financial elite.

SINCERELY, NISSA - Malikah A. Shabazz

A complacent producer maneuvers through her professional and social world by using Twitter to say how she feels anonymously...for now.

WHISPERS - Desha Dauchan

When a rising star attorney reluctantly takes on a mysterious case pro-bono, her client’s “insane” claims trigger her deep suppressed clairvoyance. Will her growing obsession with making sense of it all be her undoing?

These scripts and writers were chosen from a competitive pool of submissions that proved the talent is out there if we are willing to create a path for their voices. The need for these voices was recognized by Participant, the leading media company dedicated to entertainment that inspires audiences to engage in positive social change. Participant’s support for this lab will include a meeting with these screenwriters, who will present their projects and personal stories to Participant television executives next week.

“Participant has been the industry standard when it comes to social impact entertainment and we are so grateful for their generous sponsorship and valuable input with the Television Screenwriting Lab for Muslim Writers. The interaction between the eight talented writers we chose for the lab and the industry leaders at Participant creates incredible benefit and inspiration on both sides. Working with Brickson Diamond and the The Blackhouse Foundation team continues to be a blessing,” said Sue Obeidi, Director of MPAC’s Hollywood Bureau.

“This was an incredible opportunity to build community, elevate stories and empower a powerful group of creators on the rise.” - Blackhouse Board Chair Brickson Diamond

Daniel Blackman, Founder & CEO of Smashcut, said, "Smashcut is thrilled to help support and expand creative opportunities for these talented writers. We built Smashcut to make online film education more accessible by connecting emerging creators with experienced industry mentors. We look forward to watching their careers grow and seeing their stories come to life"

Congratulations to the inaugural cohort of Black Muslim Television Writers whose stories, when told, have the potential to rewrite the narrative.

Media requests and interest in these scripts can be directed to:

Brickson Diamond: brickson@theblackhouse.org

Sue Obeidi and Lori Margaret: sue@mpac.org and lori@mpac.org



The Blackhouse Foundation works to expand opportunities for Black content creators by providing pathways to opportunities within film, television, digital and emerging platforms. Blackhouse provides opportunities for minority creative to learn about the financial, production, marketing and distribution resources that will raise the profile of their content, while also providing participants with a nucleus for continuing support, community and education. For more information, please visit theblackhouse.org.


MPAC’s Hollywood Bureau changes the narrative of Muslims in the industry so that audiences see Muslims as vital contributors to creating social and cultural change. We do this by engaging decision-makers and creatives to improve the quality of authentic, nuanced, and inclusive presentations of Muslims on screen. For more information, please visit mpachollywoodbureau.org.


Founded by Chairman Jeff Skoll and under the leadership of CEO David Linde, Participant

(www.participant.com) combines the power of a good story well told with real world impact and awareness around today’s most vital issues. Through its worldwide network of traditional and digital distribution, aligned with partnerships with key non-profit and NGO organizations, Participant speaks directly to the rise of today’s “conscious consumer,” representing the well over 2 billion consumers compelled to make meaningful content a priority focus.


As an industry content leader, Participant annually produces up to six narrative feature films, six documentary films, three episodic television series, and more than 20 hours of digital short form programming. Participant’s more than 100 films have collectively earned 82 Academy

Award® nominations and 21 wins, including Best Picture for Spotlight and Green Book; Best

Documentary Feature for An Inconvenient Truth, CITIZENFOUR, The Cove and American Factory; and Best Foreign Language Film for Roma and A Fantastic Woman. Follow Participant on Twitter (@Participant) and on Facebook and Instagram.


Smashcut (www.smashcut.com) is a dynamic online learning platform and content studio built to scale creative education for the visual and media arts. Smashcut partners with universities and organizations to develop and deliver media-based online programs. The Smashcut platform features a high degree of collaborative instruction, with real-time project review via live video sessions with instructors. Smashcut was designed to help expand high-quality online education for the next generation of creative artists by facilitating collaboration with peers and experienced industry instructors.



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