#FundraiserFriday: Rising Filmmaker Depicts a Millennial Black Woman’s Journey to Islam in ‘Jinn’

By Sameer Rao Mar 18, 2016

"I am tired of seeing the same recycled images of Muslims when I watch the news, go online or hear people talk about them in public," Nijla Baseema Mu’min says in the description for the Kickstarter campaign behind "Jinn," her upcoming feature film and this week’s #FundraiserFriday. "None of those Muslims resemble the Muslims I grew up with or know, like my cousin Saidah who loved LL Cool J and got her hair pressed when I was a kid, or my cousins who blasted Naughty By Nature and A Tribe Called Quest from their radios, or my father, who danced to jazz and made us buttermilk pancakes."

Nijla, a writer and filmmaker with a growing and impressive list of credits to her name (including work as a production assistant on Ava DuVernay‘s 2011 film "Middle of Nowhere"), aims for "Jinn" to change and complicate popular images of how Muslims look, act and behave. The film focuses on Summer, a 17-year-old Black girl whose famous meterologist mother’s abrupt conversion to Islam changes her world. The title refers to what Nijla describes as the "supernatural beings who occupy a parallel world and have free will, like humans." Summer explores romance, identity, and tensions between orthodoxy and free interpretation throughout the film. 

With two weeks left in the campaign, Nijla has already raised more than $23,000 towards her $25,000 goal. Funds will go towards costs for casting, permits for location shooting in Los Angeles this summer, wardrobe, design, and cast and crew compensation. Gifts for those who donate at various levels include #BlackGirlMagic-themed prints and tickets for the film premiere. 

Visit the "Jinn" Kickstarter page to learn more and donate.