Hollywood director Paul Feig’s digital media production company Powderkeg has green lit a digital shortform show East of La Brea, a story about a black Muslim.
The project, the company’s first original series, follows Aisha Hassan and her Bangladeshi-American roommate, Farha Munshi, both 20-somethings struggling to navigate the changing landscape of their native Los Angeles home and their own ethnic communities.
Sameer Gardezi, who has writing credits on Modern Family and Outsourced, created the show using a grant from the philanthropic fund Pop Culture Collaborative and is working with MuslimARC to develop a project that is authentic to the Muslim-American experience.
Gardezi will executive produce it along with Powderkeg’s Feig and Laura Fischer, who are privately funding the series through a partnership with Lyft Entertainment and Muslim American funding initiative Pillars Fund.
“The inception of this show is a story unto itself, but the stories told through this series are beautifully authentic, and we’re so excited to partner on telling such a magnetic and diverse story,” Feig and Fischer said in a joint statement.
Gardezi added: “I’m beyond excited to be a part of this process and hope we can continue to build a pipeline for underrepresented voices both in front and behind the camera. I’m interested in growing diversity, not injecting it.”