Renowned Pakistani actress Mehwish Hayat and director of Netflix’s ‘Never have I ever’ Lena Khan have been named the patrons for the UK Muslim Film (UKMF), a charity registered in England. This is another great feather in Hayat’s cap. With her recent Hollywood debut in Ms Marvel and now this honour, Hayat always gives her nation a reason to be proud of her.
Mehwish has acted in a number of Pakistani films, including “Actor in Law,” “Punjab Nahi Jaungi,” “Load Wedding,” and “Chhalawa.” She has always been outspoken about violations of human rights on a worldwide scale and has been especially outspoken about how Muslims are portrayed in the media.
“Representation of Muslims on-screen is something that I have been tirelessly working to highlight for the past few years. Misrepresentation has done untold damage to us and I sincerely believe has fuelled the rise of Islamophobia. With UKMF, I look forward to working with the industry to make sure that the way that we are portrayed on-screen, if not entirely positive, is at least a lot fairer,” she said during an interview.
Lena and Mehwish, along with a number of other prominent Muslim professionals, have the privilege of representing this charity. These include prominent figures like Aaqil Ahmed, the former head of commissioning at BBC and Channel 4, as well as Saima Mir, an award-winning writer, and journalist recognised for her work in The Guardian and The Times.
“UK Muslim Film works to change perspectives. We champion underrepresented talent and voices, both onscreen and behind the camera. Through film and television, we challenge misconceptions by ensuring authentic portrayals of Muslims on screen. We support the next generation of filmmakers to navigate the entertainment industry because we believe that film and television have the capacity to transform, revolutionize and broaden our minds,” says the charity’s website.
“UKMF is creating a culture where Muslims on screen are recognized, embraced, and celebrated by audiences worldwide. By promoting a greater understanding of Muslim cultures and the Islamic faith, we work to inspire pride and belonging in a young generation of British Muslims. Our mission is to integrate the Muslim experience into the heart of British culture, through film and television.”
Additionally, UKMF supports upcoming filmmakers who share the charity’s objectives, which are to advance understanding of the Muslim world and the Islamic faith. A panel of industry experts has been formed to decide who will receive financing for their projects.
Additionally, they have an advisory board that offers the Muslim community around the world advice and guidance on how to accurately represent Muslims.