Screenwriter Sameer Gardezi is all set to work on his new project, digital short series “East of La Brea,” which was recently greenlit by Paul Feig’s production company PowderKeg. Gardezi created the show with the help of a grant from philanthropic fund Pop Culture Collaborative, working with MuslimARC to ensure the storytelling does justice to authentic Muslim-American experiences.
“East of La Brea” follows twentysomething roommates, Black Muslim Aisha Hassan and Bangladeshi-American Farha Munshi. The two women struggle to cope with and understand their neighborhood and ethnic communities in Los Angeles.
“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,” Gardezi said in a statement according to Deadline.
He will executive produce this series along with Feig and Powderkeg’s Laura Fisher, who are privately funding it with the help of Lyft Entertainment and Pillars Fund, a Muslim-American funding initiative.
Gardezi has already written for well-known television shows like “Modern Family,” “Aliens in America,” “Outsourced,” and “Mr. Sunshine.” In 2016, he co-wrote the film “The Tiger Hunter” along with Lena Khan. It starred Danny Pudi, Rizwan Manji, Karen David, Iqbal Theba, and Sam Page. Pudi played Sami Malik, an Indian-American man who moves to the U.S. in the 70’s to pursue engineering but when that fails, he devotes his time trying to woo his long lost love.
Clearly, he comes equipped with experience and humor enough to tackle a diverse, real portrayal of Muslim-American experiences. Hopefully, Gardezi and team will give us a digital series that’s relatable and easy to fall in love with.