On Thursday, British actor Riz Ahmed launched an initiative to improve the image of Muslims in films, after a study showed that they hardly appear, or are portrayed negatively when they appear.
Ahmed, the star of “Sound of Metal,” said the Muslim Inclusion initiative includes funding and mentoring Muslim storytellers in the early stages of their work.
“Representation of Muslims on screen fuels the policies that are pursued, the people killed and the countries invaded,” the 38-year-old added in a statement. This study shows us that the magnitude of the problem in popular films, and its cost, is calculated in terms of potential opportunities wasted and lives lost.”
He explained that the provision of funding would be a game changer by bringing more Muslim actors, writers and producers into the field of making films and television programs. “If I had not received a scholarship, as well as a special donation, I would not have been able to enroll in a college to learn drama,” he said.
The $25,000 grants to young Muslim artists will be overseen by an advisory panel that includes actor Mahershala Ali, actor Ramy Youssef and comedian Hassan Minhaj.