Mehwish Hayat and Never Have I Ever director Lena Khan named first patrons of UK Muslim Film

Mehwish Hayat and Never Have I Ever director Lena Khan named first patrons of UK Muslim Film

The organisation is working to change perspectives by supporting underrepresented talent and voices both on and off screen.
04 Aug, 2022

After making her Hollywood debut in Ms. Marvel, Mehwish Hayat has been named alongside Netflix’s Never Have I Ever director Lena Khan as the first patron of charity UK Muslim Film (UKMF) — an organisation that works to change perspectives by supporting underrepresented talent and voice both on and off screen, advising how to authentically represent Muslims.

On Thursday, Hayat took to Instagram and shared the news with her followers. “So proud to have been made a patron of UK Muslim Film. The first step towards ‘changing the script’,” she wrote.

The actor who has made a name for herself with films like Actor in law, Chhalawa and London Nahi Jaunga and has widely spoken about human rights as well as the representation of Muslims in the mainstream media. Speaking to Variety, the actor said, “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, the actor is looking forward to working with the industry to make sure the way “Muslims are portrayed onscreen is fair if not positive”.

“It is equally incumbent on us as Muslims to be telling our own stories. I am excited that UKMF will be supporting emerging Muslim talent and helping them get their work to larger audiences,” Hayat added.

According to the site, UKMF will be hosting a cinema pop-up on August 13 in Edgbaston, UK to celebrate Khan’s work as director of Disney original Flora & Ulysses.

Khan told Variety, “Representation in films and television literally changes our cultural landscape — for better or worse. It impacts policy, how we see people, how we operate with each other. And it’s not that hard to do. I hope we can continue to expand the scope and quality of how our fellow humans are seen on screen, and enjoy the ride and the stories along the way.”

Sajid Varda, who established UKMF and the upcoming first Muslim International Film Festival, worked closely with and acted in Khan’s The Tiger Hunter along with Danny Pudi, Jon Heder, Rizwan Manji, Iqbal Theba, Karen David, Samuel Page of The Bold Type and Kevin Pollak.

Varda also told the publication that they have a great deal of work ahead of them in order to change the perception about Muslims within the media and with the addition of Hayat and Khan on board as part of the UKMF team they are hopeful that together they can “change the script.”


Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Aug 04, 2022 12:53pm
Bring it on.
JustSaying Aug 04, 2022 01:29pm
They have great Talents but they are Suppressed...
Tenjee Aug 04, 2022 03:12pm
Not convinced people who shed their Muslim values for fame are the right ones to be talking about portrayal of Muslims in film. But there is a problem in the UK with recent reports from Muslim writers of how their scripts are changed to make the characters less Muslim. So Muslim characters that observe the prohibitions of gender relations are taken out, or changed to be portrayed as strict and backward. I hear so often from people in the industry how they want to change societal perspectives, so will thus be used to subvert culture? I'm neither convinced nor hopeful this will be positive for the majority Muslims.
TPA Aug 04, 2022 05:53pm
What a bunch of hype
Kulbhshan Yadav Aug 04, 2022 08:35pm
Wonder if there is any UK Christian films or UK Hindu films.
Glen D'Abreo Aug 05, 2022 03:21am
Why do actors have to base their talent on their religious values? If you are that religious than maybe you are in the wrong business! Actors no matter what religion they are will be called to do scenes that are shocking but its what the script requires. As more Pakistani actors slide into Hollywood there will be more of this and actors in Hollywood, Lollywood or Bollywood are not there to protect any religion. That is left to the public and we can see many of us live in a country which does not practice its religious values, so how can we expect the actors to up hold it.
Irshad Tyabjee Aug 05, 2022 06:33am
Life imitates Art .... which in turn, imitates Life ---- Famous Saying. If we want films that show the positive attributes of our Religious bretheren, we have to ourselves change, so such behavior is considered admirable .... and normal.