Meesha Shafi, Hasan Minhaj and Alicia Silverstone to star in Pakistani-American coming-of-age film Mustache
Did you know singer Meesha Shafi is also an actor? We will be seeing her on our screens soon in her next project, a coming-of-age feature called Mustache. She will be joined by comedian Hasan Minhaj and American actor Alicia Silverstone (Clueless).
Mustache is award-winning shorts director Imran J Khan’s first feature film and is largely autobiographical. According to Deadline, it is about an eccentric 13 year-old boy, Ilyas (played by Atharva Verma), who sets off to navigate the social hierarchy of his new California public school with a moustache his parents will not allow him to shave off.
“I’m very humbled and honoured to be partnering with the amazing people at MakeSay as well as the talented Christopher Storer to bring my very personal and often eccentric film, Mustache to life,” said Khan. “I can’t think of a better team to partner with to bring this film to life.”
The film also stars Rizwan Manji (Schitt’s Creek) who will play Ilyas’ father Hameed, with Shafi playing the mother and Ayana Manji portraying his school friend, Yasmeen. Details of Silverstone and Minhaj’s characters are under wraps. MakeSay is producing the movie along with American Light and Fixture’s Christopher Storer and Tyson Bidner — the duo behind hit series Ramy and The Bear for Hulu and FX, respectively.
Rizwan found the plot relatable and true and is looking forward to working on the film. “I am excited to be a part of a project that tells a universal coming-of-age story in ways that we haven’t seen before and from a diverse perspective. Mustache is an honest representation of growing up Muslim in the 90s. I found the script special, and immediately connected to the father son relationship that is central to the film.”
Christina Won and Jessica Sittig of MakeSay released a joint statement saying Mustache is exactly the kind of “paradigm shift” they love to bring to the screen. “A heartwarming and funny story that highlights an underrepresented culture and uplifts a diverse, auteur filmmaker,” they said. “Imran is an incredible talent and he draws from his own personal experiences growing up in the bay area in the 90s to create a film with laughs and a lot of heart. We couldn’t be more proud to bring this story to light.”
Khan’s award-winning shorts include 2016’s Prom, which was based on ideas from Minhaj’s stand-up special Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King. He has also been part of the filmmaking teams of movies such as Space Jam: A New Legacy and Minions: The Rise of Gru. The director was recently selected for the Pillars Artist Fellowship, created by Riz Ahmed’s Left Handed Films and Pillars Fund to champion and mentor Muslim writers and directors.
Shafi’s has had roles in To Strike, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Mira Nair’s thriller The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Minhaj is known for his Peabody Award-winning Netflix series Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj and comedy specials.