It was after its Sundance Film Festival premiere this year that Apple acquired rights to Hala, Minhal Baig’s coming-of-age film about a Pakistani American teenager Hala (Geraldine Viswanathan) who struggles to balance desire with her familial, cultural and religious obligations. It is now an Apple Original, joining George Nolfi’s The Banker and documentary The Elephant Queen as the tech giant’s first features that will stream on Apple TV+, the new service that launched November 1.
Hala will open in select theaters on November 22 before it debuts on Apple TV+ on December 6.
Baig, a Chicago native and directing mentee for Ryan Murphy’s director mentorship program, expanded her short film she made in 2016, with the feature screenplay named to the 2016 Black List. The story follows the 17-year old Hala as she navigates her senior year of high school and starts to develop feelings for her classmate, Jesse (Jack Kilmer). Raised in a conservative Muslim household, her growing feelings are at odds with her traditional upbringing. At the same time, she finds herself grappling with the knowledge of a secret that threatens to unravel her family. Gabriel Luna, Anna Chlumsky, Purbi Joshi and Azad Khan also star.
The film is produced by Clarence Hammond, Jamal Watson and Baig, and executive produced by Jada Pinkett Smith, Jana Babatunde-Bey, Marsha Swinton, James Lassiter, Caleeb Pinkett, Ari Lubet and Aaron Carr. Endeavor Content fully financed. An inclusion rider policy was applied during production of the pic, which facilitated the hiring of women into many department head positions and 75% of key below-the-line roles.
Check out the trailer above.
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