HALA New Auteurs


Talent attending: Minhal Baig (Director), Geraldine Viswanathan (Talent)

Breathing new life into the classic American high school coming of age movie, writer/director Minhal Baig, making her feature debut, masterfully navigates the usual tropes of the genre to craft this thoroughly authentic and heartfelt story. Hala, a first-generation Pakistani-American teenager, is caught between the loving but suffocating embrace of her religiously conservative parents and her own burgeoning sexuality and independence.

Geraldine Viswanathan (BLOCKERS) plays Hala with extraordinary skill and nuance, deftly conveying a shifting perspective on her parents and inhabiting Hala’s journey of confusion and conviction. Contributing to the realistic but highly charged emotional atmosphere are equally strong performances from a supporting cast that includes Gabriel Luna as her sensitive high school English teacher and Purbi Joshi and Azad Khan as her parents. –Ken Jacobson

Filmmaker Minhal Baig wrote and directed the acclaimed film HALA about a Muslim teenager dealing with the unraveling of her family as she comes into her own. Baig is an executive story editor on the upcoming series DUNE: THE SISTERHOOD and previously wrote on BOJACK HORSEMAN and RAMY.


Country: USA

Year: 2019

Director: Minhal Baig

Screenwriter: Minhal Baig

Producers: Clarence Hammond, Jamal M Watson, Minhal Baig

Executive Producers: Jana Babatunde-Bey, Jada Pinkett Smith, Caleeb Pinkett, Marsha L Swinton, Ari Lubet, Aaron Carr

Director of Photography: Carolina Costa

Editor: Saela Davis

Production Designer: Sue Tebbutt

Music: Mandy Hoffman

Cast/Featuring: Geraldine Viswanathan, Jack Kilmer, Gabriel Luna, Purbi Joshi, Azad Khan, Anna Chlumsky

Running Time (minutes): 94 min

Languages: English, Urdu