New romantic comedy Breaking Fast focuses on the story of a gay Muslim American lead, reports WUWM.
The film, written and directed by Mike Mosallam, seeks to center the narrative of the largely underrepresented LGBT+ Muslim American community.
“Mosallam has said many times that the reason he wrote this short to begin with is someone asked him who represents you in film that you’ve seen?” said producer Bay Dariz. “And he thought about it and he just couldn’t think of one example of someone who represents who he is in his community, so he set out to write it.”
Breaking Fast tells the story of Mo, a Muslim American man living in West Hollywood. He meets Kal, an aspiring actor to offers to break fast with him every night during the month of Ramadan. Mo is portrayed by Lebanese actor Haaz Sleiman.
While religion is not a common element that appears in LGBT+ film, Breaking Fast incorporates its main character’s religion into its narrative.
According to Small Screen, the film includes discussions around the relationship between Islam and homosexuality, looking to portray religion and the LGBT+ community co-existing and interacting in a more positive light.
“I think the film makes a pretty good case for why these two things should not be in conflict,” added Dariz. “The film’s not trying to give anyone any answers, it’s not trying to preach to anybody and trying to say this is how things are and should be. It’s more saying here’s one perspective that you might not have seen before.”
The film also presents a positive representation of Arab Muslim Americans, featuring instances of characters speaking Arabic throughout the film.
According to its website, the Breaking Fast has received a positive response, winning awards at multiple LGBT+ film festivals including Best Feature at the Dayton LGBT Film Festival and Best Narrative Feature at the Atlanta LGBTQ Film Festival.
Breaking Fast is available to watch through October 29 on Milwaukee Film Festival’s website.
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