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Mehwish Hayat

Following the success of Ms. Marvel, Mehwish Hayat has a achieved a new milestone for Muslim representation in mainstream media. She, along with writer-director of Never Have I Ever Lena Khan, have been appointed as the first patrons for charity UK Muslim Film (UKMF).

UKMF works to change perspectives through championing underrepresented talent and voices, both on-screen and behind the camera and also advises the entertainment industry on how to authentically represent Muslims on-screen.


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Mehwish Hayat has widely spoken out about human rights abuses on the global stage and has been particularly vocal about the representation of Muslims in mainstream media. In an interview with Variety, she 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 fueled the rise of Islamophobia. With UKMF, I look forward to working with the industry to make sure that the way that we are portrayed on-screen, if not positive, is at least a lot fairer.”

“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,” the actor added.

UKMF will be hosting a pop-up cinema event on August 13 at Edgbaston to celebrate the work of Lena Khan, director of Disney original film Flora & Ulysses. Khan also spoke about Muslim representation in global cinema and said:

“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.”


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Sajid Varda, who worked on and acted in Khan’s The Tiger Hunter, established UKMF and the upcoming first Muslim International Film Festival to champion creative endeavors by Muslims from around the world.

“We have a great deal of work ahead of us to change perceptions within the media and in particular the screen industries. With the addition of Mehwish and Lena to the team we are incredibly hopeful that together we can change the script.”

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