‘The Syed Family Xmas Game Night’ is queer Muslim holiday movie

It’s time to add another groundbreaking queer holiday rom-com to your holiday watch list with the short film “The Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night” from writer Kausar Mohammed (“East of La Brea”) and director Fawzia Mirza (“Signature Move”). The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11.

A queer Muslim woman adds another wild card to a gathering that’s already plenty unpredictable when she brings her new partner to her family’s holiday festivities, in director Fawzia Mirza’s buoyant and big-hearted comedy,” reads the official synopsis for “The Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night.”

“Having a queer Muslim Brown rom-com world premiere at one of the most important film festivals in the world is revolutionary,” Mirza said ahead of the premiere. “We need more space for the stories of our love and joy, made by, starring, and written by us. We are thrilled to share the short with TIFF audiences and hope they, like us, want to see a whole lot more of the Syed family.”

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The 11-minute short stars Mohammed as a queer Pakistani Muslim woman who brings her new partner, Luz (nonbinary actor Vico Ortiz of “Vida” and “Soldados o Zombies”), who is Puerto Rican, to her family’s storied and competitive game night. From the start, it’s clear her eldest sister, Soraya (Meera Rohit Kumbhani), plans to challenge Luz. At one point she throws down the gauntlet by asking Luz to make proper chai.

“Bringing this story to the screen has been such a dream every step of the way,”  Mohammed said of the project. “This project is a showcase of queer, Muslim, BIPOC talent – from the South Asian artists featured on the soundtrack to our amazing cast and crew. I want people to see this and feel the magic of what happens when communities who haven’t been given a voice can finally tell their own stories.”

This article originally appeared on Advocate.com, and is shared here as part of an LGBTQ+ community exchange between Q Voice News and Pride Media.

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Tracy E. Gilchrist

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