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East Coast Premiere

Director: Ali Godil

United States, 2021, 7 min

Shooting Format:Digital

Festival Year:2022

Category:Narrative Short

Genres:Comedy, Drama, Romance

Cast:Esha More, Ricki Bhullar

Crew:Writer: Ali Godil. Producer: Fran Bittakis. Cinematographer: Chris Buchal; Gaffer: Logan Reynolds; 1st AC: Hayden Spencer; Wardrobe: Fran Bittakis; Hair and Makeup: Stormy Brady, Alaina Armstrong; Sound Mixer: Betty Alcaraz; Executive Producer: Mohammad Gorjestani; Editor: Ashley Rodholm; 2nd AC: Miguel Acuna; Production Assistants: Roisin Connolly, Marshall Peak, Seemab Hussaini, Saren Oliver; Sound Design: Chris Konovaliv; Color: Mark Sanna; Color Producers: Will Mok, Laura Noonan; Title Card design: Enric Perez, Ali Godil; Associate Producer: Genevieve Diaz


A rich girl from Pakistan must adjust to lower class American life after getting an arranged marriage.

After leaving her family, Iman sacrifices everything by coming to America. She is forced to confront new expectations from her husband, Salim, and struggle with the roles and dynamics of what life is really like in the land of opportunity versus the fantasy in her head.

About the director

Ali Godil is an artist, filmmaker, creative director and designer who believes in the power of beauty (ethics + aesthetics) to create emotionally impactful concepts, designs and content. Pushing culture forward in the process and ultimately uplifting the human experience. He grew up in Portland, Oregon as the son of Pakistani immigrant parents. His artistic work centers around celebrating the wisdom of his ancestors and honoring the dignity and humanity of underrepresented people, all with a vibrant, colorful and intimate approach. He is the founder of House of Gul, a creative studio and artistic practice in Portland, Oregon that works on commercial projects as well as artistic collaborations. He’s worked on creative projects for a diverse range of clients, from Nike, Adobe, Netflix, and Facebook to many regional and national non-profit organizations and cultural institutions.


Filmmaker's note

This is a true story about my parents getting an arranged marriage and moving to the US. With this film I wanted to increase the aperture of what it means to be "American". Juxtaposing the American dream from abroad versus the American reality while living here. When faced with such great sacrifice and courage as moving to another country and giving your life to a stranger, what do you choose to hold onto and what do you surrender? At its core this is a story of sacrifice and belonging and what that means in the context of an immigrant in America faced with the all pervasive pressures of culture and capitalism.

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