‘Blueprint for Muslim Inclusion’ Recommendations
Released in 2021, ‘The Blueprint for Muslim Inclusion: Recommendations for Film Industry Professionals’ contains a wide range of research-based insights and tactics to improving Muslim representation in the screen industries. The Blueprint was produced and published by Pillars Fund, Riz Ahmed / Left Handed Films, and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.
Agencies have the opportunity to source from the abundant pool of talent within Muslim communities, uplift Muslim-led stories, and increase the visibility of Muslims on screen.
Below, ReFrame is proud to highlight some key recommendations from the Blueprint and Report for Agents and Talent Reps.
a. Audit your talent pool. Spend time understanding the state of your company’s inclusion when it comes to Muslim talent. Track the number and percentage of Muslim writers, above the line talent, and on-screen talent your agency represents, and compare how often they are being brought in to dominant groups. Examine your agency’s pool in film, television, streaming sports, influencers, and other categories to see where opportunities exist.
b. Intentionally seek out polycultural Muslim talent. Work to actively identify, nurture, sign, and provide opportunities to Muslim talent. Muslims are the most racially and ethnically diverse religious groups in the United States and Britain, so be sure that your talent reflects this and other diverse identity markers like gender, sexual orientation, and denomination. By creating a pool of talent within your agency, you will provide an integral source to production companies, who can highlight the talent of this group on and off the screen.
c. Conduct script reviews that capitalize on the expertise of self-identified Muslims before shopping scripts. Agencies are the first line of defense against the perpetuation of harmful tropes, stereotypes, and story lines making it to screen. Seek out expert cultural consultants trusted by Muslim communities to assess the script for damaging messaging and inaccurate presentation of faith practices.
d. Represent Muslim consultants who can collaborate with writers, studios, production companies, and other industry professionals. By providing a network of trusted and vetted experts, the barrier to accessing first-hand knowledge from Muslim communities is virtually eliminated and can lead to more nuanced and accurate storytelling.Contact Pillars