Sundance: Apple Takes Jada Pinkett Smith-Produced Drama ‘Hala’

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Tech monolith Apple made its first purchase at the 2019 Sundance film festival, in the coming-of-age drama “Hala.”

The film, from writer-director Minhal Baig and executive produced by Jada Pinkett Smith, sold for an undisclosed amount.

Baig’s project centers on seventeen-year old Hala, navigating the conflicting worlds of her traditional Muslim household and her modern high school.  As she struggles with her identity, she uncovers a secret that could destroy her nuclear family.

Geraldine Viswanathan (“Blockers”) plays the title role. Costars include Purbi Josh, Azad Khan, Gabriel Luna and Anna Chlumsky .

From Endeavor Content and Overbrook Entertainment, “Hala” producers include Clarence Hammond, Jamal Watson and Baig. Jana Babatunde-Bey, Marsha Swinton, James Lassiter, Caleeb Pinkett, Ari Lubet and Aaron Carr are executive producers. Endeavor Content co-financed and sold the project. The film is based on a proof-of-concept short Baig made in 2016.

The inclusion rider policy was applied during production of Minhal Baig’s “Hala.” The policy facilitated the hiring of women into many department head positions and 75% of critical below-the-line roles.


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