“We had about 75 people turn out, Muslim
and non-Muslim alike,” says director Nicholas Paul Ybarra of the initial fundraiser. “Although the movie is about a serious subject, the event
didn't seem morose at all. Everybody who was there was happy that we are
making this project. We were not expecting to fully raise our goal but we got a good start.”
The plot for the film centers on the romantic relationship between Adeela, a hijab wearing Muslim woman and the son of a small town conservative councilman. They both set out to have her sing the national anthem at a local 4th of July festival which inflames temperament and arises questions about the town's destiny.
In the quest to tell that story on screen, this won't be the first time Ybrarra and crew have turned to popular internet sites to funding. Less connected last year, they attempted a Kickstarter campaign which ultimately proved unsuccessful. They've learned from that experience, though, as they now put their hopes into IndieGoGo.
“At this point, we have a lot more people and organizations involved with
the project,” the film director says. “It made sense to go into something like this.”
Most of the fiscal and institutional support so far has come from Anaheim's unofficially designated enclave of Little Arabia which is ever-evolving into its role as a civic crucible. Filmmakers hope that online contributors, who receive perks at different pledge levels, are reflective of the cast and crew itself. “I think it's great that we have so many culturally diverse people
involved,” Ybarra adds. “They are amazing and more importantly than
anything, they all want to see this film do amazingly well.”
All the actors are on board with the message behind Adeela even if those in OC and beyond are doubtful and leery. “The
film is not a promotion for the Islamic faith nor it is not an attack
on any one particularly group of people,” Ybarra reassures. “It's about a woman who
happens to be a Muslim and meets a man undergoing changes and
they deal with a situation that forces them to ask the question about
the greater good.”
Now, if Adeela can meet an operational goal in order to get off the ground without further delay, then it will be all good!