66 3Arts supporters
$7,075 raised of $6,000 goal
0 Days 0:00:00 LEFT
Funded on May 31, 2024
    • 118% contributed

Inspired by a lack of representation about multicultural relationships and stories, I’m embarking on a new short film project called HALF. The story follows Sri, a queer Indonesian-Lebanese Muslim American who is often made to feel like the wrong “half” for any situation they are in. Not Asian enough, not Arab enough, and never American or Muslim enough. Following the success of my previous short films, Shukran Bas and ba.la, this is the first opportunity I’ve had to tell a personal story. This film is necessary now because it centers multiple marginalized identities that deserve a voice in the Muslim community and humanizes them. In a time of heightened Islamophobia, anti-Arab rhetoric, and xenophobia, stories like this help turn the tide of public opinion by flipping stereotypes on their heads and inviting the audience who may not know any Muslims personally to experience an underrepresented Muslim perspective.

About This Project

I was moved to create HALF due to the absence of bi-racial and interracial representation in TV/Film/Theater, specifically centering two people of the global majority. The themes in this film are inspired by early conversations between my fiancé and I around navigating race, ethnicity, culture, and religion within our multi-cultural and interracial relationship. While drawn from personal circumstances, I believe this film has universal resonance.

Growing up, like every kid, I wanted to see myself represented in art and media in some way but to this day I have still yet to see someone capture the version of mixed culture that I grew up experiencing. One that featured two strong global cultures clashing and blending in unimaginably beautiful and complicated ways. The dissonance between the way I see multi-cultural representation in media, which often features one white parent or partner, and the way we experience it first-hand is what inspired me to share this story in the hopes that other mixed kids will feel seen and understood on a level they have not been yet.

HALF is partially supported by the Islamic Scholarship Fund’s 2023 Narrative Film Grant.  Current collaborators include producer Jack Newell of Zaxie Films and Eric Gerard co-starring as Erren. We’re filming in Chicago July 2024 with goals to submit to national and global film festivals starting in September. Once the project is complete, and has made its rounds through the festival circuit, we are planning on bringing HALF home for its Chicago premiere in late 2025.

When we invest in unheard stories from underrepresented perspectives, we help expand the understanding and empathy people feel towards groups they might not be in regular contact with. At its core, HALF is a story anyone can relate to about loneliness, identity, and finding belonging in unexpected places. Please help us tell this story!

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $25
    Personal shout-out on social media ($25.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50
    Exclusive “Behind the Scenes” updates from creative team & personal shout-out on social media ($50.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $100
    Exclusive invitation to a private screening, plus your name thanked in the film credits and shout-out on social media ($100.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $500
    Opportunity to be a featured extra in the film, plus exclusive invitation to private screening ($500.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $1000
    Co-Producer Credit, plus exclusive invitation to private screening ($1000.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $2500
    Producer Credit, plus exclusive invitation to private screening ($2500.00 is tax deductible.)

Arti Ishak

Make a Wave Artist

Arti Ishak (they/them) is an actor, director, and writer, previously named a 3Arts Make A Wave Awardee and the 2023 Islamic Scholarship Fund Recipient for the development of their upcoming short film HALF. Acting credits include The Best Decision …

View Arti Ishak's profile
  • Update 1: Updates/Seeking: Mosque Location for HALF
    Posted on May 07, 2024


    Hi friends,

    I hope this finds you steadfast in your resolution that Palestine will be free within our lifetime inshallah. Thank you for joining me on this journey with 3Arts and HALF. Here are some updates:

    I wanted to share this Q&A I did about the film which speaks more to the awesome folks we've assembled so far including our kick-ass Chicago-centered team.  

    It also occurred to me that I never shared the official logline (a fancy word for summary) and I want you to know what to get excited for: HALF is a slice-of-life narrative that follows Sri, a first-generation Muslim who is always the wrong "half" for any situation they are in. Not Asian enough, not Arab enough, never American or Muslim enough. Until they meet Erren, a Black American Muslim working through his own identity who might see Sri as a whole for the first time. HALF explores the comedy of navigating multiple identities in a world that constantly forces you to check one box.

    I am also reaching out to see if anyone in our community can help connect us with a masjid/mosque that will let us film for one day in Chicago. Since it is a central location in our script we are hoping you might be able to help or know someone who would be able to help. We would really appreciate any leads on this, feel free to email me with questions/suggestions!

    Lastly, we are so close to our initial goal and hoping to get there by the end of this week. 100% of funds raised will prioritize equitable pay and working conditions for the crew (I'm doing it for the love of the art, but no one else should have to!) which is primarily made up of artists of the global majority -- can you share this campaign with one person who you think would support a story like this?


    with love & solidarity,

    Arti Ishak

    • Thank you to the following for contributing to 3Arts with the recommendation that we support this project.

    • Hayat Nadar

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make it work


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