When it comes to America many of us are unaware of the customs and cultures of our brothers and sisters on the other side of the world. Tryouts is more than a film about a Muslim girl trying to fit into American culture; it’s about finding your identity and relishing in the new while still keeping true to who you are.
When looking for a film to support on Kickstarter, Tryouts struck home; no, I’m not Muslim, I’m not a female, nor do I wear a hijab. But you know what? None of that matters. Director and writer Susana Casares found a way to communicate the universal concerns of every person when entering a new community. Whether you’re moving from Charleston, S.C. to NYC, starting your new life at a university, or taking a new job, we all have the same concerns: will I fit in; how will I find my way; who can I trust? Tryouts is a film we can all relate to.
Personal story: I have two different friends from high school who are in relationships that their parents are not accepting of. Both set of parents have stated their strong dislike for their child’s relationship. We’ll call one friend Elizabeth (not her real name) and the other Sam (not his real name). I doubt either one of them will see this, but it’s still worth keeping their identity private.
Elizabeth is a Caucasian female dating an African American male, and Sam is a male from India dating a Caucasian female who practices a different religion than his family. Elizabeth’s parents have basically stopped supporting her for the sole reason of being in love with a person of a different race. Needless to say, she’s working her ass off to support herself, and her relationship is still going strong. I see her about once a year. And when I do, her and her boyfriend are hand-in-hand, and she’s all smiles.
I don’t believe Sam has told his parents about his relationship; however, if he loves her, that day will come. And when it comes, his parents will make the decision to support their son’s marriage to a woman who practices a different religion, or they’ll stand firm in their beliefs and traditions and not grant their son their support and wishes. I’m sure that’s not the only battle they must fight. We live in a society where people still judge others by their differences and not by their hearts and souls.
Here’s the gist in one sentence taken from the film’s Kickstarter page: “Being a teenager isn’t easy, especially for Nayla, a Muslim American girl who wants to join her new high school’s cheerleading squad.”
Need more? Don’t worry, Casares and her crew has you covered!: ‘Tryouts’ explores the identity conflict that many teenagers go through when their parents have a different cultural and religious background from their peers and from the society they live in. ‘Tryouts’ is not about being Muslim, about wearing a headscarf or about wanting to be a cheerleader. ‘Tryouts’ is about the struggle of finding yourself in a world where everyone wants to tell you who you are.
How Can You Help Out?
The production phase has wrapped, and Casares and the team are now in post-production. Since the editing phase and putting the final touches on the film can be quite expensive, Casares needs more funding to get this film out to the public. I want to help her. Don’t you? They’ve already worked really hard getting to this point, now they need a little help to finish this baby out! The funds will go towards sound editing and design, the original score, color correction, visual effects, and film distribution. And of course whatever amount you donate, you’ll be rewarded accordingly. Be sure to check out Tryouts Kickstarter campaign page here, and donate, donate, donate! You’ve got 26 more days (as of August 28th, 2012). Check out the video below:
‘Tryouts’ Kickstarter Campaign