iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-
A short film about a Pakistani girl trying to save her pet goat and learning about sacrifice, directed by Mahnoor Euceph – a Pakistani American writer and director, is now eyeing an Oscar award. The film won the Jury Award for Live Action Short at the New York International Children’s Film Festival, qualifying the film for Oscars consideration this year.
Euceph’s interest in exploring entertaining stories about the South Asian diaspora through the female gaze, led her to direct the live-action short film ‘Eid Mubarak’. In this award-winning film, a privileged six-year-old Pakistani girl embarks on a mission to save her beloved pet goat from being eaten on the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Azha. In the process, she learns the meaning of sacrifice.
It has been screened in over 40 film festivals including CAAMFest, SXSW Sydney, Tasveer, Atlanta ShortFest, and ShortShorts Film Festival & Asia. It won both the Jury Award for Narrative Short and the Audience Award for Short Film at the 2023 Austin Asian American Film Festival. It also bagged the prize for Best Short at Big Eyes of Big Minds Singapore International Children’s Film Festival 2023 and bagged three top awards including the jury award for Best Live Action Short at the 2023 Children’s Film Festival Seattle. It took home the Best Film award at both Mosquers Film Festival and Centre Film Festival this fall. The film currently holds a total of 13 wins.
Eid Mubarak is the story of Iman, a privileged Pakistani girl, who goes with her family to buy a goat, as is the tradition in Pakistan before the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Azha. She picks the cutest one and takes it home. She spends all of her time with the goat, whom she names Barfi, after her favorite Pakistani dessert. Soon, however, she realizes that Barfi is not a pet, but a goat being raised for slaughter. She makes a plan to save Barfi’s life before he can be sacrificed on Eid. Along the way, through the help of her family and friends, she learns the true meaning of sacrifice, and the reason behind Eid al-Azha.
Director Mahnoor Euceph said: “I made this film as a love letter to the country I once called home, to the religion that taught me how to be a human with humanity, and to my family who are the beginning and end of everything. For non-Muslims, I hope this film is educational. For Muslims, I hope it is reflective. And I hope, for everyone, it is a reminder of childhood and that magical, wondrous world we leave behind when we grow up.”
Euceph is a Pakistani-American writer and director. She immigrated to Los Angeles from Pakistan when she was eight years old. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from UCLA in 2017, with a major in Design and Media Arts and a minor in Film, TV, and Digital Media. During her BA, she traveled abroad to work with Pakistan’s sole Oscar-winner, filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy.
In 2021, she received her Master of Fine Arts from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts in Film and Television Production, with an emphasis on comedy writing and directing, and production design. During her MFA, she worked as Art Director on American Eid, Disney’s first-ever Muslim story, which is currently streaming on Disney+. In 2022, she participated in the Islamic Scholarship Fund’s inaugural Muslim-Centered Writers’ Lab, with support from Extracurricular and The Black List, for her feature film, Queen of Diamonds.
Her professional directorial debut, Eid Mubarak, was produced by Creator+ as part of their inaugural Flip the Script Short Film Fund and is screening in festivals all over the country. Eid Mubarak is currently in consideration for Best Live Action Short Film at the 96th Academy Awards.
Eid Mubarak is written, directed, and produced by Euceph, producers Kamil Chima, Ben O’Keefe, and Selena Leoni, the director of photography is Arlene Müller, and production designer Hashim Ali. The executive producer of the film is Rohi Mirza Pandya with her leading industry consultancy Box Office Guru Media. She has been an award-winning Creative Producer in film, television, and theater for over 20 years.
The work of Euceph, who immigrated to Los Angeles from Pakistan at age 8, is injected with humor and features a hyper-stylized sensibility informed by design and fine art. Her films seek to decolonize the mind and encourage audiences to engage in radical self-love.
“Eid Mubarak will be available in select territories on KIS KIS – keep it short, which launched the film on YouTube on November 18, 2023, and in early 2024 on the streaming service Kanopy, the on-demand streaming video platform for public and academic libraries,” Ouat Media announced on November 16. Based out of Toronto, Canada, Ouat Media, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the independent Canadian media group Channel Zero, specializes in the distribution and worldwide sales of short films with a particular focus on titles by the industry’s rising stars. Celebrating its 17th anniversary this year, Ouat Media has represented three Oscar winners and 12 Oscar nominees.
A special screening of the film was held in Los Angeles on Friday, November 17, at WME Screening Room presented by Gold House for the preeminent community for Asian Pacific creatives, entrepreneurs, and social impact leaders as well as partners South Asians in Entertainment, Rickshaw Film Foundation, and 1497. The film also has an awards campaign led by Adam Segal of The 2050 Group, the publicity agency that had 20 Oscar-shortlisted and 7 Oscar-nominated films in the 2022-23 awards season.