Short Documentary Created by Sahar Shakeri, Cliona Byrner, Eimanne El Zein The story of a young woman who recently moved to the US from Iran, and her decision to continue wearing the hijab although no longer forced to do so.

Reel Grrls www.reelgrrls.org

Reel Grrls is a Seattle-based non-profit after-school youth media organization empowering young women from diverse communities to realize their power, talent and influence through media production. Piloted in 2001, Reel Grrls runs year-round programming, providing girls ages 13-19 with media literacy education, as well as filmmaking skills including storytelling, scriptwriting, animation, cinematography, lighting and editing. Students use professional, industry-level equipment and software, and are mentored by a network of multi -cultural women media professionals. Each year, 70 girls go through Reel Grrls programming, creating unique films voicing the stories of young women that are missing from mainstream media.

The Filmmakers

Sahar Shakeri Sahar Shakeri is an l5-year-old Iranian girl who moved here just 11 months ago. She is a junior at Summit High School. She found Reel Grrls through her school. She likes directing as the best part of filmmaking. “I decided to make the movie about religion and government in general, and specifically about government in Iranian society, an issue from my own personal experiences. The subject is very personal to me.”

Eimanne El Zein: Eimanne El Zein is 14 years old and attends Shorecrest High School. When she’s not making movies, she’s mushing with her dog Ringo, or training her rats and cats for agility. She thanks everyone at Reel Grrls for their support! “I wanted to make Thoughts in a Hijab because I could relate to the choices faced by Sahar, our talent. I hope people will walk away with a better understanding of why someone might wear a veil, and the struggles they must overcome.”

Cliona Byrne Cliona Byrne is 14 years old and will go to Mercer Island High School next fall. She attended an Sth grade media technology class and decided to join Reel Grrls once her class ended. Someday she hopes to become a professional filmmaker and is excited for that day to come. “My team and I made our film based on one of our teammates, Sahar, and her personal thoughts on wearing a hijab (veil) in the U.s. even though she was no longer forced, like she had been in Iran. I really enjoyed learning about a new culture and understanding a different way of life and I hope the audience can experience a similar feeling.”