“It’s very hard to be a female filmmaker in Hollywood, that is for sure,” says writer-director Lena Khan, whose parents hail from India and eventually settled in Los Angeles. “I think they feel like you don’t have as much authority, or you can’t command a set as much. And for the Muslim thing, I think they are still trying to process that.”
Ms. Khan’s 2017 comedy “The Tiger Hunter” is about a young man from India navigating the immigrant experience in America. She says the film’s success surprised many people in her community. “People who are South Asian or Muslim can’t seem to believe that our stories have really real value. And so, the moment you start talking about, ‘Oh, you know such and such person from this company’ — aka white person — ’said this movie is good.’ That’s when their eyebrows raise. That’s when they feel like, ‘Oh, OK, somebody else validated this brown person’s story, and thus it has something to say.’”
“The Tiger Hunter” opened many doors and opportunities for Ms Khan who says she is currently working on a TV comedy and directing a movie for Disney.