Actor and campaigner Mehwish Hayat and acclaimed writer and director Lena Khan have joined UK Muslim Film to help the organisation challenge stereotypes of Muslims on-screen.

Acclaimed writer and filmmaker Lena Khan, director of Disney’s hit original film ‘Flora & Ulysses’ and episodes of Netflix’s hit series ‘Never Have I Ever’, joins as a Patron and UK Muslim Film will be hosting a special pop-up cinema event on Saturday 13 August at Edgbaston to celebrate her work.

She said: “I'm honored and excited about supporting UK Muslim Film and to be having an event focused around my films this month. Besides the fact that they were a heck of a lot of fun to make (and I'm told also fun to watch) -- they were made alongside my journey to get to a place in the industry where I can try to fight for truth and representation in this crazy industry.

"That's why I'm thrilled to be on this journey, and to support UKMF and its efforts toward truthful and authentic representation.

She added “Representation in films and television literally changes our cultural landscape -- for better or worse. It impacts policy, how we see people, how we operate with each other. And it's not that hard to do. I hope we can continue to expand the scope and quality of how our fellow humans are seen on screen, and enjoy the ride and the stories along the way!”

Mehwish’s decision to support UKMF is a reflection of her personal interest in and her commitment to ensure Muslims depicted on screen are authentically portrayed.

Mehwish said: “I am honoured to be joining UK Muslim Film as a Patron. Representation of Muslims on-screen is something that I have been tirelessly working to highlight for the past few years.”

“Misrepresentation has done untold damage to us and I sincerely believe has fuelled the rise of Islamophobia. With UK Muslim Film, I look forward to working with the industry to make sure that the way that we are portrayed on-screen, if not positive, is at least a lot fairer.”

She added “It is equally incumbent on us as Muslims to be telling our own stories. I am excited that UKMF will be supporting emerging Muslim talent and helping them get their work to larger audiences.”

Mehwish rose to global attention after playing the character of ‘Aisha’ in the hugely successful ‘Ms Marvel’ series.

Sajid Varda, Founder and CEO, established UK Muslim Film and the upcoming first Muslim International Film Festival to champion creative endeavours by Muslims from around the world.

Sajid Varda said: “We are delighted to have Mehwish Hayat and Lena Khan join us as our first Patrons. Mehwish has not only had an incredible career to date but has been an outspoken proponent for justice. Mehwish has used her celebrity status and global reach to bring light to important issues, such as the way in which Muslims are portrayed on screen.

Lena is someone who I’ve known personally for many years now and it has been hugely inspiring to see her journey from an independent filmmaker to now working with some of the giants in the industry like Disney and Netflix. I know her story will inspire a new generation of young Muslims wanting to pursue a career in filmmaking.

“We have a great deal of work ahead of us to change perceptions within the media and in particular the screen industries. With the addition of Mehwish and Lena to the team we are incredibly hopeful that together we can ‘change the script’.

For more information and tickets for the event please visit www.ukmuslimfilm.org