AppleTV+ have released the first trailer for the coming-of-age drama, “Hala,” directed by Minhal Baig. The film stars Geraldine Viswanathan (“Blockers”) and is executive produced by Jada Pinkett Smith.
Seventeen-year-old Pakistani American teenager Hala (Geraldine Viswanathan) struggles to balance desire with her familial, cultural and religious obligations. As she comes into her own, she grapples with a secret that threatens to unravel her family.
Viswanathan starred in the Kay Cannon comedy “Blockers.” She also starred in Corey Finley’s TIFF-premiering “Bad Education.” She’s directed in “Hala” under Baig, who is a credited writer on episodes of Netflix’s “BoJack Horseman” and the Hulu series, “Ramy.”
“Hala” is written by Baig, expanded from her 2016 short film of the same name. The film also stars Jack Kilmer, Gabriel Luna, Purbi Joshi, Azad Khan and Anna Chlumsky.
In an interview with Variety, Baig expanded on how her feature is unique to the coming-of-age sub genre:
“The coming-of-age story is familiar, but what I think is new is that it presents a perspective that is usually not front and center. It’s getting to see the inside of diaspora experience, seeing someone who is growing up in America having to balance both parts of the old world, your current culture and your faith. The things that are not disposable. We’re seeing these experiences coming onto the screen now, partly because the kind of people who are making these movies are at an age where they can speak to those experiences,”
“Hala” debuted as an official selection at Sundance Film Festival in January. It was soon acquired by Apple with worldwide distribution rights for its platform. Clarence Hammond, Jamal Watson and Baig produced the film. Executive producing are Jana Babatunde-Bey, Marsha Swinton, James Lassiter, Caleed Pinkett, Ari Lubet and Aaron Carr.
Baig’s film has appeared on the festival circuit this year, making its way with screenings in Toronto, Seattle and Chicago recently. It will screen at this month’s AFI Fest on Nov. 18. It premieres in select theaters Nov. 22 before landing on AppleTV+ Dec. 6.