‘Hala’ Filmmaker Minhal Baig Strikes Overall Deal With Amazon, Adapting Horror Short-Story Collection ‘Mouthful Of Birds’
EXCLUSIVE: Minhal Baig, the filmmaker behind acclaimed feature film Hala, has signed an overall deal with Amazon Studios and has set her first project.
Baig, who also wrote for the first season of Hulu’s Ramy and the final season of Netflix’s Bojack Horseman, will develop and produce content for the streamer as part of the deal.
Her first project is an adaptation of Samantha Schweblin’s short story collection Mouthful of Birds. The book, which was published by Penguin Random House last year, is a collection of stories featuring women on the edge, men turned upside down and the natural world at odds with reality.
The series is an elevated horror drama that plunges into the darkness of the feminine psyche and blurs the line between the surreal and banal. Mouthful of Birds circles madness, trauma, and violence in a darkly absurd, profoundly eerie, and ultimately human way, as our protagonist attempts to come to terms with a traumatic event from her childhood that she cannot remember.
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Baig will write and exec produce with David Kaplan and Evan Nicholas, who most recently served as the principals at Animal Kingdom with credits including Eliza Hittman’s Beach Rats and Adam McKay’s climate-catastrophe The Uninhabitable Earth for HBO Max, exec producing.
The deal was negotiated by Hayden Goldblatt and Lee Goldberg of FKKS.
Baig’s Hala, about a Muslim teenager coping with the unraveling of her family as she comes into her own, was a breakout hit after it premiered n the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. The film became Apple’s first ever feature film acquisition and is streaming on its Apple TV+ service.
In 2019, Baig told Deadline that it was important for Hala to show that the South Asian American experience is “very varied” and that South Asians, Muslims and Pakistani Americans are not monoliths.
“For most people from underrepresented backgrounds who are working in film and television, there is this incredible amount of responsibility you feel in representing your community in a way that is honest — and that’s an incredible burden because we don’t approach all storytellers that way and not all storytellers feel that responsibility,” she said.
Baig is represented by 3Arts, CAA and Cohen Gardner Law.
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