FAWZIA MIRZA (Executive Producer/featured as self) is an actor, comedian, and writer, a Chicago 3Arts grant Recipient in Acting, named a “Top 10 Creative” Indiewire magazine, one of Chicago's “Rising Stars" of indie filmmaking by BEZ and was named a 2016 White House ‘Champion of Change’ in Asian American Art & Storytelling. Mirza believes in dispelling the myth of the “model minority” in mainstream media and in the power of comedy to tackle divisive topics and breakdown stereotypes. She was recently named the 2017 3Arts fellow at the Djerassi Residents Artists Program in Woodside, CA. She has performed on various Chicago stages including Silk Road Rising, About Face Theatre, The Goodman, Rasaka Theatre, 16th Street Theatre. Mirza’s own one-woman play, Me, My Mom & Sharmila, which explores her relationship with her mother through their shared love for Bollywood heroine, Sharmila Tagore, has been performed at universities, conferences and festivals across the country and toured internationally to Denmark and Pakistan and most recently at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre. The legendary Pakistani actor, Zia Mohyeddin said of Fawzia’s play, “Some actors hold an audience, a few possess it. Some actors light up a scene, a few ignite it...Mirza belongs to the latter category". Mirza’s short play Noor world premiered in The Inconvenience’s short play festival “Citizens” in November 2015. Her first published short story appears in the anthology Good Girls Marry Doctors, South Asian American Daughters on Obedience and Rebellion, available from Aunt Lute Books. Mirza has appeared in a number of indie films, web series and short films, including SugarHiccup and the Emmy-nominated Her Story. Her own award-winning short films and web series include Kam Kardashian, Brown Girl Problems, The Queen of My Dreams (nominated Golden Hugo Chicago International Film Festival), The First Session (NBC Universal Short Film Festival Finalist, American Pavilion at Cannes), Reclaiming Pakistan and Spunkle which is touring the festival circuit now. Her upcoming documentary short, The Streets Are Ours: Two Lives Cross in Karachi is about how her life as an artist was impacted by activist Sabeen Mahmud. Mirza’s first feature film, Signature Move, which she co-wrote, co-produced and stars in wrapped principal photography August 2016. The film was selected as part of the Tribeca Film Institute All Access Program and received the TFI/Labodigital/Los Cabos International Film Festival post-production grant. The film, coming out in 2017, also stars Chicago actors Sari Sanchez, Charin Alvarez, Audrey Francis, Mark Hood, Molly Brennan and the Indian film legend Shabana Azmi.