Writer / Filmmaker
Nijla Mu'min is a writer and filmmaker from the East Bay Area. Her work is informed by poetry, photography, fiction, and dance. Named one of 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker Magazine in 2017, she tells stories about black girls and women who find themselves between worlds and identities.
Her short films have screened at festivals and venues across the country. Her filmmaking and screenwriting have been supported by the Sundance Institute, IFP, Film Independent, the Islamic Scholarship Fund, Women In Film LA, and the Princess Grace Foundation. In 2011, she worked as a Production Assistant on Ava DuVernay’s film, MIDDLE OF NOWHERE of Nowhere. In 2014, she was selected for the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Intensive, and she was the winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Screenplay at the 2014 Urbanworld Film Festival, for her script NOOR. Nijla attended the 2017 Sundance Institute Sound and Music Design Lab at Skywalker Ranch for JINN. Her short film DREAM was acquired by Issa Rae Productions (INSECURE, HBO) for online streaming in 2017. Her writing appears in the critically acclaimed book, LOVE INSHALLAH: THE SECRET LOVE LIVES OF AMERICAN MUSLIM WOMEN, and she's also written film and cultural criticism for VICE, Shadow and Act on the Indiewire Network, Bitch Media, KQED, Gawker, and The Los Angeles Times.
Her debut feature film, JINN, starring Zoe Renee, Kelvin Harrison Jr. (LUCE, WAVES) and Simone Missick (Netflix’s LIKE CAGE), premiered in narrative competition at the 2018 South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival, where she won the Special Jury Recognition Award for Screenwriting. In 2018, she directed an episode of Ava DuVernay's critically-acclaimed television series "QUEEN SUGAR. In June 2018, she won the Best Screenplay award for JINN at the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) and later won Best Feature at Blackstar Film Festival, among other honors. JINN, a New York Times Critic’s pick, was released in November 2018 by Orion Classics, and is currently streaming on Amazon Prime. In 2019, she wrote for the upcoming Apple series SWAGGER, received the Shadow & Act Rising Creator Award, the MPAC Media Award for Courage and Conscience, and was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She directed an episode of HBO’s INSECURE season four in October 2019, and was a writer on Starz upcoming show, BLINDSPOTTING. In 2020, she directed the episode of SWAGGER that she wrote, and also wrote and directed a short film for Netflix, entitled BLACK PROM. She is currently in development on her second feature film, MOSSWOOD PARK. She is a 2013 dual-degree graduate of CalArts MFA Film Directing and Writing Programs.