Who: Writer-director of short film “Hala,” her feature script for which landed on The Black List; her debut feature One Night debuted in 2017.
What was a major turning point in your career?
Hala made The Black List last year. A lot of executives who I’d met over the years reached out and were excited for me. I’m getting to pitch on projects now, but the most important work is what I’ve always been doing: writing my own scripts.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?
There’s a scene in Hala that’s written in such a way that your sympathies are with someone who is taking an otherwise morally reprehensible action. I really wanted to keep that discomfort no matter what, so I wrote the version that made me feel that way and resisted all notes I received to change it or make it palatable.
What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned?
Do not ever wait for a job to be handed to you. Be a self-generator. Fight like hell for the stories you love.