Nahreen Tarzi, Writer/Director
Nahreen served as Head Writer of CBS Diversity Showcase 2018, was Head Writer at Frederator Networks for two years, and won Best Direction for directing the one-man-show "Fat, Gay, and Indian" at Crazy Woke Asians Festival 2019 (and the show won the entire festival and NBC Mentorship). She directed the 2-woman show "M.E So Funny" (Middle-Easterns So Funny), which featured in L.A. Weekly, showcased at Comedy Central Stage, was selected 3 years in a row at The Second City Diversity Festival, and was booked to perform at UC Riverside. She has also done freelance writing work for NICKELODEON, was an in-house writer for Moonbug Entertainment, and while there, was the studio's creative director for the animated show "Little Ruby Roo".
Nahreen's parents are immigrants from Aleppo, Syria, and this film is based on her experience growing up in Burbank. It is what she imagined WOULD HAVE happened if she had the guts to sneak out. She did not. Her dad had a 6th sense and she would have been caught! She did help another friend sneak out once, though.
More info on nahreentarzi.com
Carrie Dougherty, Producer
Carrie has worked on multiple feature-length films, including The Art of Murder (2018) and Only Mine (2019), both produced by MarVista Entertainment. She brings vast production knowledge and is excited to produce this independent feature. Additionally, Carrie comes with a deep-rooted career of studio-television production, with her most notable shows including: Who Wants to be a Millionaire (2020), Master Minds (2020), and Whose Line is it Anyway? (2019). These projects [and more] have influenced her mission to conduct highly-ethical and safe production, as well as, provide an unshakeable, business-minded spirit.
Carrie was born into a military family and spent her early childhood growing up in towns all across the United States, until settling in LA in 2015. From her exposure to the many unique and wonderful cultures within our vast country, she brought with her the vision to create passionate and intentional storytelling. "First Gens is a film that carries a deep and illuminating purpose: To bring us together by celebrating our differences."
Magdoleen Meleka, Story Consultant
Magdoleen has served, worked, and supported immigrant communities for over 15 years. While her career contexts have mainly comprised of the non-profit sector and educational institutions, she has always engaged in her love for people and the arts in her spare time. In every context, she is deeply committed to helping others articulate their true narrative and identify opportunities for thriving.
She also has over 30 years of first-hand experience growing up in L.A. with Egyptian parents. She grew up speaking broken Arabic, listening to church hymns, and singing Mariah Carey - none of this has changed. As a first-gen herself and as a new parent, she is excited about the story and message that are shared in this silly-yet-sweet film. Oh, and, she has an unwavering appreciation for “gypsy earrings.”
Veronica Smith, Director of Photography
Veronica Smith is a Los Angeles-based cinematographer who has worked in the industry for 5 years. She has DP’d on a wide range of projects including several award winning short films, music videos, and commercials. She currently has two 2020 projects, "Madness" and "The Letter", running in festivals, with "Madness" already winning multiple awards. Veronica's true love is working on narrative films and she is constantly looking for new and exciting challenges. She is very excited to work with this incredible group of filmmakers!
Veronica grew up mainly in Northern Virginia and came to LA in 2016. She has family all across the country and has been lucky to travel to different places around the world. First Gens shows how we all value love and care deeply about the people in our life, no matter the background.
More info on veronicapsmith.com