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."
Laffrey Witbrod, Director of Photography
Laffrey Witbrod is an award-winning cinematographer and storyteller who has over 15 years' experience shooting movies, TV shows, and documentaries. Films Witbrod has lensed include American Siege (Bruce Willis), The Offer (Sam Li), and the award winning LGBTQ documentary Cecil & Carl. Recent projects have taken him to Beijing, Mexico, Iceland, and New Zealand, and he has worked with networks and brands like American Airlines, National Geographic, and ABC. Witbrod enjoys telling stories of inclusion that amplify a diversity of perspectives and reflect his sense of adventure and community. As an extra bonus there is always chocolate in his pocket which he is willing to share.
Lisa Rudin, Producer
Lisa Rudin is an award-winning film, TV and commercial producer. She began in political comedy in 2005 working for Real Time with Bill Maher and then on his documentary film, Religulous. This gave her a taste for adventure and guerilla filmmaking and led her to begin working with Sacha Baron Cohen in 2009. She’s continued working with him for many years on Bruno, The Dictator, Brothers Grimsby, Who Is America? and most recently, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. She’s worked on Curb Your Enthusiasm, and produced the relaunch of The Arsenio Hall Show.
In 2012, she ventured into independent film with director Eric Kissack and produced Love, Sex and Missed Connections. This romantic comedy played 16 film festivals and won awards at 11 of them. She’s produced 4 award-winning short films, as well as the documentary, Trumpland, for which she received an Emmy nomination. Lisa runs the production company Draw Me A Sheep out of Los Angeles and which focuses on independent film and branded content. Recently, she released a short film called Overshare, which is currently playing at festivals in the US. She is in post-production on the feature film, Grasshoppers and the documentary, In the Dark of the Valley, both set to be released in 2021.
Maggie Hart, Co-Producer
As a self-starter in the indie film world, Maggie Hart loves working with passionate female filmmakers. While attending film school and working full-time as a production manager, Maggie also wrote, directed, produced, and edited what would become her first feature, Impressions.
After moving to Los Angeles, she did the same thing with a comedy web series called, “The Romantic Method,” and produced another feature film, Instructions For Living, which won the audience award at the Twin Cities film festival.
In 2019 she relaunched Farsighted Creative, a production company dedicated to telling stories that empower women to make a cultural difference.
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.”
Sergio Novoa, Unit Production Manager
Sergio Novoa is a producer and stand-up comic with many years of experience, wisdom, and jokes. He currently produces live comedy shows at The Hollywood Improv and Flappers Comedy Club...while also keeping our film production moving and our heads above water. Sergio is an immigrant himself and is excited to get more diverse stories made. For more, follow IG @sergiothecomic