Columbia Filmmakers Making a Splash at the Nashville Film Festival

BY Felix van Kann, October 4, 2019

Current student Asad Farooqui and alumna Fany de la Chica '18 are featured in this year’s Nashville Film Festival.


Headshot of Asad FarooquiFarooqui’s pilot script The Islamic Boys is a finalist in the Hour Pilot category of the festival’s screenplay contest. Additionally, his feature script The Immigration Game is a semifinalist in the Feature Comedy screenplay competition. The winners will be announced on October 6th.  


Also featured, de la Chica’s short film Algo en lo que creer (Something to Believe), which she wrote and directed, will screen at the festival in the Shorts Program Competition. The program’s winner will become eligible for Academy Award consideration. Algo en lo que creer also screened at the NewFilmmakers Los Angeles Film Festival this past weekend and is set to be shown at the London Spanish Film Festival, the Oaxaca Film Festival, and the Linz International Short Film Festival.


The Nashville Film Festival started October 3rd, and will run through October 12th. Founded in 1969, the festival celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. It was voted one of “25 film festivals worth the entry fee” by MovieMaker Magazine and named one of the “top 20 film festivals in the U.S.”  by USA Today. The festival sets out to present the best in World Cinema, American Indies, documentaries, and numerous short form programs by veteran masters, up-and-coming directors, and first-time filmmakers. With Academy Award qualifying status and numerous well-attended shorts programs, the festival has screened many prize-winning narrative and animated shorts.


Asad Farooqui is a director, screenwriter, producer, and actor. He has produced multiple short films featuring stories about Muslim and Pakistani people in their American whereabouts. Farooqui is the recipient of several grants and fellowships including American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute Fellowship, Columbia University Dean’s Travel Research Grant, and The Henry and Evelyn Cox Academic Scholarship. His short film Broke was an official selection for the 2018 Atlanta Film Festival and has played at several film festivals around the world. Farooqui is currently a Teaching Fellow for the Undergraduate Film Studies Program at Columbia.


Born in Andalusia, Fany de la Chica is a filmmaker and singer. She has studied cinematography at the School of Cinema Studies of Cataluña (Barcelona) and has a Masters of Arts in Documentary from the Royal Holloway University of London before coming to Columbia. She has received a College Emmy Award for her short film Something to Believe, and in 2018 she received the Glamour magazine New View - Girl Gaze award for The Looking Ceremony.