Current Student Asad Farooqui Wins Atlanta Film Festival Screenplay Competition

March 13, 2019

The Immigration Game, a screenplay written by current student Asad Farooqui is one of three winners at the Atlanta Film Festival Screenplay Competition in the Feature Film category. Farooqui’s feature script Bin and pilot script Brown Country were also semifinalists in the competition along with the short script, Circles, written by alumna Renee Marie Petropoulos '17 who was a finalist.


According to the festival’s website the finalists and winners were chosen from a whopping 1200 submissions and the writers competed “for once in a lifetime mentorship opportunities to help hone their screenplays and plan the next steps in their careers.”


Headshot of Asad FaroquiThe Immigration Game is a story about a Pakistani immigrant who has overstayed his visa. When Majeed’s US visa is on the brink of expiration, he enters a fraudulent scheme to remain legal, as everything he cares for—his business and family back in Pakistan—is threatened.


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.


Renée Marie Petropoulos describes her short, Circles, as “In the wake of the Cronulla Riots, Asha, a young Turkish-Australian girl, is taken ice skating by her father as a distraction. But as Asha struggles to stay at her father’s side, she is confronted with the ugly reality of what being Australian can mean to a select, impassioned few.”


Petropoulos is an award-winning filmmaker from Sydney, Australia. Her films have received acclaim both locally and internationally, most recently with her short film, Tangles and Knots (2017), premiering at Berlinale 2018 as part of the Generation 14Plus Competition followed by screenings at the SXSW 2018, as part of the Narrative Shorts program. She has continued to push her cinematic practices, with a particular focus on female-driven stories.