MVFF46: Mustache

Q&A with director Imran J. Khan and producer Jessica Sittig after the film! 

It’s not easy being a teen, no matter where or when you grow up. This is the central truth underlying writer-director Imran J. Khan’s confident feature debut, a humorous look at the Pakistani-American immigrant experience. Set in Silicon Valley in the 1990s, this SXSW audience award winner follows the travails of 13-year-old Ilyas (Atharva Verma), already struggling with his Muslim identity when he’s forced to switch from private school to public. Suddenly, Ilyas faces a whole new social hierarchy and circle of friends just as a wholly unwelcome bit of hair sprouts on his upper lip. In addition to its young lead’s endearing breakout performance, Mustache also boasts a solid ensemble including Alicia Silverstone, Hasan Minhaj, and Rizwan Manji. Finding the universality in a specific cultural experience can be tough, but Khan’s heartwarming and hilarious film rises to the challenge, speaking to our collective insecurities while also acknowledging the many ways these experiences make us stronger. —Zaki Hasan

Presented as part of Mill Valley Film Festival.

1h 21m
Imran J. Khan
First Showing
October 9, 2023