"A young, South Asian, intercultural couple in Chicago navigate the complexities of their identities both together and apart."


poster design by: Geena Vetula




Liam tries to convert to Islam, but Iman has an unholy announcement of her own.


11 MIN

Iman’s cousin makes a surprise visit. Liam is banished to hang out with his boys who help him weigh a new opportunity.



Liam and Iman hit up the backyard BBQ at Liam’s childhood home. When Liam’s highschool sweetheat makes an appearance, Iman reopens her DMs.


10 MIN

Iman suffers from international FOMO while Liam is away. When he returns, the couple must face their fate.



Iman and Liam make a decision about their future together.



Iman Mirza is a Pakistani-Muslim living in Chicago by way of the ‘International Student to Elite U.S. University Pipeline.’ Upselling ethnic jewelry on Etsy to influencers and middle-aged women by day, Iman navigates a secret relationship with a functionally white boyfriend alongside an international sneaky link, all the while attempting to speak for a culture she doesn’t feel she belongs to.

played by Mirrat


Raised on soccer carpools, ants-on-a-log, and Natty Lites at the county fair, it took Liam Sharma his whole life and dating a Brown girl to realize he’s not white. This All-American Half-Indian tech bro spends his days toiling away at a job he hates, getting kicked out of his own apartment, and co-opting the identities of everyone around him. But, when an opportunity knocks on the other side of the country, he must figure out who he truly is.

played by Rishi Mahesh



Dhruv Mehra is an Indian-Japanese-American cinematographer. Raised in Atlanta, Georgia, he made his way to Chicago to study film at Northwestern University with a focus in narrative cinematography and directing. He enjoys stories that tackle big ideas in small worlds. Dhruv has worked on shorts, fea- tures, TV, commercials, music videos, and webseries’ in the United States, India, and Pakistan. His direct- ing thesis “Ozona,” (which he co-wrote with Ariella) premiered in June 2022.


Ariella Khan is a Chicago-based writer and director raised between the Midwest of America and Karachi, Pakistan. She graduated from Northwestern University where she studied film and creative writing. Her coming-of-age short film “Roti,” played at festivals across the country. Much of her work focuses on grappling with her Pakistani-American identity and the intersections of assimilation, colonization and intergenerational familial relationships.


Devon Gulati is an award-winning producer with a strong passion for creating original content. Throughout his years at Columbia and DeVry, he has accumulated the connections and skills to pull high-level projects together. As a producer of “Converting,” Devon is ecstatic to work alongside premiere talent. Devon's experience in editing and cinematography has enabled him to bridge the gap between creative and analytical skills to elevate each production he works on.



Raised between two hemispheres with opposing values and expectations, cultural confusion and contradiction has been my always. Never fully fitting into either world, my existence has been a constant off-broadway performance of different versions of myself for my different homes. And now that the Aunties are prowling on Instagram and sorority sisters are getting henna tattoos, my two worlds collide more than ever.

Romantic relationships forced this conflict into the open. My identity crisis is hard enough, but to square that and compound it with another person’s makes for a beautiful, complicated, hilarious mess.

Converting explores the dynamics of two people caught between worlds while caught up in each other, in a specifically South Asian American context.

South Asian representation in western media today is more visible than ever before, but it’s often still composed of one-dimensional characters, written as palatable representatives for the mainstream rather than real, complicated, messy, people. Converting is about the confused and complex for the complex and confused.

- Ariella Khan


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