2020 Hamzanama Comic Contest
Naif Al-Mutawa is an award-winning Kuwaiti serial entrepreneur, clinical psychologist and clinical hypnotherapist. He is the founder of Teshkeel Comics and creator of THE 99, the first group of comic superheroes born of an Islamic archetype. Forbes named THE 99 as one of the Top 20 Trends Sweeping the Globe, and US President Obama praised Naif and THE 99 as perhaps the most innovative of the thousands of new entrepreneurs viewed by his Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship.
Naif’s work has received several prestigious awards, including: The UNESCO Prize for Literature in the Service of Tolerance, The Festival Internacional de Humour e Quadrinhos Comics Award, and the Islamic Economy Award in the Media category for THE 99 from Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Dan Goldman is an American writer, artist and producer. With a career spanning graphic novels, screenwriting and video games, he is the creator of critically acclaimed graphic novels such as Chasing Echoes, Red Light Properties and the Priya’s Shakti series.
He also served as writer on the Cartoon Network Mega Man: Fully Loaded series and has written two video games based on The Walking Dead. He serves as head of the Kinjin Story Lab, which he founded with his partner Liliam to experiment with evolving forms of storytelling.
Khurram Mehtabdin is co-creator of the comic "Zindan," and was involved in the production of the first three issues, largely known to be one of the first mainstream South Asian comics to hit the shelves. This series gained international press and fame, known for combining the region's rich history with the story's unique landscapes and characters. Zindan was featured at New York Comic Con yearly for each issue launch.
Khurram was a consultant to the Barzinji Prize Foundation for the Hamzanama Origin Story in 2018 and helped assist in production of the story and art. When he isn't reading comics, he works as a Nephrologist in New York.
Zarqa Nawaz is a Canadian film and television producer, a published author, public speaker, journalist, and former broadcaster. In 2007, Zarqa created the internationally renowned CBC comedy series, Little Mosque on the Prairie, the world’s first sitcom about a Muslim community living in the west. Little Mosque premiered to the highest ratings CBC had in over 20 years. The show went on to win a Gemini, and was nominated for Best Television Series – Comedy at the 2007 Directors Guild of Canada Awards. Internationally,
Little Mosque won awards for Best International Television Series and Best Screenplay at the 2007 Roma Fiction Fest. In 2012, it made its American debut on Hulu, and is now broadcast in over 60 countries. The Los Angeles Times said “the genius of ‘Mosque’ is that the characters resonate with viewers all over the world.
Haroon Rashid is a British-born Pakistani singer-songwriter, music producer, composer, director and social activist. Formerly a member of the pop band Awaz in the 1990s, Haroon has sold millions of singles and albums worldwide and has performed at large venues such as the Wembley Arena.
He’s the founding CEO of Unicorn Black, an animation production company, he is the creator and director of the 3D animated children's television series Burka Avenger which received critical acclaim. His company has also produced Teetoo and Tania, Quaid Say Baatein and other successful animated series.
Musa Syeed is a Kashmiri American filmmaker and educator. His two features as writer/director, "Valley of Saints "(Sundance Audience Award Winner) and "A Stray" (SXSW Official Selection), were both NY Times Critics' Picks. He also co-wrote the feature "Menashe", which opened at Sundance and was distributed by A24.
His most recent short film "The Dispossessed" was a New York Times Op-Doc and Sundance selection. His previous short films have screened at Berlin, IDFA, and Tribeca among others. He teaches screenwriting at Harvard University.