What We Stand For
Enlightenment Productions develops and produces stories by women (writers and directors), from women (developers, producers and crew), primarily for female audiences.
Our mission: to tell stories aligned with our ideals of feminism, social impact and humanism by creating quality content for high end cable/ streaming platforms and festival-quality feature films while empowering diverse talent.
Our focus on a clear niche of female-centric stories comes from a place of deep authenticity, aligned with the values and past experiences and successes of the BAME and LGBTQI+ founders.
Enlightenment Productions is part of a movement – towards inclusion, support, and giving back; towards creating non-stereotypical and authentic representation for underserved voices.
We feel strongly that the best story telling is powerful and, used responsibly, changes people’s lives for the better. We select commercial projects with the singularity of vision to stand out in today’s busy marketplace, and our focus is on supporting creative integrity. With founders who are also creatives, that comes naturally.
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Who We Are
Producer Hanan Kattan and writer/director Shamim Sarif have created diverse content since their careers began 15 years ago. At that time, diversity and a focus on female leads were not considered as commercially viable as they are now, but despite a challenging financing landscape, Shamim and Hanan made feature films that have debuted at the world’s most prestigious festivals and that have won 47 awards between them.
Both women are BAFTA and Women in Film members. Shamim is a member of the Writers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of Canada and in 2019 was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (the Oscars).
An International Focus
As British/Canadians with strong contact bases in LA, Toronto and London as well as India, Brazil and the Middle East, Hanan and Shamim have a unique pipeline of distinct stories from all over the world, at a time when international markets are exploding in size and value. Enlightenment recently signed a JV with Sol Productions in Mumbai, and is in development with two series aimed at OTT platforms in India. In the US, they are developing The Athena Protocol (featuring 6 diverse female leads) for TV with Village Roadshow (Ocean’s 11, Batman) and Gran Via (Breaking Bad).
Enlightenment’s founders have always linked to a relevant charity in their previous projects – for instance, The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund was the recipient of black tie premiere proceeds for ‘The World Unseen’ (set in South Africa) and ‘Despite the Falling Snow’ and Headwaters Relief receives a percentage of sales for The Athena Protocol novel.
Writer and director Shamim Sarif is an award-winning novelist, screenwriter and director for film and TV. She is also a long-time advocate for the rights of women and the LGBTQ+ community.