Hanan Kattan



photo by Ki Price

“I got into producing purely to get [my partner] Shamim’s screenplays made,” Hanan Kattan says. “I love many aspects of being a movie producer but it’s a difficult and thankless task that needs endless creativity and tenacity.” Despite many obstacles, such as dealing with white male gatekeepers who’d often ask Kattan and now-wife Shamim Sarif “to ‘de-gay’ a character or make one of them white,” Kattan is now a multi award-winning producer whose fifth feature film, Polarized, was released in the U.K. and Canada after premiering in Berlin. Kattan’s last feature, Despite the Falling Snow, won 13 awards, following the pattern of previous films I Can’t Think Straight (which debuted at the Palm Springs Festival and won 11 awards) and The World Unseen (Toronto International Film Festival debut, winner of 23 awards internationally). “At a time when women’s rights and LGBTQIA+ rights are being used as a political tool in the U.S. and around the world, I’m glad we found a way to get Polarized made,” says Kattan, whose U.K. and Canadian production companies strive to create inclusive and authentic content for and about underserved voices. Goals for the future? “I’d love to see representation of queer stories become more mainstream. I think Polarized and so many other movies have plenty to say about our shared human experiences of coming together, learning to challenge expectations, and finding our way.”

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