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Sheila, a nineteen-year-old first-generation Canadian, is torn between being a doting Pakistani daughter and a free-spirited undergrad. As her two worlds increasingly clash, and Sheila is threatened with the loss of her childhood innocence and newfound first love, her mental health is pushed to the limit as she attempts to keep everyone around her satisfied.

Producer: Yona Strauss

Director: Haya Waseem

Writer: Haya Waseem

Casting Director: Jesse Griffiths

Casting Assistant: Rebecca Ostroff

Start Date(s): Summer 2020

Shoot Location: Toronto/GTA

Rate: Paid, Non-Union - see roles below

QUICKENING has been selected as a recipient of the 2020 Telefilm Canada Talent to Watch program.

The Talent Fund-supported Talent to Watch Program finances emerging content creators who are recent alumni of a partner educational institution, active members of partner cooperatives or recent participants of partner film festival incubator initiative, or who have directed a short film that was selected at a recognized film festival.

[SHEILA]

18 to 24 years old, female. South Asian/Middle Eastern. The eldest of three children, Sheila is her family’s backbone. She is fiercely independent and headstrong and determined to forge her own identity. Like many first-generation Canadians, Sheila struggles with a sense of belonging; she feels different and rebellious in comparison to the Pakistani girls she grew up with, yet not fully able to let go of those traditions and rules with her predominantly white University friends, who don’t think twice about drinking, partying and sex. Sheila feels an immense enormous sense of responsibility to take care of her parents and siblings financially and emotionally. On the surface, she is confident and gregarious, but Sheila keeps her anxieties bottled up and rarely expresses her feelings of isolation and inadequacies, and her grasp over reality begins to deteriorate as a result. Must be comfortable appearing in underwear (tops and bottoms) with implied nudity provided by a body double. LEAD $250.00/day

[ALIYA]

40 to 55 years old, female. South Asian/Middle Eastern. Alyia and her husband Azeem moved to Canada 10 years ago, when Sheila was 9 and her younger sister was 4. She had her youngest son in Canada and has been a stay at home mom nearly ever since. Alyia is the matriarch of the family and is feeling a loss of control similar to Sheila. Her husband, once the family’s breadwinner, is now unemployed yet unwilling to change their lifestyle. She has always given her children more freedom and independence than most mothers in their community, but still practices traditional values and gender roles and expects her children to do the same. She feels a new distance with her eldest daughter, Sheila, as she enters a world outside of their community and religion that Aliya is not allowed to be a part of. Aliya wants to keep up external appearances with her children and community in the midst of her and Azeem’s financial hardships but leans too heavily on Sheila while trying to protect everyone else. *NOTE: Must be fluent in Urdu. SUPPORTING $250.00/day

[AZEEM]

40 to 55 years old, male. South Asian/Middle Eastern. Azeem is the sterner, more traditional parent in Sheila’s household. Despite losing his job, he still wants to keep up appearances, and refuses to sell his car or accept help from those around him. He loves Sheila but there has always been a distance between them as they can both be stubborn and defiant in their beliefs. Azeem has always gone to work and taken care of his family and has an inflated sense of confidence. He does not notice Sheila’s distancing herself from their family at first, and worries it is too late once she detaches herself from them. *NOTE: Must be fluent in Urdu. SUPPORTING $250.00/day

[ALICE]

18 to 24 years old, Any ethnicity, female. Sheila and Alice met on the first day of university and have been best friends ever since. Sheila aspires to have Alice’s confidence and effortless charisma; Alice never seems to question herself and always knows exactly who she is - a luxury Sheila has never experienced juggling her two worlds. Alice is a good friend to Sheila but can’t always empathize with her friend; Alice is close with her mother and can tell her anything without judgement, and therefore assumes everyone has the same relationship with their parents. She is a talented artist and a free spirit, yet often doesn’t realize how lucky she is to have the freedom and independence she possesses. Ultimately, she is a loyal friend to Sheila and wants to be there for her as best as she can. SUPPORTING $200.00/day

[EDEN]

18 to 24 years old, caucasian, male. Eden and Sheila met at school and have been dating for a few months. While Sheila is infatuated with Eden, and eventually loses her virginity to him, she never quite feels that he is on the same wavelength. Although Eden likes Sheila, it's clear the relationship doesn’t hold the same importance to him. He cares about his friends and having a good time, and is considering moving back to BC and pursuing a writing career there. Unlike Sheila, the only person Eden has ever had to look out for is himself, and despite being charming and personable, he lacks empathy and often behaves short-sightedly. He doesn’t mean to hurt Sheila but often ends up doing so. SUPPORTING $200.00/day

[ASIM]

8 years old, male. South Asian/Middle Eastern. Sheila's younger brother. PRINCIPAL $150.00/day

[AMEERA]

14 years old, female. South Asian/Middle Eastern. Sheila's younger sister. PRINCIPAL $150.00/day

[FAROOQ]

50 to 55 years old, male. South Asian/Middle Eastern. Friend of Azeem. A charismatic party host. *NOTE: Must be fluent in Urdu. PRINCIPAL $200.00/day

[NADIA]

40 to 45 years old, female. South Asian/Middle Eastern. Wife of Farooq.*NOTE: Must be fluent in Urdu. PRINCIPAL $200.00/day

[FATIMA]

21 years old, South Asian/Middle Eastern, female. Engaging, sociable and independent. A family friend of Sheila's. PRINCIPAL $200.00/day

[FAIZA]

40 to 45 years old, South Asian/Middle Eastern, female. Friend of Nadia and Aliya. *NOTE: Must be proficient in Urdu. PRINCIPAL $200.00/day

[PROFESSOR]

35 to 50 years old, all ethnicities male or female. Sheila's college performing arts professor. Guides his/her students through a movement exercise. PRINCIPAL

$150.00/day

[NURSE]

30 to 40 years old, all ethnicities female. A nurse who shows Sheila to her appointment with Dr. Iqbal. PRINCIPAL $150.00/day

[DR. IQBAL]

40 to 55 years old, South Asian/Middle Eastern, male. A friend of Sheila's parents. A calm and kind doctor who gives Sheila an ultrasound. PRINCIPAL $200.00/day

[DR. BROWN]

40 to 55 years old, all ethnicities, male or female. Another doctor with whom Sheila has a follow-up appointment. PRINCIPAL $200.00/day

[HOSPITAL NURSE]

30 to 40 years old, any ethnicity, male or female. Checks in on Sheila and as she recovers in the hospital. PRINCIPAL $150.00/day

[DJ]

18 to 35 years old, all ethnicities male or female. A DJ at a college party Sheila attends. ACTOR $150.00/day

[USMAN]

18-25 years old, South Asian/Middle Eastern, male. A college student, seen flirting with Fatima. ACTOR $150.00/day

[PHARMACIST]

25 to 40 years old, all ethnicities male or female. A pharmacist who sells Sheila a pregnancy test. ACTOR $150.00/day

[MANAGER]

30 to 40 years old, all ethnicities male or female. Sheila's boss at the Italian Bakery. ACTOR $150.00/day

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© 2019 Jesse Griffiths Casting Inc. Toronto, Canada