TORONTO, CANADA — Canada’s #1 halal food, Zabiha Halal has enlisted the services of Toronto-based production company Alfredo Films to launch the latest installment in their “Sharing Halal” campaign. Directed by Adeel Shamsi, the campaign is part of Zabiha Halal’s ongoing commitment to working with the Canadian Muslim community to combat prejudice and Anti-Muslim hate, striving to celebrate diversity and encourage taking action against intolerance.
This year marks the fifth installment of the “Sharing Halal” campaign, extending the conversation to non-Muslim Canadian folk, inviting participants to share their unique experiences and discuss the direct actions that they take to be an ally to the Canadian-Muslim community. Connecting communities and highlighting relationships between friends, colleagues and spouses, the sincere and honest interactions offer a raw insight into the challenges that the Muslim community face in Canada.
In keeping with the unscripted and real nature of the films, Alfredo Films ensured that the point of views portrayed in casting were the same as what was presented in the final film. Allowing participants to tell their truths on camera without any interruptions makes the piece unique and authentic, uplifting voices without preconceived expectations. The campaign looks to encourage audiences across Canada to share conversations such as those seen in the film, with their own friends and family, neighbors, and even strangers.
The work was directed by Adeel Shamsi, who was raised in a Pakistani Muslim household in Toronto, who brought his own personal insight to the making of the film. The casting process was crucial and saw Adeel sit down to have conversations with all of the applicants, to discover impactful relationships, heartfelt stories and build a rapport with the participants on and off camera.
A technical decision that helped to achieve the intimate nature of the conversations was the decision to set the cameras far away, and film with zoom lenses. This helped to avoid getting inside the personal space of the on-screen talent, which meant on occasion, they forgot the cameras were rolling and were able to speak candidly.
The campaign launched on May 15th 2023 across Canada.
Alfredo Films Director Adeel Shamsi said, “We began a conversation with last year’s campaign, ‘Dear Canada,’ and the hope this year was to push the envelope further. Both years we set out not to “solve” the problem but to shine light on it because ignorance is what sets the stage for this epidemic. I’m grateful to have had a role in this project. The conversations that happened on and off camera during the production process are moments that will stay with me for a lifetime. I truly hope that seeing the courage displayed by everyone in these videos encourages others to feel comfortable in sharing their truths.”
Meanwhile, Holly Rowden, Partner and Executive Producer at Alfredo Films, said, “At Alfredo these are the kinds of projects that really excite us and motivate us to do what we do. We always jump at the chance to tell real people stories in an engaging way. After the success of the previous campaign, we were honored to be involved in making part two of such an incredibly humbling experience.”