Through the Lens of Tendisai Cromwell

As an original and inspiring young film maker, Tendisai is redefining the meaning of creativity for the Muslim world. Her talent expands beyond traditional art, and rather highlights the reality of the Muslim canvas. She is a story teller at heart, with a natural talent, and her passion lies in exploring the untold stories of the Muslim world. As an insider, she has access to many angles, the success and struggles of Muslims living in North America, and she has made it her mission to give life to their narrative.

Tendisai Cromwell came to Canada at the age of six, transitioning into her new life in North America from the capital of Zimbabwe. She wasn’t born Muslim, but embraced Islam during her first year in University, after a high school Philosophy class broadened her thinking about faith and spirituality. She credits this time of her life with exploring religion as a whole, and coming to Islam when she saw it as a faith that appealed to her intellect and intelligence.

After her last year in university, Tendisai travelled to the Middle East to live and work in Palestine spending a good amount of time in Israel as well. She was drawn to the area for its ongoing political appeal, but after her initial visit, she felt the need to go back and contribute in a more meaningful way. When she went there to explore an internship opportunity at the Palestine Monitor, she didn’t realize that her experiences would enrich her with a love for reporting. This new angle in her life brought her back to Toronto to pursue a master’s degree in journalism. From there, her passion and talent took on a new form, as she worked on her university project titled “It Takes a Village”.

Her film was a documentary which focused on the Somali community’s response to gun violence in Canada. Despite the challenges she faced during its production, it was almost natural for Tendisai to take on the role as a film maker. This project became the reason for her to start her own film company by the name of New Narrative Films. Here is where she explores her own love of film making, where the dialogue is inspired by discovering the unique condition of Muslims. New Narrative Films, convey human experience through creative and compelling storytelling. Through their expertly crafted documentaries, they strive to create conversation on social issues. They are especially committed to making films that explore faith and spirituality and examine shades of identity and belonging.

In her exciting new project, Tendisai is uncovering the diversity in roles of Muslim women by producing a feature-length documentary film on women’s scholarship in Islam. This film, tentatively titled “The Way of Aisha”, is in its early stages of production and examines the ways in which women contribute to Islam’s scholarly tradition and shape religious discourse in North America. Her fresh perspective to these highly motivated and influential women will provide an opportunity for people to learn about and appreciate Muslim women scholars. Many of whom have taken on the challenging role of presenting their own views in territory heavily influenced by men.

 

Lanterns loves to honor and support women who are doing incredible work in their diverse roles in society, and beautifully contributing to the Muslim mosaic with their talent and ability.

To learn more about Tendisai Cromwell’s work as a film maker, visit her website on http://www.newnarrativefilms.com/

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ISNA Canada is an Islamic organization committed to the mission and movement of Islam: nurturing a way of life in the light of the guidance from the Qur’an and Sunnah for establishing a vibrant presence of Muslims in Canada. ISNA exists as a platform for all Muslims who share its mission and are dedicated to serving the needs of Muslims and Muslim communities.

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