Cult Movie ‘I Can’t Think Straight’ Launches Crowdfunding For Web Series.

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 Ground-breaking lesbian love story aims to push boundaries of web format

11th NOVEMBER 2011


Romantic comedy ‘I Can’t Think Straight’ has attracted 11 international awards and massive audience support since its release in 2009, including 34 million hits on YouTube videos related to the film.

Now, acclaimed writer/director Shamim Sarif and producer Hanan Kattan have responded to overwhelming interest from fans by launching a crowd funding model to raise the budget to produce ‘I Can’t Think Straight’ as a web series.

The film was inspired by the true love story between Sarif and Kattan, and drew on their cultural backgrounds. The message of hope and integrity touched a chord in audiences all over the world with two-thirds of fans surveyed said the movie had deeply affected their lives.

‘It has been a few years since I wrote that movie script,’ says Sarif, who will write and direct the new series. ‘Characters change, the world changes, and I have changed as a writer – all that will influence the way the love story plays out this time around. Also, with a series, there’s more leeway to develop more of the family dynamics and to take Tala and Leyla’s relationship further.

‘We took it to TV networks but they wanted to either lose the cultural backgrounds or have the core love story be abusive. But it is the sense of hope and possibility – despite the odds – that people have responded to.’

By electing to crowdfund the pair hope to maintain the values that inspire the fan mail they still receive every day, while further developing the story

‘We believe that with fan support, we can keep our creative independence,’ explains Kattan. ‘And we will be looking for all sorts of input, not just financial sponsorship. Our new will offer a community where people can meet, post ideas and interact with us.’

Actress Sheetal Sheth, who played Leyla in the movie will be joining the web series to reprise her role, and also as an Executive Producer alongside Kattan and Sarif.

Lisa Ray who played opposite Sheetal in the movie lends her full support to Shamim and Hanan but will not be part of the new venture.Enlightenment Productions will be launching an international casting search to find the new Tala.

The fundraising will start on a new website that will go live on 11/11/11 at

The site has a special Enlightenment Community section where fans from all over the world can interact, as well as an exclusive section for ‘Enlightenment Ambassadors’, key fans who would like to take on a more active role in their local communities to raise awareness for the show and the fundraising.

Series 1 is currently slated to consist of 15 six minute episodes but this could change based on funding. Funds will be raised until March and, if enough has been collected to produce a finished series, pre-production will begin, with a shoot scheduled for June. The anticipated release of the I Can’t Think Straight web series will be from September 2012 to December 2012 on a weekly basis.

If adequate funding levels are not reached, all monies will be returned to the respective sponsors.

‘We have ceated various packages for sponsorship starting at $10 and going all the way up to $25,000,’ says Kattan. ‘We’ve tried to offer innovative gifts as a thank you to those who make the effort to support us.’

The ‘I Can’t Think Straight’ web series has a mandate to bring TV quality to the web while maintaining a spirit of independence. ‘We want the web series to embrace all the best aspects of the movie – love, integrity, the courage to be yourself – and to take it to new heights,’ says Sarif. ‘And the best part is having our fans be part of the new journey.’



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