Maryam Mir

2022 Graduate Research Fund Awardee
Graduate Film Class of 2023

Maryam Mir

Maryam Mir is a writer/director currently pursuing her MFA in Film Production at NYU Tisch, where she is an Ang Lee scholar. As a Kashmiri-Canadian born in Germany and raised in Bahrain, Maryam finds inspiration in stories that center the immigrant experience in all its joy, delight and magic. Prior to film school, she was an Open City fellow at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and worked as a creative consultant in Dubai and New York for five years.


Ocean Swimming Women

If you live surrounded by water, it makes sense you know how to swim. But for some women in the world, due to limited opportunities & local norms, this isn’t always the case. I grew up in Bahrain, a small island in the Middle East, where nearly 70% of the adult population rarely or never go swimming. This is even more pronounced for women. I am intrigued by a woman’s relationship with the ocean and how learning to swim can change one's relationship not only to themselves, but also to the environment surrounding them.

Currently, I am developing a feature-length film script that explores a group of Muslim women on an island nation learning to swim in the ocean for the first time. This summer, I will be focusing my research on better understanding the process of: training swim instructors, recruiting and teaching women to swim, the barriers and obstacles present and the impact of these classes on the individuals and their community.

The outcome of this research will be that I have a body of research to draw from, and use, as source material in further developing my script.

Illustration of woman in burkini floating in water

Illustration by Melek Zertal