Mistah Islah Unveils Brand New Comedy Series: 'Take-Awasian'
In celebration of 'Bangladesh at 50' & in support of #StopAsianHate, Mistah Islah reveals an original series about two friends running an Indo-Chinese take-away whilst chasing a dream in the Entertainment industry but hiding it from their cultural parents.
Everybody's favourite duo are back, Mistah Islah and Michael Truong star side by side in the first original series since the ever so memorable 'Corner Shop Show'. Inspired by their real life events, the screenplay is written by Islah Abdur-Rahman & Robert Hoang. Story is co-written by Michael Truong and Mariah Idrissi. This will merge the British-Bangladeshi community and the British-Chinese community in a series for 1st time, so the authenticity and representation is important to the team as they represent these two communities.
The name "Take-Awasian" is an obvious spin on the word 'take-away', incorporating the word 'Asian'. Not only is it the premise of the series (like Corner Shop), but it's a common known fact that most Chinese & Bangladeshi families own take-away businesses that are dear to them - and of course both communities take pride in being 'ASIAN'!
"I've always felt like the British-Bangladeshi community and the East-Asian community have been under-represented on mainstream TV. It's Bangladesh's 50th anniversary & this is my way of celebrating it. I also have family & close friends who are Chinese, and with the rise in racism towards them what better time to shine positive light?" -Islah Abdur-Rahman
"We were all 7 years younger when we made Corner Shop. Our acting was different, our ideas were different, our writing style was different, heck even our hair was different! We've grown as young adults and we've grown as creatives. I'm really happy in the direction we're going with this and I'm excited to see peoples reactions!" -Michael Truong
The series will explore the cultures, goals, morals and passions of the elder, new generation & migrant Chinese and Bangladeshi characters. Whilst living in modern day London from a working class background. The CS Network stands for diversity and champions ethnicity in the Entertainment industry.
"I still remember Islah shouting in excitement when we were brainstorming saying 'That's sick! Write that down!' I love being able to tell stories that matter, stories that don't get to be heard. When Islah came to me with the idea we were both able to put our South Asian spin on it and I really enjoyed developing the storyline."
The series is giving opportunities to new talent and includes familiar faces too. The team are actively looking to work with more South-Asian & East-Asians on the project. The production crew include the master cinematography likes of Robert Hoang & Mazzi Cuzzi. Both of British-Chinese and British-Bangladeshi backgrounds.
"Corner Shop Show was a milestone for us, especially when the fruits of our labor appeared on the silver screen at Cineworld. However it wasn't without it's flaws conceptually and from a technical standpoint. As D.P I was still finding my style and experimenting with different techniques. Take Awasian is on another level from the ground up before we even touched the camera. " -Robert Hoang
Fans of the 'Corner Shop Show' should expect this series to be very different from its predecessor but of course expect to be entertained!
"We pitched it to Broadcast companies, they didn't take it.
So we're making it ourselves." -Islah Abdur-Rahman
The difficult nature of the Television and Film industry is that ideas never see the light of day, or pilots get produced but not aired, or your favourite show that has so much potential gets axed. In the same way, Take-Awasian did not get the opportunity it deserved. However, Islah did not want to see the idea sit on a shelf and collect dust. The cast and crew are working as a team to help this vision come to life, with a shoestring budget and support from a real take-away 'Panda's Kitchen' in Forest Gate, London.
The cast & crew during the virtual table read
Casting includes: Patrick Loh, Mia Chia, Samuel Woolf, Irham Usman, Zoha Rahman, Chantelle Ly, Govind Sharma, Alex Ermar, Romo Sikdar, Holly Etheridge, Samantha Clinch, Lucy Aardern, Jummy Sansui, Bethany Billy, Christopher Sherwood, Ruchika Jain, Martin Chowdhury, Ikky Elyas, Max Gates, Rebecka Selvaranjan and more
"Covid-19 has brought about negative media towards the Chinese Community while at the same time an unprecedented demand for online content. With the whole world watching, there's never been a better time to showcase both cultures."
'Take-Awasian' is set to release end of 2021 on YouTube. Unless there's a Broadcast company or streaming service that wants to get in touch after reading this...