It’s the mid-90’s in Northern California and 13-year-old Pakistani American Ilyas (Atharva Verma) is facing a major crisis — his parents yanked him out of his comfortable Islamic private school and now he has to face life at public school. Ilyas’ fears about joining public school are made worse by insecurities due to his inescapable, prepubescent MUSTACHE. While he hatches a hilarious plan to return to his old school, Ilyas finds a meaningful outlet in his new school''s theater program and forges friendships with non-Muslim kids that accept him – but Ilyas must also learn to accept himself. MUSTACHE makes for an outstanding directorial feature debut from Imran Khan, which hugely benefits from Verma’s charming and endearing performance. Easily relatable, laugh-out-loud funny and downright delightful, the film wowed SXSW audiences, where it world premiered, and they responded with their ballots, awarding it the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature.

CLICK HERE to read a companion essay for this film written by scholar Joseph Han.


Sponsored By:

Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities


Waimea Theater 10/28/2023 6:00pm



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