Among the Believers

Film phase:Completed


A Pakistani radical cleric, Aziz declares a war against the government to impose Islamic utopia in the country. The government retaliates by destroying his seminary and killing 150 students. The film charts the coming-of-age stories of his students, representing the hard circumstances both extremism and poverty pose for many young Pakistanis. Talha, 12, dreams of becoming a jihadi preacher. Zarina, also 12, escapes the madrassa and joins a secular school, but her poverty forces her to drop out.

Directed by Hemal Trivedi and Mohammed Ali Naqvi
Produced by Jonathan Goodman Levitt and Hemal Trivedi
Written by Jonathan Goodman Levitt



Hemal Trivedi looking at the camera. She has wavy medium-length hair and wears a white embroidered shirt. Portrait in black and white.Hemal Trivedi is an Emmy®- and Academy Award®-winning documentary film editor and producer. Documentary credits include Outlawed in Pakistan (Editor, PBS-Frontline, Sundance); Saving Face (Editor, Emmy® for editing, Oscar® – 2012, HBO / Channel 4); Shabeena’s Quest (Director/Editor, Witness, Al Jazeera English); Flying on One Engine (Editor, SXSW, IDFA); Laughter (Editor, BBC); When the Drum is Beating (Editor, ITVS, Tribeca 2011); and Beyond Mumbai (Producer & Editor, OWN, 2011 Webby nomination). She has produced and edited award-winning shorts for Odyssey Networks. She was born and raised in Mumbai, India and is fluent in English, Hindi, Urdu, Marathi and Gujarati.

Mohammed Naqvi looking away from the camera. His hair is covering part of his face, he is wearing a t-shirt. Portrait in black and white.Mohammed Naqvi’s previous documentary credits include Special Emmy-winner Shame (Showtime), Pakistan’s Hidden Shame (Channel 4), Shabeena’s Quest (Al-Jazeera), and Terror’s Children (Discovery). In addition, Mohammed has produced two narrative feature films, Big River and I Will Avenge You Iago. Through the AFI 20:20 program, he is both an NEH and NEA fellow. Mohammed was raised in Karachi, Pakistan.