Beyond Creative License: Navigating the Business of Entertainment

Beyond Creative License: Navigating the Business of Entertainment

About This Event

The Writers Guild Foundation, in partnership with the Muslim Public Affairs Council’s Hollywood Bureau and the Muslim Bar Association of Southern California, hosts a panel with writers, actors, and practicing entertainment law attorneys on the legal and business side of the entertainment industry.

Panelists will explore the issues they have confronted in the process of protecting their work, plus share some do’s and don’ts for creatives of all backgrounds and all career stages navigating the industry as it strives to become more inclusive.

Opening and Closing Remarks by Sue Obeidi, Muslim Public Affairs Council.

  • Yasmine Abdel-Aal, Partner at Kaufman-Abdel-Aal, LLP 
  • Iram Parveen Bilal, Writer/Director (Dho Dala: The Sin Washer, Josh, Poshak)
  • Sumair Khan, Entertainment Attorney at Sheppard Mullin
  • Farhoud Meybodi - Founder of Cadre and Co-owner of Wayfarer Entertainment
  • Munis Rashid - Writer, (S.W.A.T., Poppy)
  • Amir Talai - Actor, LA to Vegas

Moderated by Sireen Sawaf of the Muslim Bar Association of Southern California.

Reception hosted by Muslim Public Affairs Council will immediately follow the event. 

Doors open at 7pm. Event starts at 7:30pm.
All events advertised on our “Events” page are open to anyone who wants to buy a ticket – not just WGA members!

In the case the event is sold out, we will have a first come, first serve stand-by line at the event. The stand-by line does not guarantee entry into the event.

Proceeds benefit the Foundation’s library, archive and other outreach programs.

Got a question about events? E-mail us at

Location / Venue

  • Address:
  • Wgf/Wgaw Headquarters
  • 7000 W 3rd St, 2nd Floor
  • Los Angeles, CA 90048-4321
  • USA
  • Time:
  • Oct 18, 2018 07:30 pm to
  • Oct 18, 2018 09:00 pm

Our Partners

The Writers Guild Foundation

Event to Support The Writers Guild Foundation

Founded in 1966, the Writers Guild Foundation is the premier resource for emerging writers and movie and TV lovers in Hollywood. Boasting a busy calendar of high-value events and a vast, seemingly bottomless toolbox for writers, the Foundation is unmatched in its mission to promote and preserve the craft, history, and voices of screen storytelling.  A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, we’re proud of all we do for the community, including our Veterans Writing Project, our Volunteer and Mentorship Programs, our Archive, and the Shavelson-Webb Library – the world’s only library devoted entirely to writing for the screen.

About Our Panelists

YASMINE O. ABDEL-AAL is a partner at Kaufman Abdel-Aal LLP, an intellectual property, entertainment and business law practice, that provides transactional legal counsel regarding film, television,and new media financing, production, and distribution; outside general counsel services; and trademark, copyright and licensing. Previously, Yasmine was General Counsel for the Doha Film Institute, In-House Legal Counsel for Qatar Foundation, Adjunct Professor of Law at Whittier Law School, and Associate at Fulwider Patton in Los Angeles.

Yasmine was named as one of the American Bar Association’s “On the Rise- Top 40 Young Lawyers” (2016).  She has also been selected to the California Super Lawyers Rising Stars lists (2015-2018), and was awarded the “Outstanding Young Alumni” award by Whittier Law School (2013).

She holds a J.D. from Whittier Law School with a certificate in intellectual property, and a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Biological Sciences from UC Irvine. Yasmine currently serves on the board of the New Horizon School Irvine Educational Foundation, and previously served on the boards of the New Horizon School Irvine, Whittier Law School Alumni Association, and the Los Angeles Intellectual Property Inns of Court. Yasmine also speaks Arabic and Spanish.

Raised in Nigeria and Pakistan, IRAM PARVEEN BILAL is a Physics Olympian turned filmmaker. This fall, she is excited to lens her third feature, FORBIDDEN STEPS, a film about a Muslim cop in Chicago. Bilal is also actively developing TV for the US and Asian market. Her feature project WAKHRI, based on a social media star in Pakistan, just got selected at Locarno’s Open Doors Hub financing market. She is a Thomas J Watson, WIF, Film Independent and CAPE fellow; an active member of the Alliance of Women Directors and Film Fatales. She believes that genuine curiosity is the antidote to fear.

SUMAIR KHAN is an entertainment attorney at Sheppard Mullin. Previously he worked at Creative Artists Agency as an Executive prior to working with talent, athletes, production companies, and brands. He is also a producer and filmmaker with current scripted and unscripted projects.

FARHOUD MEYBODI is a writer, director, executive producer and co-owner of Wayfarer Entertainment, a media studio based in Hollywood. Unlike many creatives in the industry, Farhoud started his career in law, and spent his mid twenties climbing up the corporate ladder as a marketing Executive for a global luxury brand.  Now, Farhoud specializes in transformational storytelling, and works with his colleagues at Wayfarer to help brands, networks, studios and NGOs connect with global audiences through the magic of empathy and human connection.

Most recently, Farhoud directed and executive produced for Season Four of My Last Days, an award-winning television series about life told by people living with a terminal illness, for the CW Network. He wrote and executive produced Man Enough, a dinner conversation series featuring male influencers and celebrities as they explore and redefine traditional masculinity in America. Farhoud created and executive produced Project Upgrade, an unscripted digital series for Google focused on increasing female representation across STEM. The show features YouTube creators, The Merrell Twins, as they set out to design, code and build a new consumer product with the help of brilliant female mentors from Disney, Google, Space X and NASA. 

Farhoud has also developed and directed national campaigns for Subaru, Kellogg’s, MetroPCS, and The Ad Council, and sold several scripted projects m to major studios and television networks.

MUNIS RASHID grew up just outside of Houston, Texas. In 2016, he graduated from the American Film Institute with an MFA in Screenwriting. He was selected to participate in the 2018 CBS Writers Mentoring Program and is currently a Staff Writer on the second season of S.W.A.T. on CBS.

AMIR TALAI is an actor, writer, and activist who was most recently seen in the Fox series LA to Vegas. He serves on the advisory boards of the MENA Arts Advocacy Coalition, The Story of Stuff, and Healing Justice. He is passionate about representation, voting rights, and social justice. His writing on issues of MENA representation has been published at Buzzfeed, The Establishment, and most recently Vulture. He is recognizable from his over 100 film and TV credits, as well as countless TV commercials. He is addicted to Twitter.

About the Moderator

SIREEN SAWAF is a Deputy City Attorney at the Office of the Los Angeles City Attorney, General Civil Litigation Division, where she primarily focuses on law and motion.  Sireen is the outreach coordinator for the Muslim Bar Association of Southern California (MBASC) and coordinates with like-minded organizations and firms to host panels that address the communities needs.  Sireen earned her J.D. at the UCLA School of Law, where she served as the Editor and Chief of the Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law and a board member of the Muslim Law Students Association.  Prior to pursuing her law degree, Sireen worked at the Muslim Public Affairs Council as the Hate Crimes Prevention Department Coordinator, then as the Southern California Government Relations Director, all of which inspired her to pursue her law degree. Sireen is happily married with two lovely children.

About Our Partners

SUE OBEIDI - Director of the Hollywood Bureau
Fortunately, we are experiencing a new kind of Golden Age in Hollywood. The movement for inclusion of all marginalized communities is changing the landscape of the industry before our eyes, and an influx of talent and fresh perspectives are energizing this powerful media.  

Since the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)’s Hollywood Bureau was launched in 2011, Sue Obeidi has blended the love of her faith with her love of film, television, and digital series to change and expand the narrative of Islam and Muslims in the entertainment industry.

Obeidi and her team ensure that MPAC’s Hollywood Bureau is a partner with the entertainment industry. Behind the scenes, Obeidi engages decision makers and creatives to improve the quality and number of authentic, nuanced, and inclusive presentations of Islam and Muslims so that audiences can see Muslims as vital contributors to creating social and cultural change in America and around the world. She also enriches the pool of Muslim talent in Hollywood by nurturing and connecting them to those who can assist with their careers, both on the creative and business sides of the industry.

In 2017, Obeidi was chosen for Variety's Inclusion Impact Report as one of 60 changemakers making the entertainment industry more inclusive. On the frontlines of media, Obeidi is a vibrant and fresh voice. Her poignant and passionate perspective appears in Op-Ed pieces for top industry publications such as Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Wrap. Obeidi has been a guest lecturer at American University, University of Southern California, and Georgetown University, and she has spoken on panels at the Sundance Film Festival, Variety Inclusion Summit, Variety Family TV Summit, Teen Vogue Summit, Women in Entertainment, Color of Change, and the Center for Asian American Media.

Obeidi is the “go-to” interviewee for perspectives on Islam and Muslims in the entertainment industry, having been quoted in many articles by national publications including, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Variety, TMZ, and The Hollywood Reporter. MPAC’s Hollywood Bureau has consulted on projects with The Walt Disney Studios, Disney/ABC Television, Paramount Studios, Amazon, Hulu, Legendary TV, Nickelodeon, CBS, NBC, Fox, FX, NatGeo, Starz, BBC1, and Participant Media, among others.

She is a self-professed couch potato at heart and a huge consumer of content. What attracts Obeidi to the entertainment industry are the stories being told. Obeidi always says, “Good stories can change hearts; changed hearts can change minds; and changed minds impact our values and can galvanize us into action.”

She has an MBA and B.A. in Marketing and has been with the Muslim Public Affairs Council since November of 2000.

Follow her on Facebook (Sue.Obeidi) and Twitter (@SueObeidi).