Frayed: An AFI Thesis Film

When a Palestinian American teenager struggling with self-acceptance attends a hair salon with her relatives, her insecurities are challenged.

In this coming of age drama set in the mid-2000s, NOUR, 16, a Palestinian American girl, must rediscover her multicultural identity after years of repressing her background and growing up among western standards of beauty. Nour visits Palestine to attend a family wedding, meeting some of her relatives for the first time. On the morning of the ceremony, she begrudgingly accompanies her aunties to the salon to get ready. Guided by her aunt MONA who resents Nour’s single father YOUSEF for leaving, Nour is overwhelmed among the new and eclectic mix of family members. She soon finds role models in her female relatives, who inspire her to embrace herself. In one afternoon, Nour navigates culture and belonging, finally finding her own beat in the music.

Based on true experiences, FRAYED explores the sometimes-bumpy journey of girlhood and the internalized pressures our society creates. The strongest thing we can do is learn to let these go.

Our director Julia and the rest of the team is so passionate about this film and we can’t wait to bring it to life. To do so, we need your help! Thesis funding depends on your generous donations, which will directly fund the production and post-production process. Proper funding will help this film truly reach its potential. We thank you so much for your support.


The American Film Institute (AFI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and your contributions may be tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Donors will receive a receipt to the email provided during check out and an acknowledgement letter will be sent in the mail within 4 weeks that can be used for tax purposes.

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