Thursday, June 9, 2022
6:00 pm ET
The Paley Center for Media
I got to watch the first episode of the highly anticipated original Disney+ series, Ms. Marvel from Marvel Studios , and attend a live Q&A with the cast and creators. The Paley Center for Media held a special screening and conversation last week for press, Paley members and guests. The special event featured an inspiring all-woman led panel with an important discussion on South-Asian representation and the impact that this series will have.
Ms. Marvel introduces us to Kamala Khan, a Muslim American teenager growing up in Jersey City. Kamala is a superhero megafan—particularly when it comes to Captain Marvel; yet Kamala doesn’t feel like she fits in anywhere, until she gets superpowers like the heroes she’s always looked up to! The Paley Center is pleased to welcome cast members and the creative team for this special screening and conversation.
Iman Vellani, “Kamala Khan”
Zenobia Shroff, “Muneeba Khan”
Sana Amanat, Executive Producer
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Director
I definitely enjoyed the first episode and am looking forward to watching the rest of the series. It was a fun watch, and definitely targeted to a much younger audience but it is still enjoyable and charming. The first episode was a solid introduction to the titular character with Iman nailing this role of a lifetime. Iman is definitely charismatic, and going to be a star in the making. She was so much fun to watch and hearing the excitement in her voice talking about the opportunity of playing this role and what it means to her, you know she was the right choice for this role.
This was a great discussion about South Asian representation, female representation and what this show means to so many young females. So many fans dressed up as Kamala and this was a beautiful moment to experience as this series resonates with so many people. The creators and show-runners aimed to give Marvel fans an authentic and impactful series that will resonate with people, and will have people feel a connection to the Khan family and story. The series is full of Pakistani pride and Islamic and muslim culture all while staying pretty close to the comics. They may have taken some creative liberties with the origin of Kamala’s powers, but overall so far it has the same charm, pride and enthusiasm.
Iman perfectly encapsulates Kamala, with her charm, wits and natural youthful energy as she seamlessly slips into the superhero’s shoes. She brings the character to life so well, that you feel a connection and want to see her succeed. During the Q&A Iman discussed her hyphenated identity which so many second generation children can identify with. The 19 yr. old Pakistani actress was born in Canada and has been a long-time fan of the character. She spoke about when she found out that she got the part, with having only theater experience, the series is actually her first onscreen debut, which had her ecstatic. She is now an iconic character that represents so much to so many people in a changing more inclusive industry. Ms. Marvel is part of the next chapter of the MCU, and it’s so important seeing the young female characters growth and evolution.
In the series Kamala makes content videos and films her art, cosplay and experiences. In the comics Kamala makes fan fiction, so it was really cool to see how they adapted this to showcase her creative side. Throughout the show you can see artwork transition into scenes and easter eggs and Avengers references, pulling you into the series even more.
Zenobia Shroff, who plays Kamala’s mom Muneeba, talked about strong immigrant parents, her relatable experiences and navigating playing a parent while keeping certain traditions. She talked about portraying motherly qualities, and the shows portrayal of Pakistani customs and traditions, and showing values from their culture. Executive Producer, Sana Amanat and Director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy talked about the lack of brown women being in the spotlight and how many amazing it was to have this panel with all these amazing women. Sharmeen is a director whose films spark conversations. They talked about bringing the comic series to life, how Kamala can create opportunities, and that by telling this story of one family it can open up this culture and identity to the world. Embracing and celebrating South Asian identity is very important to this series, and it shows.
Watch Ms. Marvel on Disney+ Streaming Wednesdays !
More photos from the event below!