Pomegranate Pictures is pleased to announce the attachment of Samya (“Sam”) Rahmani to play the lead in the 2021 production of Pomegranate.
Samya was born in London, England to Iraqi parents and grew up between Canada and Jordan. She started acting at age 11 when she played a small role in Guys & Dolls and stayed involved in theatre throughout high school and university in many productions like The Wiz, Rent and Fame. Sam recently broke out into television and film; her most recent work Child Bride screened at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner. She plays Lamma in the new television series Little America, streaming on Apple TV+. She’s also made an appearance in The CW’s Charmed, and played the role of Zadi in the new Hulu Original comedy Woke, alongside Lamorne Morris, Sasheer Zamata and Blake Anderson. Her upcoming projects include a starring role in a drama short with award-winning director Mostafa Keshvari. Sam has trained at the Vancouver Academy of Dramatic Arts and the esteemed William Esper Studio in NYC.
In Pomegranate, Sam plays the lead, Niran Al Mousawi, a recent refugee-immigrant with her family from Iraq. She dreams of getting her driver’s license, going to college, getting a job and becoming a modern-day journalist or poet, if she can only shake her mother’s strict Muslim traditions. Curvy in the right places, she prefers tight jeans and tops but wears the hijab to keep her mother from deporting her back to Iraq or marrying her off to an unknown suitor. Politically liberal, and easily irritated, she has trouble accepting the resettlement help of Mary, a neighbor who, although also form Iraq, is politically a conservative, a Christian, and well assimilated into American culture.
Pomegranate’s writer-director, Weam Namou said, “When I saw Samya’s demo reel, I knew she had to play Niran, our main character. She had the beautiful soft features and strong characteristic of Niran. I didn’t learn that she’s of Iraqi background until the day of the audition, and that made it even more special for me to have her play this role.”
Pomegranate Pictures is pleased to announce the attachment of Yasmine Al-Bustami to co-star in the 2021 production of Pomegranate.
Yasmine Al-Bustami was born in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. and immigrated to Texas with her family when she was three years old. But at 13 she was sent back to Jordan because she was becoming “too Americanized.” The result? Today she considers herself an all-American girl, who’s super Texan, loves country line dances and Dallas Cowboys football. She’s fueled by hummus, kabobs, brisket & queso, and says “Y’all” a lot. Her immigrant family naturally pushed her toward a professional career, so she earned a degree in Finance from the University of Texas planning to pursue a career in investment banking. But she was always drawn to the arts. So, before she entered the business world Yas decided to explore her creative side and that led to acting. Most recently she wrapped a guest starring role on CBS’ S.W.A.T. as well as a supporting role on independent kiteboarding film, Send It!. She has also starred in the CW Seed’s musical comedy I Ship It. Previous appearances include: John Legend’s music video Surefire, Netflix’s You Get Me, The CW’s The Originals, CMT’s Nashville, Freeform’s Switched at Birth, and CBS’ The Inspectors. Coming to the U.S. as an immigrant herself, Yas is excited to be a part of the Pomegranate team and help bring this story to life!
For Pomegranate, Yasmine will play the role of “MARY YOUSIF,” Niran’s well-assimilated, and beautiful Chaldean Iraqi neighbor who loves to help immigrants assimilate whether they want to or not. Having discovered American fashions Mary allows her luscious dark hair to flow freely, which further infuriates Niran’s hijabi Muslim conservatism. Mary could have any young man she wants, and Ali is watching, but she’d rather date her job as a refugee settlement agent.
Pomegranate’s writer-director, Weam Namou said, “Yasmine is a natural for bringing the character of Mary, our protagonist’s’ nemesis, to life. Like Mary Yasmine is beautiful, quick witted, and confident Middle Eastern immigrant. She’s perfect for the role.”