Created, directed and executive produced by Blacksand Pictures’ Kauthar Abdulalim, executive produced by Pennie Brown (Princess Pictures) and written by Nazli Sevinc (who also wrote season one), #MATCHED2 sees Munira Younus and Oz Malik reprise their roles as Areema and Mirza.

This time around, Areema and Mirza must navigate a couple’s biggest challenge – trying to throw a cross-cultural wedding of humble proportions all on their own as they deal with external judgments and interference.

Other key collaborators on the 20-part minutes series include Najma Sambul and Santilla Chingaipe (Producers), Waqar Ali (DOP/Editor), Nejla Muhammad (Art Director), Mona Khalifa (Wardrobe Stylist), Yusra Abdulalim (Makeup Artist) and Zulfiye Tufa (Marketing Manager).

#MATCHED2 Executive Producer, Pennie Brown said: “Princess Pictures is excited and honoured to support Kauthar Abdulalim and the Blacksand Pictures creative team. We passionately share in Kauthar’s desires to celebrate untold stories on our screens by sharing the stories of Muslim women, community and culture”.

“As an entertainment platform driven by our community, TikTok is excited to support #MATCHED2, a series that represents important voices in Australian life and culture. We are also supportive of collaborations across industry with forward-thinking production company, Princess Pictures, once again demonstrating their commitment to both innovation and elevating emerging content creators,” said Felicity McVay, Director of Content Partnerships at TikTok.

Lee Naimo, Head of Online at Screen Australia said: “Kauthar Abdulalim is an impressive filmmaker who together with a strong intersectional team has created this fresh take on the romantic comedy genre. #MATCHED2 has humour and heart and is releasing on the right platform to find a large and dedicated audience”.

One of the aspects of the production that Kauthar, Pennie and their teams are particularly proud of, is its implementation of what is believed to be Australia’s first Inclusion Rider in the screen sector. The Rider was designed to create a production-specific cultural safety policy for the Muslim cast & crew involved, in consultation with Muslim community leaders.

A Muslim cultural briefing session was held in December 2021 with Imam Alaa Elzokm and a commitment made to hiring at least 50% Muslim cast and crew, production accommodating to prayer timings during shoot, religious holidays considered throughout the production, and other Muslim cultural aspects taken into account set the tone as to how the production was going to ensure a culturally-safe environment for the Muslim creatives involved.

“It is both Blacksand Pictures’ and Princess Pictures’ hope that this Rider will scaffold a blueprint and set the standard for other productions and production companies wishing to work and collaborate holistically with creative practitioners who have specific cultural requirements that intrinsically inform the kind of stories they want to tell, who should be telling these stories, and the culturally-safe environment that these stories are created in.” Kauthar says.

#MATCHED2 was filmed on location in Melbourne across February and March and sees delightful guest appearances from Nazeem Hussain, Sajda Yakub, Irshad Khan, Manal Shehab, Claudia Greenstone and Tiffany Krylov.

Kauthar Abdulalim is an emerging Australian screen creative. As well as creating #MATCHED, Kauthar’s short film The Ninth Tower had its world premiere at the 2021 Melbourne International Film Festival.

#MATCHED season one can be watched here:

PRODUCTION CREDIT: Principal production funding from Screen Australia in association with Film Victoria. Financed with support from TikTok.

Photo caption: Cast and crew of #MATCHED2