“The Senator” takes place in the late 1950’s, less than 100 years ago, and displays a day in the life of Essie and Carrie Butler. Their story guides attention towards issues that have transcended time and are still an issue in modern day society, such as racism and the role of women.

About the Director(s):

Shayain Lakhani is a First-Generation Muslim-American Writer and Director. Although born in Houston, Texas, due to his parents immigrating to the States from Karachi, Pakistan, Shayain was not able to settle down as a child. His family relocated to five different states during his childhood and adolescence, providing him with various cultural experiences. 

His accolades include 7 Southeast Emmy’s, a total of over 45 official selections Nationally and Internationally, and winning the 2019 Coca-Cola Regal Films Competition with mentorship from Olivia Wilde. Shayain established the first-ever Single-Camera television show at the Savannah College of Art & Design, led production in Hong Kong, and has collectively had over 50,000,000 views on his work.

He aims to share the stories of life in America through the eyes of Muslim-Americans and those within the South Asian community. He is currently represented by Natalia Williams and Gaby Mena at MACRO.


– Best Short Film: NATAS Southeast 2018
– Award Nominee: Georgia Shorts

Other Screenings:

– Jubilee International Film Festival, Lisbon, 2018, Official Selection
– National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences: Student Production Awards, Atlanta, 2018
– The Bermuda International Film Festival
– Jubilee Arts International Film Festival 
– Orlando Film Festival