The Difference Between Us

An undocumented immigrant in Philadelphia starts to fall for a roommate she’s never met — forming a connection that will test the limits of her romantic imagination.

  • Imran Siddiquee
    Love Reset, Sea of Fog
  • Imran Siddiquee
    Love Reset, Sea of Fog
  • Tshay Williams
  • Nausheen Dadabhoy
    Director of Photography
    An Act of Worship, The Ground Beneath Their Feet, Love Reset
  • Samiha Ahmed
    Key Cast
  • Iman "King" Carter
    Key Cast
  • Sita Sarkar
    Key Cast
  • Alexis Thompson
    Production Design
  • Marcus Branch
    Costume Design
  • Aayushi Shah
    Assistant Directors
  • Cami Olses
    Assistant Directors
  • Maori Karmael Holmes
    Consulting Producer
  • Benjamin O'Keefe
    Executive Producers
  • Creator+
    Executive Producers
  • Nafisa Kaptownwala
  • Bianca McFadden
    Hair and Makeup
  • Julian Turner
  • Imran Siddiquee
  • Natacha Ikoli
  • Mena Sachdev
    Sound Design
  • Alicia Qian
    Sound Mixing
  • Yusuf Siddiquee
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Romance, Drama
  • Runtime:
    25 minutes 25 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 20, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    60,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Sundance Knight
    Philadelphia, PA
    United States
    Alumni Grant
  • PANO (New York City Women in Film)
    New York City
  • Scribe Center/Philadelphia Independent Media Fund
    Philadelphia, PA
    Planning Grant
  • Flip the Script Fund (Creator+)

    Production Funding
  • Independence Public Media Fund

    IPMF Grantee
Director Biography - Imran Siddiquee

Imran Siddiquee is a filmmaker, writer, speaker, and activist confronting systems of domination. Their essays on representations of race and gender in popular culture have been published widely, including in The Atlantic, Buzzfeed Reader, Longreads, Salon, Bitch, and The Week. They’ve also contributed to the anthology Nevertheless, We Persisted and Our Stories: An Introduction to South Asian America.

Imran is the current Chief Communications Officer at BlackStar Projects, home of the BlackStar Film Festival and Seen journal, and previously held the same position at MediaJustice and The Representation Project (where they assisted on the Sundance premiering films MISS REPRESENTATION and THE MASK YOU LIVE IN). Imran is also the writer and director of SEA OF FOG, a short film about the impact of whitewashed romantic cinema which premiered at the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival. Their short, LOVE RESET, was a winner of MTV's Look Different Creator's Challenge.

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Director Statement

I wrote The Difference Between Us to expose arbitrary barriers around gender, race, sexuality, and place. It’s a love story between two people living in the same apartment — making assumptions about each other, including around each other’s bodies — that becomes a queer coming-of-age tale about an undocumented Bangladeshi woman, raised on Hollywood fantasies, finding herself while living with the threat of deportation in Philadelphia. A draft was accepted into a Sundance Screenwriters Intensive and based on the feedback I received there, I adapted the feature into a short.

But when this script was first written, I hadn’t come out as queer and gender nonconforming myself. In many ways I have evolved with this story, or it has brought the truth out of me. Inspired by the work of Satyajit Ray, Wong Kar-Wai, and Mira Nair, our approach is to make a short film that is genre-agnostic, lyrical, grounded in history and place, emphasizing music, and intentionally non-linear. We want to evoke the sense of wonder which leads us not to dream of success within oppressive systems, but the world beyond.

From pre-production through post my producer and I have prioritized hiring and centering creatives of color — primarily women and gender nonconforming people.