‘Signature Move’: Pakistani Muslims, Lesbians, and Luchadora Wrestlers Have More in Common Than You Think

How festival favorite ‘Signature Move’ bridges the gap between cultures with comedy, love, and wrestling.

Signature Move, directed by Jennifer Reeder, and co-written and starring Fawzia Mirza in the lead role, follows Zaynab, a Pakistani Muslim immigration lawyer living in Chicago who discovers a new romance with a Mexican-American woman and, coincidentally, a new passion for lucha-style wrestling. The film balances comedy and drama to explore how these women navigate their cultures, families, and emotions while finding commonalities in the most unexpected places—like the wrestling ring at an underground luchadora event.

No Film School spoke with both Reeder and Mirza during SXSW shortly after their film’s premiere at the festival, learning what it takes to make a very American film about Pakistani and Mexican cultures, managing dialogue in three different languages, how to trust a collaborator with your personal vision, and more. The film is currently making festival rounds, including as the opening night film of the 65th Columbus International Film + Video Festival later this month.

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