Walid Chaya is a popular name in the fight for the advancement and enhanced visibility of Middle Eastern, North African, and South Asian artists and creatives in Hollywood. Adding yet another stroke of victory to his endless struggles to promote diversity in Hollywood, his directorial at Studio For Performing Arts LA bagged yet another award for “Best Special Event” of the Regional 2021 Broadway World Awards.
Based in Los Angeles, Walid Chaya is an actor, director, writer and a first generation Lebanese-American immigrant. He is known for his award-winning short film “Driving Ms. Saudi,” which won “Best Comedy Short” from Dubai’s prestigious WOW Mid-East Film Fair and other festivals worldwide. Walid possesses exceptional creative power, but his life’s work is not just limited to that. He advocates diversity in Hollywood and strives to achieve it through art and craft.
Winner of MENASA Diversity Event
On May 8th, 2021, Walid directed an open call that provided MENASA descent performers to raise their acting profile and visibility to a powerhouse panel of film and television talent agents, directors, producers, and casting professionals. Over 200 MENASA actors submitted, 80 of whom performed a one-minute monologue in the three-hour virtual initiative produced by the team.
The event was a part of Walid’s scheduled series of events to assist performers from different backgrounds and regions worldwide. As the brain behind the noble cause, he believes that these diversity initiatives help performers to improve their exposure and be considered for professional acting opportunities.
A recent study by the MENA Arts Advocacy Coalition, who was also a partner of the winning event, shows that only 1 percent of all television actors and artists in Hollywood are of MENASA descent. This underrepresentation has made it challenging for new and rising MENASA performers to find work and visibility in the already saturated Hollywood market.
Walid Chaya is the founder of Moonlit Wings Productions, which produces innovative and fresh content on stage and screen that champions multicultural, gender-diverse, musical stories, and educational performing arts programs for all ages. The production house’s educational division Studio For Performing Arts LA hosts additional creative and professional development programs for actors in-house and online.
Walid Chaya is helping performers get noticed by industry experts through these winning diversity events. Several past participants have found new connections and opportunities thanks to his unique platforms. A creative genius of middle eastern descent, Walid works tirelessly to promote and celebrate diversity and inclusion in Hollywood- an American dream he is holding onto tightly.