Video posted on April 8, 2016 at 6:00 am CST

Iram Parveen Bilal’s dream is to be respected for the cultural diversity she brings to the film industry, but she’s not sure if the changes happening for equality in the industry will have an effect during her lifetime.

After growing up in Nigeria and Pakistan, Iram arrived in the United States on her own as a college freshman on the Caltech campus in Los Angeles. Facing a promising future in science, she instead gave it up and followed her passion for filmmaking. After struggling to break in and find financing, she has now completed multiple films and become an inspiration to others.

“To me, the American dream is living in America and getting the respect of being American while also being appreciated for the differences I bring to this country,” Iram said.

To Iram, success is continuing personal growth and inspiration. But glass ceilings of race, ethnicity, and gender remain a huge obstacle.

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Additional Credits – Dancing: Courtesy of Blue13 Dance Company.