Working for workplace religious diversity, equity & inclusion


Second Runner Up: 2018 Religious Freedom & Business Film Competition


Equations by Nancy Sawyer Schraeder and Naji Hendrix was the Second Runner Up in the Religious Freedom & Business Film Competition.* The film shows that when a company discriminates on the basis of religion or belief they might just miss the most perfect employee for the company.

In the fall of 2015, Nancy and Naji met at a media summit with the Middle East Women’s Leadership Network and determined to make short films together. Bringing diverse backgrounds to their projects, their goal is to create films that speak to an international audience and amplify the voices of women around the world.

In 2016, Nancy travelled to Cairo, Egypt to teach at a media summit and heard stories of young women being denied their dreams because of their religion. This inspired Nancy to write the script for “Equations,” and Naji came on board as co-producer to bring it to the screen.

Nancy Sawyer Schraeder, Screenwriter, Producer, Director (Los Angeles, California). Nancy scripted the feature film, Magdalena: Released from Shame, which premiered at the United Nations in 2007 and has been translated into over one hundred languages. Rivka, a mini-series she co-wrote, was released worldwide in 2012. “Portions,” a short film she wrote and co-produced, won Best Short Fiction Film at the World of Women Film Fair in Dubai and an Award of Merit at the Best Shorts Competition. Nancy holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California and has taught writing at Biola University and Long Beach City College and at media summits in Cairo, London, Tunisia, and online.

Naji Hendrix, Producer (Los Angeles, California) Naji and her family escaped Iran during the Iran-Iraq war when she was only six years old. In 2016, she co-produced “Portions,” which won Best Short Fiction Film at the World of Women Film Fair in Dubai, an Award of Merit at the Best Shorts Competition, and screened at the Burbank International Film Festival. She served as a producer and host for Mohabat TV, broadcasting shows into the Persian world, including the new Superbook program for Farsi speaking audiences. Previously, Naji worked as a production manager for a film and distribution company in Orlando for eight years. Passionate to use media to reach Iran and the Muslim world, Naji earned a degree in Communication and Film with a minor in Marketing from the University of Central Florida. Naji lives with her husband and two sons in Southern California.

* The Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (RFBF) and The Middle East Women’s Leadership Network (MEWLN) launched the Religious Freedom & Business Film Competition in 2017 to highlight women media producers and support freedom of belief. The goal of the competition was to create short films that showcase how religious freedom leads to innovation, peace, entrepreneurship and human flourishing in communities. The winning films will screen before world-class CEOs and UN level leaders at the 2018 Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards in Seoul, South Korea, March 7-8, 2018.