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Mon 7 Jul 2008 09:06 PM

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Gulf girl makes it big in Hollywood

20-year-old Summer Bishil being tipped for Oscar for performance in controversial film Towelhead.

At the age of three, Summer Bishil and her family moved to Saudi Arabia to live with her father, a player in the kingdom’s burgeoning banking industry. A year later, they relocated to Bahrain where she attended school until she was 14.

Now 20, Bishil is basking in glory in California with a raft of television credits behind her, two feature films set to be released this year, and a photo shoot in Vanity Fair.

For any frustrated thespian growing up as an expat in the Gulf, Bishil is proof that dreams can come true.

Bishil is set to leap from precocious children’s television actress to Hollywood A-lister with the release of Towelhead, a controversial film that tracks a mixed American and Arabic family living in suburban Texas during the 1991 Gulf war.

Bishil is already being spoken about as a potential Oscar nominee for her performance as a 13-year old girl confusingly thrown into a world of sexual abuse, racial tension and family breakdown.

Towelhead has already been screened at several film festivals and will go on general release this summer. Release dates for the Middle East are not yet available.

SA 11 years ago

I wonder why you call her Gulf Girl when she's not from the Gulf. She just lived here !!

Doug 11 years ago

She's lived in the GCC since she was three and lived for most of her life here in the Gulf. I also doubt she remembers anything about where she used to live before the Gulf. She grew up here; she lived in the culture here; who she is has been built by the Gulf. And you're saying she's NOT from the Gulf? You don't have to be born somewhere to 'be' from there. No doubt she can't ever be a GCC citizen, but she's more from the Gulf than anywhere else.