It all began with the ban
After months of listening to Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric during the campaign, we knew we were in for something. Just one week after the inauguration, an executive order restricting entry of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries to the United States was announced.
That's when we sprang into action, picking up our cameras and joining the fray at JFK and LAX. Our bicoastal team worked together to produce a short documentary about the nationwide resistance to the ban for a series entitled 'Our 100 Days', co-produced by Firelight Media and Field of Vision. Our segment, 'An Act of Worship', is our proof-of-concept for a much larger, more ambitious project that we're here on Kickstarter to fund.
With your help
We want to expand this story. While the travel ban has been tied in courts thus far, much to the chagrin of the administration, we know it's only the beginning. Many challenges face the community, from the recent spike in hate crimes, to proposed policies like the registry that violate fundamental constitutional rights.
Muslims across the country, and their allies, have mobilized and are ready to resist. We want to follow their stories from the front lines, embedding with established Muslim civil rights organizations, as well as a new generation of youth galvanized into action against the forces of Islamophobia.
What we need
At this crucial stage, while applying for grants and presenting our work to potential funding partners, it's important that we keep the cameras rolling. Our current production funds, raised from within our team, will run out in the fall.
If we can meet our fundraising goal, however, we will be able to continue through the fall, which would allow us to keep pace with developments in the political sphere and, most importantly, in the lives of our characters.
We believe this story -- the story of our community coming together in this difficult political moment -- is an important one. That's why we're asking for your support to help move it forward.
Who we are
Nausheen Dadabhoy (DIRECTOR, DP) is a Pakistani-American director and DP from Southern California. She received her MFA in Cinematography from the American Film Institute. Since graduating, Nausheen has lensed a number of narrative and documentary films, including A JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES (2015) with Academy Award winner Sharmeen Obaid and Geeta Gandbhir, and GIRL UNBOUND (2016), which premiered at TIFF. She also shot LA FEMME ET LE TGV (2016), a live action short film Oscar nominee. THE GROUND BENEATH THEIR FEET (2015) — her directorial debut following two Pakistani women after the 2005 earthquake — premiered at IDFA and was nominated for the OXFAM Global Justice Award.
Sofian Khan (PRODUCER) is the founder of Capital K Pictures. He co-directed GAUCHO DEL NORTE (2015), which premiered at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and aired on PBS' America ReFramed. His shorts have appeared on Field of Vision, AJPlus, Fusion Network, PBS, The Atlantic and Huffington Post. He is a 2016 MacArthur Documentary Grant recipient for THE INTERPRETER.
Andrés Caballero (PRODUCER) is a public radio producer and filmmaker based in New York. He is a former producer at NPR’s Latino USA, StoryCorps and is an NPR/Above the Fray fellow. He co-directed GAUCHO DEL NORTE (2015), an observational documentary that follows the journey of a Patagonian immigrant sheepherder recruited to work in the American west. He is a 2016 MacArthur Documentary Grant recipient for THE INTERPRETER.
Wajahat Ali (ADVISOR) is a journalist, writer, lawyer, an award-winning playwright, a TV host, and a consultant for the U.S. State Department. Ali helped launch the Al Jazeera America network as co-host of Al Jazeera America’s The Stream, a daily news show that extended the conversation to social media and beyond. He focused on stories of communities and individuals often marginalized or under-reported in mainstream media. Currently, with Dave Eggers, Ali is writing a television show about a Muslim American cop in the Bay Area. Additionally, he is a Peabody-nominated Producer of the series The Secret Life of Muslims. He was also the lead author and researcher of “Fear Inc., Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America,” the seminal report from the Center for American Progress.
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Risks and challenges
The most significant challenge we currently face is securing early stage funding. The producers of 'An Act of Worship' spent a year shooting their previous documentary film on a shoestring budget before they received a MacArthur Foundation grant to complete production. Each project must struggle through this early phase, where both the storyline and financing are taking shape. In this case, however, we want to compress this early stage as much as possible.
With 'An Act of Worship' we decided to produce a short film to show the project's potential. Its release last month kicked off our fundraising efforts, of which Kickstarter is a major component. What we seek to raise now is designed to push our proof-of-concept forward to a concept-in-action.
What does that mean? It means that by keeping the cameras rolling and being able to continue following our expanding cast of characters, we'll be able to present much more than a short proof-of-concept by September. What we'll have is a 20-minute reel that concretely shows our project's urgent point of view, special access and strong direction. And this will provide us with a tool to raise the funds we need to finish the film.
We knew when we started filming at the airports in January that this needed to be a larger, more ambitious project. But we also agreed that we didn't want it to merely document a time and place in history for future generations to look back on. No, we wanted to set out to make a film that could become part of the conversation going on right now.
With that end in mind, our goal is to finish production within a relatively limited timeframe of 12 months, from Eid 2017 to Eid 2018. We have enough experience as documentary filmmakers to know that's not an easy thing to do. But we also have enough experience to avoid the common pitfalls and time-wasting tangents that plague this process. And frankly, our story is moving too fast for us to slow down and wait around!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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