Arab American Perspectives: Filmic Visions of Dearborn

A screening series illuminating the work of Arab American filmmakers with artists in attendance, in conjunction with the JuMP course "Media Production for the Metropolitan Community."

All screenings will take place at 7 p.m. at the Arab American National Museum  

Filmmaker in Residence, Moussa El Moussa

Moussa El Moussa

Moussa El Moussa is an Arab-American independent filmmaker based in the Metro Detroit area. He has written, produced, directed, filmed, and edited an array of productions.

By utilizing art as a form of communication, El Moussa challenges inherited ideas with an aim for imaginative exploration, vigilant accountability, and unifying acceptance.

El Moussa has worked with unique individuals, collaborative groups, and prominent organizations to bridge social, political, cultural, generational, and ideological gaps. His work has been featured by Button Poetry, PLAYGROUND DETROIT, and Kresge Arts in Detroit.


Jude Chehab - September 24 - 27

Jude Chehab
Jude Chehab

Screening on Monday, September 25th, 7 p.m. at the Arab American National Museum. Editor Fahd Ahmed will also be in attendance. 

Chehab’s film “Q” (2023, 91 min), depicts the insidious influence of a secretive matriarchal religious order in Lebanon on three generations of women in the Chehab’s family: her mother, grandmother and herself. Winner of Tribeca's Albert Maysles Award For Best New Documentary Director.

Jude Chehab is a Lebanese-American filmmaker, whose early career work has landed awards screening in film festivals worldwide. Her credits include collaborations with Refinery29, She Said Films, The Players Tribune, Oxfam GB, and Doctors without Borders. She was part of Abbas Kiarostami’s last student group in Cuba, where she worked on a piece under his guidance. She is a CIFF North Star, CAAM and NeXtDoc fellow. Jude's richly visual and intimate personal shooting style has illuminated issues close to her heart including the refugee crisis and female empowerment. She has recently worked as a DP on films in Somalia, Sudan and Pakistan and as an AP on Sesame Street’s newest show for Syrian refugees. She is based between NYC and Beirut.

Mike Mosallam - October 1 - 4

Mike Mosallam
Mike Mosallam

Screening on Tuesday, October 3, 7 p.m. at the Arab American National Museum

Breaking Fast (2020, 92min): Set against the twinkling lights of West Hollywood, Breaking Fast is a romantic comedy that follows Mo, a practicing Muslim still reeling from heartbreak. When an All-American guy named Kal offers to join him in his nightly Iftars, the traditional meal eaten by Muslims during Ramadan, meal after meal, the two start to discover they have more in common than meets the eye.The film features Haaz Sleiman (Apple+'s “Little America”), Michael Cassidy (“People of Earth”), and Amin El Gamal (“Good Trouble”). Film Threat writes: “With ‘Breaking Fast,’ (director Mike) Mosallam has created a beautiful, tender, and heartfelt movie. A wrong turn is never taken by either him or his extremely well-written characters.”

Born and raised in Dearborn, Mike Mosallam is a producer, director, writer for theatre, film and television. Through his production company, Mike Mosallam Productions, he and his team produced short films: Breaking Fast (Cannes Film Festival) and Brothers (12-time Jury & Audience Award Winner), both written and directed by Mike, along with the award winning short film "Ubuntu," a co-production with the Muslim Public Affairs Council. His feature film debut, Breaking Fast (based on the short), had its Los Angeles premiere at Outfest Fusion, and holds a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. After playing more than 70+ festivals worldwide and winning major awards, it was acquired for distribution by Vertical Entertainment and released on Hulu, Apple TV, iTunes, Amazon, and anywhere else you can buy or rent movies on demand. He is the creator and Co-Executive-Producer of the critically acclaimed TLC series, All-American Muslim. Most recently, Mike was an Executive Creative Consultant on Season 2 of Hulu's Ramy (episode 9). He is a proud Muslim, Lebanese American.

Usama Alshaibi - October 8 - 11

Usama Alshaibi

Screening on Tuesday, October 10, 7 p.m. at the Arab American National Museum

“Nice Bombs” (2006, 76 min): In the film, Alshaibi returns to Baghdad to reunite with his family after nearly 24 years. This documentary navigates through his unique relationship to an Iraq that is much different than the country of his childhood. 

Usama Alshaibi was born in Baghdad, Iraq and spent his formative years living between the United States and the Middle East. He’s an active filmmaker and artist, who works in documentary and fiction, often blurring the line between the two. His films have screened widely at underground and international film festivals, media exhibitions and museums. He’s received grants from organizations such as the MacArthur Foundation, the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, the Playboy Foundation, and the Creative Capital Foundation for the Arts. 

His first feature documentary, Nice Bombs, which was shot in Baghdad a few months after the start of the United States invasion of Iraq, had a theatrical release in Chicago and New York, and a broadcast premiere on the Sundance Channel. His experimental narrative film Profane won several awards, including best feature film at the Boston Underground Film Festival. His second documentary feature, American Arab, had its world premiere at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), and was nationally broadcast on television through PBS World Channel. He’s been producing and directing short films and music videos since 1998. Some of his prominent short films include Soon, Here, The Desire, The Muslim Meme, The Flowering, Baghdad, Iowa, Allahu Akbar, Dream of Samarra and Dance Habibi Dance.  Usama lived in Chicago for over 17 years and worked as a digital archivist at the Chicago History Museum, and as a radio host and producer for Chicago Public Media. Currently, Usama is a Teaching Associate Professor at Colorado State University.

Sarra Idris - October 29 - November 1

Sarra Idris
Sarra Idriss

Screening on Tuesday, October 31, 7 p.m. at the Arab American National Museum

We will screen a selection of Sarra Idris' short films. 

Sarra Idris is a Sudanese-American director, editor, and visual artist based in New York. She is the partner and co-founder of Golden Tusk Labs, a creative development company devoted to telling great stories from unexplored perspectives. As an editor, Sarra has over 15 years of experience in various projects across TV, commercials, web series, short films, and music videos. Companies include NBC Universal (Saturday Night Live), PSYOP, Google Creative Lab, MPC, Twitter, Pentagram, and BBC America. As a director, Sarra's short films have been screened at the Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase, New York African Film Festival, Cinetopia Film Festival at the Smithsonian Arab American National Museum (AANM), and The ICA London. Outside of her professional ventures, Sarra is committed to promoting cross-cultural understanding for underrepresented voices. She worked and taught in Sudan (in both Kosti and Khartoum) as part of The Cultural Healing Program and as an Artist in Residence at the Rashid Diab Arts Centre in Khartoum. She is currently on faculty at the School of Visual Art in New York.

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