What does success mean? What is happiness? These are the questions that Kamal Ahmed reflects upon after a lifetime of hard work with his hands. For many years, he was a janitor at a large public housing complex. But now pain from arthritis keeps him from working. In this loving portrait of her father, Primi Akhtar shares his wisdom and her hopes for him.
From the first line, “I feel like I’m on fire,” Mikel Aki’leh delivers a powerful poem on beauty and blackness. Against a rhythmic score, Aki’leh enumerates the ways in which she’s been told that her black skin is “a sign of dirt” to others — and how she ultimately finds strength and confidence through her faith.
A red apple waits in a grocery store to be picked. The big day finally comes when it is purchased, bagged, and brought to a home. Told from the point of view of the apple, this film shares the inner monologue of a fruit that just wants to fulfill its purpose in life as a healthy snack.
Asha and Roodo are best friends, or at least they’re supposed to be. One day, a distracted Asha, glued to her cell phone, ignores Roodo at school. Miffed, Roodo spreads gossip about Asha. When Aisha confronts her, will their friendship survive?
In this documentary, filmmaker Dunya Khalil brings attention to Syrian refugees, particularly children and youth who have become orphans. She learns about young people who have been purposely shot in the spine in order to paralyze them and prevent them from rebelling against the government.
“It takes more than just strength to be a fighter,” says 14-year-old Abdullah Davis. “You have to have a certain level of heart to do the sport.” Abdullah and his older brother Muhammad train and compete in martial arts. In this documentary, the two boys and their grandfather Bill, a Vietnam War veteran, contemplate the mental perseverance it takes to succeed in a fight — and in life.
Cutting remarks from her mother send a teenage girl on a quest to change her appearance. Bombarded by media messages that reinforce the notion that lighter skin means prettier, the girl slathers on a product that claims to make her “white before you know it” until she comes to a breaking point.
In this documentary, the filmmaker shares why he needs to run — and it’s not just for the exercise. For him, running is a matter of mind over body. When he runs, he can overcome pain and push himself to accomplish more than he could have imagined.
Another day, another stereotype about Muslims. It seems the media only has bad things to say about Muslims. Tired of the negative portrayals on TV, a teenager takes matters into her own hands and decides to show the media what Islam and her community are really about.
In this lighthearted comedy, Amna keeps annoying her older sister Rafaha with declarations about changing the world. When Amna says she’s going to stop global warming and promote equal rights, Rafaha says, “good luck with that.” But Amna proves her cynical sister wrong by showing her that you’re never too young to care.
Grief-stricken Nahar mourns the death of her good friend, Layla. Despite saving her many times, Nahar couldn’t prevent the accident that claims Layla’s life. In this darkly humorous take on life and death, Layla’s wise words from the afterlife help Nahar find peace.
Shemsedin recounts the day he arrives in America with his sister. With a sense of wonderment — but also some apprehension — he cautiously explores his new home. When he’s unsure of how to navigate his new school and make friends, a teacher notices and helps him find his way.
Grocery shopping can be stressful. This film lets us into the inner monologue of one young woman’s anxiety as she braves the aisles of a store where she encounters other customers and a less-than-helpful clerk in her quest to pick up a few things — and get out of there.
Nahla is tired of living in Philly. She complains of seeing the same things day after day and dreams of exploring some new place far away. But she doesn’t have funds to travel, and reluctantly agrees to a pen pal instead. As she documents her life for her pen pal, she learns to appreciate her city.
Six years after the death of his mother, Riyaz Ali recalls memories of everyday life with her, from taking family road trips together to the way she used to pick out his clothes for him. Juxtaposing his recollection of childhood with scenes from his life today as a young man in New York, Ali shares his love and grief in this elegiac tribute.
Like any teenager, Maleeka is nervous about her first day of high school. Will she fit in? Will she make friends? And most importantly, will people discover her secret? When she witnesses bullying on campus, she must make a choice that exposes her secret but ultimately allows her to be true to herself.
Mina is looking forward to her high school graduation — and especially to seeing her sister from Tehran who plans to attend the milestone event. When the Muslim Travel Ban goes into effect and keeps the sister from visiting, Mina’s friend has an idea to cheer her up.
In a sparse Staten Island apartment, a young Muslim American man struggles with feelings of loneliness. Looking for connection, he finds an Islamic Center located a ferry ride away. Where he once prayed alone, he now prays with others in community.
Zain and Moiz are walking in a park when they come across a “danger” sign at the edge of the woods. To Zain, this seems like a challenge to explore a forbidden area. But Moiz has a bad feeling about it as he reluctantly follows Zain into the woods.
In this mockumentary, 10-year-old twin sisters Noor and Haya share their thoughts about each other. Haya expresses love and admiration for her sister. But Noor confesses that her twin drives her nuts. She also suspects that her sister is an alien and sets out to prove it.