Arab in America: Featured Youtube

// March 23rd, 2009 // Making Arab

Arab in America: Featured

Arab in America: Featured

Well, it’s official.  The folks at LinkTV, One Nation, and Fenton Communications are PR wizards.  First, an awesome press release (located after the jump), then a writeup in USA Today, and now…  A FEATURED YOUTUBE VIDEO!  BAM! I mean, how can this be topped?!?  I have no idea – but I hope they can surprise us some more!

Please, please, please, please, please…  Watch our movie on Youtube! Vote for it!  Comment on it!  Not many people get the chance of having their film featured on Youtube, and what better way is there to gain exposure?  I hate always asking our internet minions to do our bidding – but one more time, I’m asking you guys again.  We need your help!

Link TV

Link TV

We’ve been with this project for two long years – we’ve experienced the good (winning the LinkTV Contest/Audience Award at Filmfest DC/Cannes) and the bad (financing falling through/financing falling through/financing falling through)…  If we’re going to make this feature film happen – we need to jump on it now, while it’s still hot.  Hopefully there will be a lot more press on this in coming weeks (keep checking daily for more info on that front) – so if we can blow this thing up, if we can get the word out that we’re trying to make this into a feature, and if we can get people excited about this project again – I think this pretty much our last chance at making this thing happen.

I’d like to thank you all for diligently following us this far.  I know it’s annoying, aggravating, and arduous – but we’re getting so close that I can almost taste it…

<BAD EPIC CALL TO ARMS>This film is for Arabs!  This film is for Muslims!  This film is for anyone that’s treated differently!  This film is for you!  Lets get the word out!  Lets vote on Youtube!  Lets send the press release to all your favorite newspapers and blogs!  Lets do this for Uncle Sam!</BAD EPIC CALL TO ARMS>

Thank you!

-Nabil

________________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ON

March 17, 2009

Media contact:

Yasmin Hamidi, 212-584-5000 x 227, yhamidi@fenton.com

Winners of “One Nation, Many Voices” Online Film Contest Offer
Insights into Lives of American Muslims

SAN FRANCISCO — One Nation, a philanthropic collaborative aimed at challenging stereotypes of American Muslims, and Link TV, the first national television channel dedicated to providing global perspectives, announced today the five winners of the “One Nation, Many Voices” online film contest; the contest is aimed at promoting tolerance, understanding, and respect for religious freedom among all Americans.

“Since its inception in 2007, the ‘One Nation, Many Voices’ film contest continues to grow as a safe space where Americans can explore what it means to be Muslim today,” said Link TV President Kim Spencer. “What’s more, the high volume of submissions by Muslim filmmakers provides us with unique insights into the way U.S. Muslims perceive themselves.”

The five winning films, each running five minutes or less and available online, are a mix of fictional and true stories and explore: job discrimination, religious conversion, Islam’s take on the environment, finding allies in unlikely places and the impact of a small town Muslim high school teacher on his non-Muslim students.

The grand prize winning-film, “Arab in America,” parodies the real-life experiences of filmmaker and Georgia native Nabil Abou-Harb, whose name has posed challenges for him when seeking jobs.

“When I thought of this idea in 2006 my intention was to put the audience in the shoes of this Muslim guy who just wants to find a decent job but his name keeps getting in the way,” said Abou-Harb. “Now, with the millions of Americans out of work, it’s a situation that many can relate to, but for different reasons. My hope was to tell a serious story in a funny way, so that people could laugh and maybe even say, ‘man, that’s happened to me before’.”

Voters in the U.S. cast thousands of online ballots on the contest’s site (www.linktv.org/onenation) to choose the 29 finalists from among over 150 entries and then a panel of distinguished judges narrowed the pool down to five winners. The judges are Grammy-winning songwriter Kenneth Gamble, country singer Kareem Salama, comedian Preacher Moss, Muslim Girl Magazine editor-in-chief Ausma Khan, writer and former Jesuit seminarian Chris Lowney, and the grand prize winner of last year’s film contest, Lena Khan.

Abou-Harb will receive a $25,000 cash prize and a broadcast debut on Link TV. The winner in each of the other four categories will receive $5,000 and a FLIP camera. Last year’s grand-prize-winning music video by Lena Khan, “A Land Called Paradise,” has been licensed by the State Department for use on its America.gov Web site and for presentation to 30 foreign embassies. It has since become an Internet sensation, noted on Jordanian Queen Rania’s Web site as a “Favorite” and receiving hundreds of thousands of hits on YouTube and various blogs.

The winners’ entries are viewable online at http://www.linktv.org/onenation. The full list of winners follows:

1.  “Arab in America” by Nabil Abou-Harb in Athens, Georgia

Grand Prize Winner – $20,000 Cash Award

The American Muslim Life Category Winner – $5,000 Cash Award

“Arab in America” humorously chronicles the journey of an American-born character named, “Osama Ahmed Abou-Bakr” and his plight to find a job in America’s post-9/11 atmosphere. The story highlights the hardships of Arabs and Muslims living in the United States of America. The character, “Osama,” a recent college graduate, cannot get anyone to hire him so he resorts to a drastic measure: changing his name from “Osama Ahmed Abou-Bakr” to the more appealing “Samuel Adam Baker.” Instantly, he’s offered a high-paying job. However, concealing his true identity turns into a daunting task that unfortunately “Sam” cannot keep up; he eventually comes clean. The script is loosely based on real-life events that continue to plague Nabil and his family members. Watch it here: http://www.linktv.org/onenation/films/view/419.

2.  “The Colors of Veil” by Jehan S. Harney in Alexandria, VA

American Muslim Women – $5,000 Cash Award

“The Colors of Veil” tells the true story of Kimberly King, a former US soldier who ultimately found her identity by converting to Islam and choosing to wear a headscarf. She has since become an interfaith leader working in partnership with her husband, a well-known imam in Maryland.

Watch it here: http://www.linktv.org/onenation/films/view/414.

3.  “Ladylike” by Safiya Songhai in New York, NY

Two Faiths, One Film – $5,000 Cash Award

“Ladylike” shows what happens when a scantily clad Brooklynite encounters her (much) more modest Muslim neighbor. Sometimes it is the person you least expect who will give you the shirt off of their back. Watch it here: http://www.linktv.org/onenation/films/view/434.


4.  “The Teacher” by Scott P. Harris in Flower Mound, TX

60-Second Spot Category Winner – $5,000 Cash Award

“The Teacher” is a brief documentary profile of a dynamic high school physics teacher who provides his small-town students with a different view of Muslims. Watch it here: http://www.linktv.org/onenation/films/view/444.


5.  “Green Blue Sea”
by Rolla Selbak in San Francisco, CA

Youth Story – $5,000 Cash Award

“Green Blue Sea” is an inspirational profile of a young Muslim Scuba diver whose faith gives him a deep reverence for the sea and the natural world around him.

Watch it here: http://www.linktv.org/onenation/films/view/384.

# # #

About One Nation: One Nation is a philanthropic collaborative that invests in ideas, people and organizations working to fulfill America’s promise of liberty and justice for all. One Nation works to foster a national conversation about the common values we share as Americans, regardless of how we choose to express our spirituality. The initiative has sponsored projects such as this film contest that challenge stereotypes and misperceptions of Muslims and Islam by shining a spotlight on our shared values, beliefs and responsibilities. For more information, visit: www.onenationforall.org.

About Link TV: Link TV is a non-commercial network devoted to global issues, available in more than 30 million U.S. homes receiving DIRECTV and DISH Network, and on select urban cable and university campus channels. Link connects Americans with the world by engaging, informing, and motivating people to become involved. Visit www.linktv.org.

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3 Responses to “Arab in America: Featured Youtube”

  1. I really liked this post. Can I copy it to my site? Thank you in advance.

  2. mohamed says:

    I’d like to know where we can watch this movie ?

  3. Lial says:

    I am a member of linktv and saw the segment about Arabs in America,,,,Is the dvd for sale?

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