New Homes, New Stories


The Main 3 Thu, Sep 28, 2017 11:00 AM
Ticket Prices
Film Info
Program:Twin Cities Arab Film Festival
Runtime:94 min


Q&A with local directors after the screening

Free for High School students. This screening is SOLD OUT.

This segment brings together multiple voices from our own community through short film. Each story tackles the question of immigration to the United States and the struggles that accompany life in diaspora. Bringing together various stories from Minnesotans, the films here aim to open a discussion about what it means to call multiple places home.

The Dream Still Is

Dir. Zachary Green
2017 | USA | English | 24 min | Documentary

SYNOPSIS: In the wake of Executive Orders 13767 and 137679, banning travel from seven Muslim-majority nations and expanding the border wall with Mexico, three students and staff members of a Minneapolis high school respond.

DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHY: Zachary Green is a writer and director originally from New Hampshire. His first film, a PSA documentary short, appeared at the New Hampshire Film Festival in 2016. He has worked as a freelancer in the film industry for over three years.

Iraqi Voices

Based in Minneapolis, the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project (IARP) facilitates artistic and cultural dialogue between Iraqis and Americans. IARP presents authentic Iraqi and American voices to counter negative stereotypes, build mutual understanding and respect, and provide a platform for dialogue. Iraqi Voices is a collaborative arts lab run by the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project, which gives Twin Cities-based Iraqi refugees and immigrants an artistic platform to share their stories. The films in this program are written and directed by Iraqi American participants and photographed and edited by Nathan Fisher. Produced by the IARP and Northern Monday Films, this activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

All films are presented in Arabic and English with English subtitles. All films are short documentaries made in Minnesota.

The Barbershop

Dir. Zaid Alshammaa, Jamal Ali, Nathan Fisher
2014 | USA | Arabic with English Subtitles | 6 min

SYNOPSIS: As he gets a haircut on a sunny Sunday afternoon in suburban Minneapolis, a young Iraqi man recalls a traumatic experience from his childhood.

DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHIES: Zaid Alshammaa is from Baghdad. Interrupting his college education in Iraq, he fled to Minnesota in 2010. He currently works in a tobacco shop in Northeast Minneapolis.

Nathan Fisher is the creative director of Northern Monday Films. He has an MA in Media Studies with an emphasis in documentary video production from the New School for Public Engagement. He is the director of The Unreturned (2010), an award-winning feature-length documentary shot in Syria and Jordan. Since 2012, he has been working with the local Twin Cities Iraqi community to produce a series of short films.

That's What We Hear on the News

Dir. Jamal Ali, Nathan Fisher
2014 | USA | Arabic with English Subtitles | 5 min

SYNOPSIS: An Iraqi engineer compares his experiences as a student in Oklahoma in the late 1970s with being a refugee in Minnesota thirty years later.

DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHY: Jamal Ali is from Baghdad. He graduated from Spartan College of Aeronautics in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1979 and had a career as an aircraft maintenance engineer for Iraqi Airways. His wife, an anesthesiologist, and two children fled to Minneapolis in 2009.

The Actor

Dir. Adnan Shati, Yahya Ebrahem, Nathan Fisher
2015 | USA | Arabic with English Subtitles | 7 min

SYNOPSIS: An Iraqi actor discusses the Friday demonstrations in Baghdad.

DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHY: Adnan Shati (Alshati), was born in the marshes of southern Iraq. He has worked as a freelance artist most of his adult life and has held and participated in personal and group art exhibitions in the Middle East, Europe, and Minnesota. He moved to Minnesota in 1990 and became a special education teacher with a Masters from the University of Minnesota. He has directed two short documentaries as part of the Iraqi Voices project.

Stealth Pathogen

Dir. Nathan Fisher, Adnan Shati, Dr. Azur Maluki, Ishaq Maluki
2015 | USA | Arabic with English Subtitles | 9 min

SYNOPSIS: An Iraqi physician is in Minnesota on a one-year research fellowship while his colleagues are being systematically assassinated back home.

The Fifty Generation

Dir. Ali Alshammaa, Nathan Fisher
2015 | USA | Arabic with English Subtitles | 7 min

SYNOPSIS: A man born in Iraq in the 1950s reflects on a life in exile.

DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHY: Ali Alshammaa was born and raised in Iraq but left for Kuwait during the Iran-Iraq War. After the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, he fled once again to Jordan. He moved back to Iraq after the 2003 United States invasion and lives in Minnesota today.

Our Iraq

Dir. Jamal Ali, Amel Al-Sammarraie, Nathan Fisher
2016 | USA | Arabic with English Subtitles | 15 min

SYNOPSIS: Our Iraq dismantles caricatures of Iraqis and Muslims in the United States. In the film, an Iraqi American sculptor rebuilds what extremists have destroyed, Muslims pray at a Catholic church in Minneapolis, refugees own a St. Paul neighborhood grocery, and a public school administrator becomes the first Muslim woman to win an election in Minnesota.

Alice's Story

Dir. Alice, Nathan Fisher
2012 | USA | Arabic with English Subtitles | 5 min

SYNOPSIS: A university-aged PTSD survivor from Iraq is about to begin medical school in the United States. She asks: what is more American than the freedom of speech?

Naser's Story

Dir. Naser Al Samarai, Nathan Fisher
2012 | USA | Arabic with English Subtitles | 4 min

SYNOPSIS: A young man who just moved to the United States talks about stereotypes that he had about Americans, and that Americans have about him.



Mizna's twelfth Twin Cities Arab Film Fest offers an eclectic program of compelling and provocative contemporary narrative, documentary, and short films made by Arab filmmakers from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Palestine, Tunisia, and more.

Browse Arab Film Fest