SOURCE: MOOZ-lum The Movie

MOOZ-lum The Movie

September 09, 2010 06:00 ET

New Film Spotlighting Muslim-American Life to Debut in New York City

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - September 9, 2010) -

  • The feature length film is a semi-autobiographical coming of age story about the life of a young Muslim-American struggling with his faith and identity. It promises a fresh and honest perspective on Muslim life in America leading up to 9/11.

  • Not yet released, the film has already amassed an online and word-of-mouth audience, from Paris to Frankfurt, New York to Cincinnati, Chicago to Toronto, Australia, Egypt and Indonesia, demanding to see the film. It has also gained significant attention from a variety of civic, federal, community and business organizations.

Set against the politically-charged backdrop of 9/11, a new movie, poised to further conversation on what it means to be Muslim in 21st century America, will make its official debut on September 17 at 7:45pm at the AMC Theatres on 34th Street in New York City as part of the Urbanworld Film Festival. MOOZ-lum, written and directed by Qasim Basir and with a multi-faith, diverse production team, is one of the first-ever American feature films depicting the life of a young Muslim-American.

MOOZ-lum, features Hollywood heavyweight Danny Glover (Dreamgirls, The Color Purple, Lethal Weapon), and stars Nia Long (Are We There Yet, Boyz n the Hood, Big Momma's House 1 & 2, Love Jones), Roger Guenveur Smith (American Gangster, Fighting, Do The Right Thing, Malcolm X), Summer Bishil (The Last Airbender, Towelhead) and lead actor, playing Tariq, is Evan Ross (ATL, Pride, Life Support). 

"The recent incidences of violence and hatred in response to the building of a Muslim cultural center near Ground Zero has put us significant steps backwards. My hope is that MOOZ-lum will allow for the world to witness the diversity amongst Muslims, our faith and the connectedness to a common humanity, and in turn lead to further understanding and tolerance," says director Qasim Basir.

MOOZ-lum -- the Story
"MOOZ-lum" is the coming of age story of a young African-American Muslim male set against the politically charged backdrop of 9/11. Tariq is entering college and just wants to "fit in." Overcoming deep personal traumas in his search for identity, he struggles to reconcile a difficult personal, religious history with his new changed reality. Basir has written the story as much from his own passion and experience as he has from observing the world around him. 

Says Basir, "The film offers a perspective of being a Muslim in America that we don't see in the mainstream media. I'd like to think that it also offers a look into the lives of young people who deal with racial or religious barriers and connects with anyone who's ever faced identity issues."

In order to stay true to the film's message, Qasim assembled a diverse production crew comprised of people from all faiths. Dana Offenbach, a partner in the indie production company CinemaStreet and the film's producer, is a Jewish-American who knew immediately this story needed to be told. 

"The current climate surrounding the proposed Muslim cultural center near Ground Zero is a great example of why this film needs to be seen by a large audience comprised of people with all beliefs," says Offenbach, a sentiment echoed by Samad Davis, also a producer on the film.

The Fans
Without any professional effort, the MOOZ-lum YouTube trailer has been viewed over 150,000 times in less than one month and its Facebook page has amassed over 60,000 fans from 40 countries demanding to see the film in their cities. The civic and business communities have also been interested in the film, reaching out to the director to speak and make appearances at organizational events and exploring other partnerships. Offenbach is hoping that this interest will grab the attention of indie distributors.

"This film needs a distributor that will take a 'leap of faith' with us," says Offenbach. "Qasim Basir is interested in telling the kind of stories we should all support."

For more information on MOOZ-lum the movie, visit www.moozlumthemovie.com

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