278. Emad Burnat (Co-Director, 5 Broken Cameras)




Emad Burnat, a Palestinian farmer and filmmaker from Bil’in, a West Bank village, is the Co-Director of Oscar-nominated documentary 5 Broken Cameras. The documentary covers the non-violent resistance movement in the village of Bil’in and is focused on the destruction of 5 of Emad’s cameras which were destroyed in his coverage of non-violent resistance marches in Bil’in.

Michael Moore recently came to Emad’s defense and helped secure Emad’s release when he was unjustly detained at LAX upon arrival to the United States.






268. Iman Zawahry (Filmmaker, Panama City, FL)

Iman Zawahry was born and raised in Panama City, FL.  Growing up as a minority in a small town with little to no creative outlets, Iman spent her spare time creating and filming amateur spoof productions.  After graduating from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, and in spite of pressure to pursue a more traditional career, Iman strove to fulfill her lifelong passion and talent in filmmaking.  The goal of her films is to convey the American-Muslim experience through comedy, as she believes comedy is the best approach for addressing serious issues.
In 2006, Iman was admitted into Florida State University’s prestigious graduate film program and directed three short films.  One of her films, “Tough Crowd,” won an Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Students Emmy Award and the Award of Merit at the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival.  “Tough Crowd” also qualified as a finalist in the NBC Comedy Short Cuts where Iman was a finalist to pitch a sitcom with NBC executives.  The Directors-in-Training Program at NBC recently nominated Iman as a possible finalist for its exclusive program.
Iman has worked in over 60 films and was a recipient of the coveted Princess Grace Award, through which she produced, directed, and co-wrote the film “UnderCover.”  UnderCover has been awarded seven “Best of” Awards including Best Director and Best Short, and has been shown in over 35 festivals worldwide.  Iman is currently writing her feature with co-writer of Tough Crowd, Brian Sharpe, and Allah Made Me Funny stand-up comedians Mo Amer and Azhar Usman. She is also a judge in the 2012 DC Shorts Film Festival, a consultant on a Hollywood pilot show, and an Islamic Scholarship Fund Selection Committee Judge for Film.  Iman also gives film workshops to Muslim youth throughout Florida in order to instill a love of the arts and to encourage them to pursue their talents in all fields.

256. Zarqa Nawaz (Writer/Filmmaker, Canada)

Zarqa Nawaz (Born 1968 in Liverpool, England) is a BritishCanadian freelance writer, journalist, broadcaster, and filmmaker of Pakistani origin.Zarqa is the creator of the Canadian TV series ‘The Little Mosque on the Prairie’, which has been aired on the Canadian network CBC from 2006 to 2012 and also over 80 countries around the world.

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zarqa_Nawaz
Biography on her producing company’s website: www.fundamentalistfilms.com/about.php
Little Mosque on the Prairie’s official website: http://www.cbc.ca/littlemosque/
Her documentary ‘Me and the mosque’ on line: http://www.nfb.ca/film/me_and_mosque

218. Musa Syeed (Filmmaker, New York)

MUSA SYEED is an independent filmmaker and writer. His first narrative feature, VALLEY OF SAINTS, will premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The film was shot on location in Kashmir during the military curfew of Fall 2010, with Nicholas Bruckman as producer. As writer/director, Syeed received the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Production Award for his screenplay, a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, and a National Geographic All Roads grant. In anticipation of the film, he was named one of the “10 to Watch in 2010” by the Independent Magazine. The film also participated in BAVC’s Producers Institute for New Media Technologies, where Syeed developed a new media engagement project for the film.

He recently completed production on 30 MOSQUES, a feature documentary following two young American Muslims journeying to 30 mosques in 30 day across America. As part of the project, he developed an interactive storytelling platform at ITVS/Mozilla’s Living Docs Hackathon.

His other recent film BRONX PRINCESS, which follows a New York teenager reuniting with her royal father in Africa, was in competition at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam and the Berlin International Film Festival, and the film won Best Documentary Short at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. The film, co-directed with Yoni Brook, was broadcast nationally on PBS’ POV September 2009.

Syeed’s previous film A SON’S SACRIFICE, about a father and son who run a halal slaughterhouse in New York, won Best Documentary Short from the Tribeca Film Festival and the International Documentary Association Awards in 2007. The film, also co-produced with Yoni Brook, had its national broadcast in January 2008 on PBS’ Independent Lens.

He was also a co-director on THE CALLING, a documentary miniseries following young people training to become religious leaders in America. The program was broadcast on PBS’ Independent Lens in December 2010. He is also a contributor to TIME’s online video reports. Co-producing with Bassam Tariq, he covered stories on Muslim theater and controversial politicians in New York.

As a writer, Syeed also produced original theatrical work for the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. He has also worked as an educator in schools, community centers, and prisons. He was an adjunct professor of documentary production at Williams College.

Syeed was a Fulbright Fellow in Cairo, Egypt, where he focused on experimental filmmaking. He is an alumnus of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and the Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies Department.