A coalition of movie theaters across the United States have launched this month (May) “The Seventh Art Stand,” a nation-wide series of film screenings and discussions during which participating theaters, community centers and museums will show films from the countries affected by Islamophobia and the current administration’s Muslim Ban – a coalitional effort to elevate the cinemas and stories of the people affected by the executive orders inhibiting their rights to travel to the U.S.
The series launches the grassroots #ShareMuslimFACTS to #StopIslamophobia campaign today, May 3, 2017, highlighting key themes that are central to the dynamic American Muslim experience. An act of cinematic solidarity against Islamophobia, the “Stand” will unfold throughout the month of May 2017, with over 53 screenings in 26 states confirmed. Participating venues include movie theaters, churches, community centers and college campuses.
The movies to be screened include “Fishing Without Nets” from Somalia; “About Baghdad” from Iraq; “Karama Has No Walls” and “The Mulberry House” from Yemen; and Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman.” Mr. Farhadi, one of Iran’s best-known filmmakers, took a public stand against President Trump’s travel ban from January when he announced that he would not attend the Academy Awards. The movie won the Oscar in February for best foreign-language film.
Representatives of the film and literary world have come together to support the initiative. Lead organizers Richard Abramowitz, Founder and President, Abramorama and Courtney Sheehan, Executive Director, Northwest Film Forum, have convened partners in every region of the U.S., including the Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI), the Metrograph and Anthology Film Archives (New York), the Honolulu Museum of Art, Northwest Film Forum, and college campuses and theaters in the Midwest. The Network of Arab Alternative Screens (NAAS) supports U.S. theaters in the Stand. NAAS is a growing constellation of non-governmental cinema spaces presenting visionary film programs that engage and challenge audiences across the Arab region.
Sheehan and Abramowitz said, “We believe it is crucial to build a tradition of sharing more stories, voices, and faces on our screens.”
Of note given this blog’s specific interests is Cutter Hodierne’s 2014 dramatic feature “Fishing Without Nets,” his treatment of the theme of piracy in Somalian waters which ran somewhat contrary to the news stories and big budget films being touted by Western media at the time (and, predominantly, since), and instead told a story from an alternative perspective.
You’re encouraged to go see “Fishing Without Nets” (as well as all the other included films) this month courtesy of “The Seventh Art Stand” nationwide series of film screenings and discussions.
Complete screening details and information on other inventive programming accompanying the screenings, can be found at seventhartstand.com.