This past summer, more than a dozen middle school and high school students—all whom are Muslim American—participated in CAAM’s Muslim Youth Voices Project (MYVP) filmmaking workshops in Plano, Texas and Portland, Oregon. Under guidance from MYVP Artistic Director and Lead Instructor Musa Syeed, the youth made short films about what it means to be a young Muslim in America today. Last summer’s workshops marked the completion of the six-city, three-year summer workshop series.
The program has connected the youth filmmakers and their stories with communities throughout the United States at film festivals including CAAMFest, the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival, the New York Asian American Film Festival, and Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, and at the Maysles Documentary Center. The initiative, funded by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Arts’ Building Bridges Program, seeks to start a discussion beginning with the youth themselves. One of the goals of the participating student filmmakers is to the shed light on the experiences that bring communities together.
Razan Bayan (age 15), made a short film about a day in the life of two American girls—one Muslim, and one non-Muslim. Razan shared what they hope people will take away from their film:
“Throughout the film, the audience realizes how similar their day is,” Razan said. “I hope to show people that Muslims are people too, and that we’re not that different from you.”
Muslim Youth Voices Project is one of CAAM’s innovative programs connecting filmmakers and their stories with communities throughout the world. Help us connect more filmmakers and their work with communities by donating $25 or more to our campaign Transforming Careers, Communities & Perspectives by December 31st.