Muslim Youth Voices Project (MYVP) is a national initiative of the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). Founded in 1980, CAAM is a media arts organization dedicated to presenting stories that convey the richness and diversity of Asian American experiences to the broadest audience possible. Through this three-year initiative, CAAM amplified young people’s expression and celebration of Muslim cultures by giving them the essential tools to tell their stories and the stories of their communities — stories often invisible to the national public.
Beginning the summer of 2015, the Muslim Youth Voices Project offered free seven-day filmmaking workshops across six U.S. cities: Fremont, CA; New York, New York; Minneapolis, MN; Philadelphia, PA; Portland, OR; and Plano, TX.
The workshops trained 44 youth in filmmaking, and resulted in 36 short videos made. Developed and led by experienced film professionals from the Muslim community, the workshops provided a safe, sensitive space for self-expression and exploration. Through weeklong intensives, students gained an in-depth appreciation of storytelling and had the opportunity to create their own short films with the help of a professional crew.
The Artistic Director and Lead Instructor of the program is award-winning filmmaker and teacher Musa Syeed. Musa Syeed’s first feature film, Valley of Saints, won the 2012 Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. He has taught film for Williams College and the Tribeca Film Institute. Syeed was a Fulbright Fellow in Egypt and is an alumnus of the Tisch School of the Arts and the Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies Department at New York University.
The Muslim Youth Voices Project is made possible by a grant from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art’s Building Bridges Program.
World Premiere of 2015 summer workshop short films in Philadelphia, PA at the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival on November 14, 2015.
World Premiere of 2014 summer workshop short films in Oakland, CA at CAAMFest on March 21, 2015.
“Can the Arts Counter Islamophobia? This Funder’s Making that Bet” (Inside Philanthropy)
“We Explored the Minds of Young Muslim Directors” (Oogeewoogee)
Best Youth Filmmaker Award at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival, Roodo Abdikadir, director of Imagination
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