Project of the Day: Two Closeted Muslim Teens Have an Afternoon Ruined By the FBI
Here's your daily dose of an indie film in progress; at the end of the week, you'll have the chance to vote for your favorite.
In the meantime: Is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments.
"Naz + Maalik"
Two closeted Muslim teens have their Friday afternoon ruined by FBI surveillance. Support this story of secrecy, trust, and l-o-v-e.
Two first-generation African-American Muslim teens — close friends, classmates, business partners and something more – have their Friday, and potentially their entire lives, ruined by surveillance as their ambiguous and secretive relationship sets off flags among the relentless bureaucrats still fighting the War on Terror in the far-flung outpost of Bed-Stuy.
Written & Directed by Jay Dockendorf: Jay is a New York-based director who has written/directed music videos and short films. His first short, DR. FUCHS (2012), tells the story of a psychiatrist losing his grip when he discovers the onset of his hearing loss. It won the Audience Favorite Award at the Williamsburg Film Festival. His second short, VIGILANTE COPY EDITOR (2013), was selected by The New York Times for their Op-Docs program, and follows the search to uncover the mysterious vandal who corrects grammar on placards in the sculpture garden of Brooklyn’s Pratt University. It is the most commented-upon project to date.
Edited by Andrew Hafitz: Andy has been editing films since 1995. Along the way, he's collaborated with some of the leading directors in the New York independent film scene, including Whit Stillman (Damsels in Distress, 2012; The Last Days of Disco, 1998), Lodge Kerrigan (Keane, 2004), and Larry Clark (Ken Park, 2002; Bully, 2001). Two of his films have premiered in competition at Sundance: Braden King's Here (2011), a metaphysical road movie filmed on location in Armenia, and Cruz Angeles's Don't Let Me Drown (2009), shot primarily in Brooklyn. Don't Let Me Drown went on to win audience and jury at awards at many festivals, including Best Film and Best Editing at the Woodstock Film Festival in 2009. Andy's documentary credits include the street basketball movie Soul in the Hole (1997), directed by Danielle Gardner, and a number of David Schisgall films including the feature The Lifestyle: Group Sex in the Suburbs (1999) and the MTV show "Tru e Life: I'm in Iraq," which won the Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Network News Documentary in 2005.
Cinematography by Jake Magee: Jake graduated from Bard College with a B.A. in Film and Electronic Arts. His film Apsis was awarded best cinematography at the Maverick Movie awards in Los Angeles and has recently screened at the Cambridge Festival and the Kino Der Kunst Festival in Munich. Jake recently finished shooting his first feature film with emerging director Ben Greenblatt. Magee has worked as an assistant and electrician under some of the best emerging DP's in New York's independent film world on numerous projects that have screened at the Woodstock and Tribeca film festivals.
Produced by Margaret Katcher: Margaret is an LA-based writer and film producer. While studying history at Yale, she produced several plays and films with her incredibly talented friends (see Jay & Jacob above), and then ventured to New Orleans for Teach for America, before returning to film.
Produced by Jacob Albert: Jacob is a New York-based producer who has produced several documentaries, short films, and music videos, most recently for the Brooklyn-based group X-Ambassadors.
About the Production:
"NAZ + MAALIK both personal and universal. Through the relationship between our two characters – and their ever-growing dilemma – the film explores our perception and reaction to surveillance, as well as our notion of right and wrong, and the desire to clearly define it.
"We see NAZ + MAALIK as many things: a love letter to the grit and color of Brooklyn; a cold-eyed reflection on the effects of surveillance and the War on Terror; a film about the parallels and paradoxes of national and sexual identities; a day in the life of of two lovers." -- Jay Dockendorf