“Alshaibi has deep roots in the underground, having made narrative and documentary films that push both thematic and stylistic boundaries. His 2007 film Nice Bombs documents his trip back to Baghdad to see his father shortly after the Iraq War broke out. American Arab picks up this thread of personal narrative and explores what it means to be an Arab-American, post-9/11. Further, in the great tradition of American personal documentary film, Alshabi also struggles with what it means to be a filmmaker who happens to be Arab-American. Less concerned with aesthetics than ideas, he uses the camera as a tool to dig for answers about identity, art and filmmaking that are often overlooked.”
—Michael Galinsky, International Documentary Association, documentary.org

“It’s giving voice to people who have been marginalized—and when they are presented in mainstream American media, it’s rarely from their perspective… At the same time, the movie doesn’t feel confrontational. It feels like the start of a conversation, rather than a provocation.”
Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader

“Probes what you might call the Arab-American dilemma… Alshaibi’s family is smart and complicated, and you immediately have an emotional connection to these people.”
— Nina Metz, Chicago Tribune

“American Arab is a gift, an important document and beacon of hope for a community and people too often misunderstood, with disastrous consequences.”
— Ravi Chandra, CAAMFest

“Identity is a funny thing. We like to think of ourselves in concrete, non-shifting terms, but our identity is constantly shifting. Arab. American. Artist. Father. Son. Brother. Alshaibi is all of these things. He is also one of our most important filmmakers, a fact further defined by this engaging and enlightening documentary.”
– Mike Everleth, Underground Film Journal

Jassar Family_still1

Official Website: americanarabmovie.com

2013/ 60 MIN/ COLOR/ 16X9/ USA/ ENGLISH

Directed and Produced by Usama Alshaibi
Executive Producers Gordon Quinn and Justine Nagan
Edited by Matt Lauterbach, Leslie Simmer and Usama Alshaibi
Co-Producers Tristan Hanson and Rachel Pikelny
Cinematography by Christopher Rejano and Dinesh Sabu
Audio by Larry Kapson, Derek Hanson and Anne Hanson
Original Music by Marwan Kamel

Broadcast
American ReFramed  (World Channel on PBS) February 9, 2016
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) May-December 2015
Japan Broadcasting Corporation, Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK) September, 2015
and VGTV in Norway, 2015

Screenings
International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam IDFA, November 2013 (World Premiere)
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, February, 2014 (US Premiere)
Geneva Film Festival, March, 2014
CAAM Fest, Center for Asian American Media, March, 2014
Cleveland International Film Festival, March, 2014
Chicago Underground Film Festival, April, 2014
Stockholm International Film Festival Junior, April, 2014
Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, April, 2014
Kansas City Film Festival, April, 2014
River Bend Film Festival, April, 2014
Athens International Film Festival , April, 2014
Revelation Perth International Film Festival, July 2014
Maine International Film Festival, July 2014
Indy Film Festival, Indianapolis, July 2014
Islamic Society of North America’s Film Festival, Detroit, August, 2014
Sydney Underground Film Festival, Australia, September 2014
Landlocked Film Festival, Iowa City, September, 2014
Bright Lights Film Series, Emerson College, Boston, September, 2014
Big Bear International Film Festival, California, September, 2014
Arab Film Festival, San Francisco, October, 2014
The 15th United Nations Association Monterey Bay International Film Festival, November, 2014

[press kit]