"Potent" American Arab gets new review, festivals

American Arab continues to generate critical acclaim and festival buzz, including two upcoming festival appearances and a glowing review from the American Library Association. In a new review published in the ALA's Booklist magazine earlier this month, author Donald Liebenson called American Arab "a potent discussion starter," writing, "this perceptive video tells a universal story about immigrants’ struggles to assimilate and seek the often elusive promise of the American dream." American Arab is available for distribution to educational institutions via The Cinema Guild. Continued

"People need to be able to feel like they're complicated." - Usama Alshaibi on American Arab

Ahead of the film's Chicago premiere at Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF) on April 6th, American Arab director Usama Alshaibi has been in the local press talking about the film's exploration of race, identity and cultural stereotypes, and arguing "what it means to be American needs to be reexamined." Talking with fellow filmmaker Carlos Jiménez Flores in the Chicago Reader, Usama states: Continued

Chicago homecoming and Heartland fests for American Arab

American Arab comes home to a much anticipated Chicago premiere on April 6th at the 21st Annual Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF). Get tickets here. American Arab is this year's CUFF closing night film and will screen at The Logan Theater at 8pm. Director Usama Alshaibi - a regular at CUFF with his previous experimental works, including 2006 CUFF Best Documentary Feature award-winner Nice Bombs - will return to his former hometown for the screening. Continued

See previews of our new work at The Post Family's Comfort Station residency

At 7pm on March 12, Kartemquin filmmakers will show clips of new films and invite discussion with the audience as part of The Post Family's curatorial residency at Comfort Station, a multi-disciplinary art space situated in in the heart of Logan Square, Chicago. The audience at this free event will be able to see sneak peeks and discuss these new films - all yet to premiere in Chicago - with the filmmakers and Kartemquin's executive director Justine Nagan and director of communications and distribution Tim Horsburgh. The featured films are: Almost There, presented by co-director Dan Rybicky. The Homestretch, presented by editor Leslie Simmer. Continued

Big Sky to host North American premiere of American Arab

American Arab will have its North American premiere at the Big Sky Documentary Festival in Missoula, Montana on February 22nd. Director Usama Alshaibi will attend the screening. American Arab is a "Coming of Arab" story in which Iraqi-American filmmaker Usama Alshaibi shares his own story of experiencing racism in post-9/11 America. Showcasing the diversity of Arabs living in the United States, American Arab sparks a frank conversation about identity and perception, and argues for giving people "the space to be complicated." The film is also confirmed for the 32nd Annual CAAMFest (March 13-23, 2014), in California's Bay Area. Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) is a funder of the film. Continued

IDFA success for American Arab

Kartemquin has sold all rights in the international marketplace (minus the US) for our latest documentary, American Arab, to Cargo Film & Releasing. New York-based international documentary film sales agent Cargo Film & Releasing struck the deal with Kartemquin following the IDFA 2013 (International Documentary Festival Amsterdam) world premiere of Iraqi-born director Usama Alshaibi’s provocative, personal look at look at the contradictions of Arab identity in post 9/11 America. Negotiations were finalized at IDFA late on Monday November 23rd by Cargo’s David Piperni, and Kartemquin’s Gordon Quinn, Justine Nagan and American Arab director Usama Alshaibi. Continued

American Arab poster and trailer revealed

Usama Alshaibi's American Arab will have its World Premiere this Friday, November 22 at IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam), the world's largest documentary film festival. Iraqi-American director Usama Alshaibi who has spent 4 years working on the film, a personal, provocative documentary that deals with US attitudes to Arabs after 9/11, American Arab weaves his own story which encompasses racist violence, death, humor, and rebirth with that of other Arab Americans. Continued

IDFA schedules set for 3 Kartemquin Films

IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam), the world's largest documentary film festival, is just one week away. We are honored to have three films at the festival, and have compiled the full schedules for each film below. Usama Alshaibi's American Arab will have its World Premiere at IDFA; Dan Rybicky and Aaron Wickenden's Almost There has been selected to deliver a Central Pitch at the 2013 IDFA Forum; and The Trials of Muhammad Ali, directed by Bill Siegel, will have its European Premiere at IDFA. Continued