» Catalyst Series
Iraqi Voices: Mini Film Fest

The Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project, Tru Ruts, and Intermedia Arts present
Iraqi Voices: Mini Film Fest
An Evening of Films Written and Directed by Iraqi-Minnesotan Refugees & Immigrants
Part of Brown CINEMA Café

Iraqi Voices: Mini Film Fest is a series of short documentary films written and directed by Iraqi-Minnesotan refugees and immigrants, photographed and edited by Nathan Fisher. Iraqi Voices is a collaborative art program operated by the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project that gives Iraqi immigrants and refugees in Minnesota an artistic platform to share their stories.

The Films:

Zaid Alshammaa
with Jamal Ali and Nathan Fisher

As he gets a haircut on a summer Sunday afternoon in suburban Minneapolis, a young Iraqi man recalls a traumatic experience from his childhood. (6 mins / 2014)

Jamal Ali
with Nathan Fisher

An Iraqi engineer compares his experiences as a student in Oklahoma in the late 1970s with being a refugee in Minnesota thirty years later. (5 mins / 2014)

Adnan Shati
with Yahya Ebrahem and Nathan Fisher

An Iraqi actor discusses the Friday demonstrations in Baghdad. (7 mins / 2015)

Nathan Fisher
with Adnan Shati, Dr. Azar Maluki, Ishaq Maluki

An Iraqi physician is in Minnesota on a one-year research fellowship while his colleagues are being systematically assassinated back home. (9 mins / 2015)

Ali Alshammaa
with Nathan Fisher

A man born in Iraq in the 1950s reflects on a life in exile. (7 mins / 2014)

Jamal Ali and Amel Al-Sammarraie
with Nathan Fisher

Our Iraq dismantles caricatures of Iraqis and Muslims in the United States. In the film, an Iraqi American sculptor rebuilds what extremists have destroyed, Muslims pray at a Catholic church in Minneapolis, refugees own a St. Paul neighborhood grocery, and a public school administrator becomes the first Muslim woman to win an election in Minnesota. (15 mins / 2016)

with Nathan Fisher

A university-aged PTSD survivor from Iraq is about to begin medical school in the United States. She asks: what is more American than the freedom of speech? (5 min / 2012)

Naser Ameen
with Nathan Fisher

A young man who just moved to the United States talks about stereotypes that he had about Americans, and that Americans have about him. (4 min / 2012)

Dig Deeper ...

Pre-Screening Panel Discussion

September 15, 2017 | Friday | 6-6:30PM

Join us before the Friday screening for a thought-provoking discussion with Iraqi Voices filmmakers Naser Ameen and Dr. Azar Maluki, moderated by Tricia Heuring, Public Functionary's Co-Director/Curator.



Naser Ameen was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1985. After moving to Jordan he graduated from the Royal Jordanian Air Academy as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer. He moved to Minnesota in 2009 with his family as a refugee. His first job in Minnesota was pushing carts at Target, after which he became a medical interpreter and now works as an aircraft mechanic. He married his wife Asra in 2013 and has a beautiful daughter named Dalia.

Tricia Heuring is a curator, arts organizer and educator living in Minneapolis. Tricia was born in Thailand and spent formative years in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. As a mixed-race/multi-cultural American, a hybrid identity draws her to advocate for inclusive artistic platforms through which we can explore our own complexity and find common ground with others. She is a co-founder of Public Functionary, a Northeast Minneapolis based non-profit contemporary art gallery, through which she is developing alternative ways for a modern curator to be a catalyst, an innovator, and a change agent in support of equity in the art world.

Her work with the Iraqi American Reconciliation Project spans back to 2010 when she began to develop a contemporary art program for the nonprofit social justice based organization, bridging American and Iraqi artist perspectives in response to the war and personalizing relationships through art. Tricia led several curatorial projects including group exhibitions; Navigating the Aftermath at the Regis Center for the Arts in 2011; Not About Bombs which focused on Iraqi women artists at Intermedia Arts in early 2012 and at The National Veteran’s Art Museum in Chicago in 2013. Since 2014, she has supported the Iraqi Voices film and theater programs through art direction, consulting and program evaluation.

Nathan Fisher is the creative director of Northern Monday Films. He has an MA in Media Studies with an emphasis in documentary video production from the New School for Public Engagement. He is the director of The Unreturned (2010), an award-winning feature-length documentary shot in Syria and Jordan. Since 2012, he has been working with the local Twin Cities Iraqi community to produce a series of short films.

Dr. Azar Maluki MD, was born in Najaf, Iraq.  He is a board-certified dermatologist, and was a consultant physician and professor at the University of Kufa, Iraq.  He is married to Shaymaa Jakjook (M.Sc., Geography) and has two sons (ages 17 and 13) and one eight-year-old daughter. Azar first visited Minneapolis in 2011 and 2013 with a delegation of Iraqi health professionals as part of the exchange visits between Najaf and Minneapolis organized by the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project. He arrived in Minneapolis with his family in 2015 and joined the Dermatology Imaging Center in the Department of Dermatology at the UMN-Twin Cities Campus as a Research Fellow. He focuses on the detection of stealth pathogen infections in humans using immunohistochemistry and advanced skin imaging technologies. Azar also works closely with the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project (IARP, US) and Muslim Peacemaker Teams (MPT, Iraq) to support peace and people-to-people communication between Iraq and the U.S.  Recently, in collaboration with American and Iraqi Minnesotan friends, he helped establish IARP’s “Muslim-Christian Dialogue Team”, to build bridges of dialogue and cultural understanding between Muslim and Christian communities in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Dr. Maluki has directed one short documentary film as part of the Iraqi Voices project.

ABOUT IRAQI VOICES | http://iraqiartproject.org/iraqi-voices
Iraqi Voices is a collaborative arts lab run by the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project, which gives Twin Cities-based Iraqi refugees and immigrants an artistic platform to share their stories. Participants work with filmmaker Nathan Fisher to write and direct documentary films about topics important to them. Watch more Iraqi Voices films here


ABOUT BROWN CINEMA CAFE | IntermediaArts.org/brown-cinema-cafe 
Brown CINEMA Café is a film series presented by Tru Ruts and Intermedia Arts featuring films by and about communities of color.


The Minneapolis-based Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project engages Iraqis and Americans in the arts, education, and cultural and professional exchanges in an effort to counter negative stereotypes, strengthen cultural awareness and understanding, and provide a platform for cross-cultural dialogue.


ABOUT TRU RUTS | truruts.com
Tru Ruts is an artistic organization based in Minneapolis with a history of high caliber artistic work ranging from films to theatre performances, a record label to workshops and residencies. Tru Ruts projects include Freestyle Theatre, Foto Libre, Speakeasy Records and others.



This activity is made possible with support from The Carolyn Foundation and by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, and a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota

A Part of Intermedia Arts' Catalyst Series