They are doing so via Kickstarter. Click here to learn more about the campaign.
The movie by American production company Pecking Wilds is set in Brooklyn, New York City. A description from their Kickstarter page:
NAZ + MAALIK, an independent film
A decade into the War on Terror, two first-generation Muslim teens – friends, classmates, business partners, lovers – spend their Friday hustling the streets of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. While deciding whether to tell their community about their homosexuality, Naz and Maalik’s ambiguous and secretive relationship unknowingly sets an FBI agent on their trail. As the agent grows convinced that the boys are engaged in “violent radicalism,” her pursuit becomes increasingly menacing and the stakes surrounding the boys’ hapless hustling and lies grow. What began as a struggle to protect their sexual identities evolves into a crisis much larger – a fight to stay alive.
I first read about the movie via the Facebook page Muslims Against Homophobia and LGBT Hate.
That led me to a Huffington Post article by Yasmine Hafiz, who wrote that the movie is by director Jay Dockendorf. After hearing about the FBI’s programme of secret spying on mosques in Brooklyn, Jay wanted to speak on this issue via a movie that tells the story of how two closeted Muslim teens are affected by FBI surveillance.
Yasmine also wrote:
Dockendorf was appalled by NYPD and FBI tactics, which cast suspicion on perfectly innocent groups of people without cause. He says, “Mosques and prayer and devotion and love are beautiful things. Per NYPD rules, though, a business can be labeled a location of concern if police can expect to find groups of Middle Easterners there.”
“Mosque-goers are not committing a crime. How can you not take issue with the government spying on its own people just because they’re praying in a mosque?” he asks.
… Though the American Muslim community is becoming increasingly diverse, the problem of ignorance and bigotry towards Islam is still an issue. In that sense, American Muslims share a history of prejudice with the black and gay communities, which all intersect in this film.
“The film considers Islamophobia through the lens of homophobia and homophobia through the lens of racism,” comments Dockendorf. “I know they’re very separate issues, but for some people, real people on whom these characters are based, they’re completely linked and the balance is delicate. “
- Official site
- Vimeo.com: clip from Naz and Maalik
- Indiewire.com: Project of the Day: Two Closeted Muslim Teens Have an Afternoon Ruined By the FBI
- Indiewire.com: Congrats to ‘Naz + Maalik,’ Indiewire’s Project of the Week