Newsroom

MediaLab returns with a new groundbreaking documentary in April

By Katie Baumann '14

The award winning MediaLab is proud to present its newest film, “Beyond Burkas and Bombers: Anti Muslim Sentiment in America,” premiering during Pacific Lutheran University’s School of Arts + Communication (SOAC) annual Focus Series, under this year's theme: "Empowerment."

With this production, filmmakers JuliAnne Rose ’13 and Heather Perry ’13 have set out to open a discussion about a largely marginalized portion of American society, explore how Islam is defined in America, and to counter negative impressions and stereotypes.

“The statistic that prompted us to pursue this topic was from a 2010 TIME Magazine poll that stated that 62 percent of Americans claim to have never met a Muslim,” Rose said. 

Upon reading this, Rose knew that the main objective of the film needed to be the simple act of introducing the audience to average American Muslims, from different walks of life and backgrounds to help bridge this gap and create personal connections.

Throughout the course of the documentary, the filmmakers crafted a story that follows the day-to-day journey of an average American couple, finishing up their undergraduate degrees and beginning their life journey as a married pair. They also happen to be Muslim.

Surrounding this narrative, the audience will hear from academics, students, comedians and politicians from around the nation and, in some instances, the world.

“It was hearing their personal stories that made this problem so important and personal for me,” Rose said.

Rose and Perry have been hard at work since the fall of 2012, putting the finishing touches on the documentary to prepare it for this spring’s premiere on April 11.

“The journey of this project has been long and difficult from redirection and sleepless nights to endless technical problems, but as the final pieces are coming together it is exciting to see all our hard work pay off in a product we can truly be proud of,” Rose said.

To increase accessibility, the documentary will be streamed live at plu.edu/soac. Additionally, the audience is encouraged to tweet throughout the premiere, sharing their thoughts, feelings and reactions to what they see on screen, using the hashtag #beyondbombers.

“Our goal with this documentary is to open the discussion and prompt dialogue,” Rose said. “We wanted to be able to reach an audience outside just our own community to help open the discussion.”

After months of hard work, "Beyond Burkas and Bombers" will premiere on April 11 at 7 p.m. in the Studio Theater in the Karen Hille Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Please visit http://www.plu.edu/~ml for more information.