I’m Qasim Basir. I’m a filmmaker, a speaker and activist.

    I have traveled this world, seen many things and managed to make a few films about stuff I believe in. My first feature film is Mooz-Lum (2010), the coming of age tale of a Muslim boy going to college around the September 11 attacks. The film still speaks to the fear and hostility towards Islam and Muslims, providing insight into what it means to be Muslim in America. At the core of most of all this fear is ignorance. I do this work to do my part in clearing up this ignorance, and I believe in this country and what it represents. But we will never get there without doing the work.

    Let’s do the work – together. 

    I know a lot about fear. I was born and raised within the two most feared demographics in America – Black and Muslim. My parents, inspired by Malcolm X, did something bold and unique and were part of shepherding in the first large generation of its kind. They used to tell me about the movement, when they fought for their civil rights. And because of that fight, we’ve come very far. But we still have far to go. 

    There’s a new movement now. And I’ve seen a level of ignorance, fear and division that I’ve never seen in my lifetime. And I’m beginning to notice some similarities between what my parents described and where we are now. The difference is, this is not just Black peoples’ fight anymore. It’s all of ours. We cannot in good conscience say that we live in a country that is actually called ‘United’ without living up to it. And today I find myself in a unique position to speak from first-hand experience, drawing from my life, the stories of the past, and actual steps we can take to move forward for a more conscious, effective future.

    Qasim Basir is an award-winning filmmaker whose first film was NAACP Image Award Nominated MOOZ-LUM, which stars Nia Long, Evan Ross & Danny Glover.  The coming-of-age tale about a Muslim boy going to college around the September 11 attacks was released theatrically in 2011 to much critical acclaim. The film LA Times calls “Well-crafted in every aspect” was then picked up by Starz, Netflix, Amazon and also gained international momentum, opening in over 25 countries.

    Qasim is currently in post-production with his newest film, A BOY, A GIRL, A DREAM, starring Omari Hardwick and Meagan Good, about the night of the historic 2016 Presidential election; An LA club promoter falls for a woman who challenges him to revisit his broken dreams while he pushes her to discover hers.

     

     
    Testimonials

    “The presentation was excellent! Qasim connected with our audience right from the start. The students were impacted by his perspective. Many saw Islam in a very different way…The timing couldn’t have been more opportune.” — David E. Cabrera, professor, -Laredo Community College

    “Qasim is a creative force that I feel blessed to know on both personal and professional levels. He is also truly an inspiration to so many young people who have encountered obstacles in their lives. After overcoming life-threatening challenges, he became determined to become a dynamic and influential filmmaker spreading powerful and inspirational stories. To fulfill his dream, he had to overcome the fact that he is in an industry in which his identity as a Black American Muslim is almost completely absent. His perseverance inspires all he encounters including the major Hollywood stars he works with on his films.” — Amer F. Ahmed, Director of Intercultural Teaching and Faculty Development – University of Massachusetts, Amherst

    “It was one of the best events I’ve gone to in a really long time. I think the students did a great job in not only picking the movie, but bringing the director here who left the audience in awe by speaking in a way that was open, honest, real, and relatable.” — Rogelio Encizo, UCG and Student Support Advisor – Madison Area Technical College

    “Mooz-lum deserves a broad audience. In addition to being just simply a good film, with enough power to be emotionally both crushing and uplifting, it offers some much needed building blocks for American society today to develop mutual understanding across lines of faith… In Basir’s discussion of his Muslim faith and its role in his life today, I was struck by a sense of honesty and deep conviction…Basir has tackled a topic all too often treated as politically taboo by governments that manipulate religious institutions for political gain, and as religiously taboo by some religious leaders who in other contexts may have subjected Basir to exile or worse for his telling of almost unbearably ugly truths.”— Jennifer S. Bryson, Director of Operations and Development – Center for Islam and Religious Freedom(CIRF), Washington, DC