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Hot Shots: Omar Majeed: Muslim punk

Muslim punk

Omar Majeed

Occupation: Filmmaker, Eye Steel Film

Schooling: York University, International Academy of Design for video editing

In a few weeks Omar Majeed will be road-tripping across America guerrilla-style shooting his latest film project, Taqwacore, a low-budget indie doc about Muslim punks. "After 9/11, I started to become interested in my own thoughts, feelings and confusions about Islamic issues – all the things I think most Muslims went through in the West," says Majeed.

For the award-winning director (he already has a Gemini under his belt), formerly a CityTV producer, financing this latest film is still an uphill battle. Majeed works days with local indie company Eye Steel Film doing post-production on documentaries.

What were your formative experiences? Even before I started falling in love with cinema, it was more the technology and tools I gravitated towards. My dad always had to have the best new technologies, and when we were kids, my brother and me would make silly little films, parodies with his cameras. I think one of our better ones involved a guy with secret powers who could make things disappear, including his family.

How did you come to be doing what you do? I dropped out of York film school after three years. I learned how to edit on Avid at the International Academy of Design. Eventually I worked at CityTV in Toronto. That was really my film school. When I got to Montreal I worked with the NFB through the Reel Diversity program, which is how I started working on the early stages of my latest documentary. Then I hooked up with Eye Steel Film.

Why do you love it? The truthful answer is I don’t really know – 95 per cent of it is ulcer inducing. But I guess it’s never routine. Making a film is like hanging out with the crazy friend in screwball comedies who takes you to places you wouldn’t expect to go. I’m not the kind of guy in my normal life who would find himself in Harlem at 3 a.m. in the morning with a bunch of Muslim punks! But because of this project it forces me out of my shell and into these situations.

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  • by Judith Wilkinson Dodd - November 10, 2010, 10:39 pm

    I saw the film Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Rock. Who’s idea was it to place the American flag on the floor (inside of your bus) so that anyone entering your bus would have to walk over the flag? I want to tell you that you have this America to protect you and your kind. I am likewise protected. You need to tell me that you will get the U.S. flag off the ground and quit walking on it. My family came to America to establish their own church. They were persecuted. My family in the Revolution 1776 fought for our present day freedom. I am a Daughter of The American Revolution. I can only be a daughter by my family being in The American Revolution. My ancestor was a Col. (Wilkinson) and married the Col. daughter (a grandmother of mine) They were aids to Gen George Washington. I am a Baptist and a Born Again (that means accepting Christ as my Savior) My Uncle is a 3 purple heart and fought in the Phillipines in WW2. I was an on call nurse for the Desert Storm. Their is someone in our family always to help out our America, not one of us would do this to our flag. You all need to have loyalty to the flag, it protects you. Look me up on Facebook as Juditth Dodd, Let me know what you all are up to and is the band still together? I like you Omar for doing this film. It was a serious untertaking of the band to be like they are; Muslin, in a Muslin country….and Punk Rockers. Get the flag off the floor, tell them for me. Judith Wilkinson Dodd, Hillsville, Va.

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