My Fellow American is an online film and social media project that calls upon concerned Americans to pledge and spread a message that Muslims are our fellow Americans. It asks people of other backgrounds to pledge, and share a real life story about a Muslim friend, neighbor, or colleague that they admire. Using the power of social media, My Fellow American seeks to change the narrative - from Muslims as the other, to Muslims as our fellow Americans.
Most Americans have never met an American Muslim. Many only know Muslims through the way they are portrayed in the media. American Muslims are so often vilified as "the other" that it is possible not to recognize that most were born in the U.S. Or that those who immigrated here came seeking the same freedoms and opportunities that have always attracted people to America.
Muslims are our fellow Americans, who today face threats to their civil rights and even their personal safety because of the fearful and often hateful rhetoric that would not be tolerated were it uttered about any other minority group.
About Unity Productions Foundation (UPF)
My Fellow American is a project of Unity Productions Foundation (www.upf.tv), a 501©3 media and education non profit organization. The mission of Unity Productions Foundation (UPF) is to create peace through the media. Founded in 1999, UPF produces documentary films for television and online broadcast and theatrical release, and implements long-term educational campaigns aimed at increasing understanding between people of different faiths and cultures, especially between Muslims and other faiths. We are convinced of the power of media to empower citizens with greater understanding and to nourish pluralism in America.
UPF films have been viewed by an estimated 150 million people worldwide and have won dozens of national and international awards. UPF has partnered with prominent Jewish, Muslim, Christian and interfaith groups to run dialogues nationwide - with more than 80,000 participants in classrooms, community centers, living rooms, government offices and religious congregations.
Year after year, UPF's films are recognized for excellence:
- Best Documentary at the 2007 American Black Film Festival
- 5 Telly Awards for excellence in educational documentaries
- 11 TIVA-DC Peer Awards, including Best Documentary
- Hamburg World Media Film Festival's Gold and Silver Awards
- 4 CINE Golden Eagle Awards
- 4 Grand Goldies Awards
- Newark Black Film Festival's 2008 Paul Robeson Award
- Official Selection of 2 dozen film festivals around the world
About the Film
My Fellow American was produced by Unity Productions Foundation in association with Gardner Films, Inc (www.gardnerfilms.com). It was directed by the Oscar-nominated, multiple Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker, Robert Gardner. Unity Productions Foundation has collaborated with Gardner Films on several previous projects, including the PBS documentary, Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain and a documentary based on the Gallup Poll of the Muslim world called Inside Islam: What A Billion Muslims Really Think.
My Fellow American was shot in Baltimore using some of the personnel who worked on the popular television series, The Wire. The voices heard in the film are actual excerpts found on youtube, and were a small sample of such comments from various public figures, including law makers, radio and television personalities, and leading religious leaders.
My Fellow American was made possible by the support of individuals and charitable organizations including the Odyssey Networks, a media organization delivering videos of interfaith news beyond the headlines and inspirational stories of faith in action.