Arts & CultureCampus & City

Mosquers Film Festival was a success

Mosquers Film Festival is a worthwhile experience

September 21 commemorated the 14th year of the Mosquers Film Festival and Awards Show, a celebratory event designed to showcase creative talents from or about the Muslim world. In its more than 10 years of history, the festival has gained international acclaim, making it the largest western film festival centered around Muslim issues and Muslim filmmakers.

This year’s Mosquers garnered a visit from Edmonton mayor Don Iveson, who gave a speech about the incredible diversity Edmonton has to offer. He attributed this diversity to the work of its citizens such as the participants and organizers of this festival, whose efforts expose the issues facing marginalized groups like the global Muslim community. Before leaving the stage, he announced the commemoration of the film festival’s annual celebration as Mosquers Film Festival Day, a newly established municipal holiday. 

The festival attracted talent from all around the world, though it saved several spots for members of the local Edmonton Muslim community. Winning the award for Best Local Picture was a powerful spokenword piece by several young Edmontonians. The conceptual child of Ijlal Amir, Aaima Azhar, and Zainab Azhar, the film provided a visual storyline to a poem titled Foreign, written by Aaima Azhar herself. Filmed and edited in a matter of days, the film follows the identity struggle of a newly immigrated Muslim woman attempting to reconcile her heritage with her new home. 

Actress Tess Granfield left with the award for Best Performance in the short film Just One Night.  A simultaneously frustrating, heartbreaking and touching story about the struggle of two Muslim women reconciling their ideological differences with the western world in a single night out on the town. 

Director Claire Fowler cleaned the awards ceremony by simultaneously earning the People’s Choice Award, Best in Technical Quality Award, and Best Film Award for her short film Salam. The project presents a night in the life of a Lyft driver in the western world. A newly immigrated Muslim, Salam undergoes a emotional night of sisterhood while altruistically helping a seemingly ignorant woman in need, all the while waiting on potentially traumatic news from her family in Syria. In every aspect, the short deserved its praise. 

From the noire comedic stylings of Will and Dave to the disturbed psychosis of Kachrachi, the festival catered to all parts of the Muslim experience, illuminating the adversities facing the community and the ways they deal with these hardships. 

The films of the night were accompanied by the breathtaking poetic performance of Timiro Mohamed, whose poems were bound to leave you pensive and inspired. Mona Haydar, a muslim rapper famous for her viral song Hijabi sent the night off following the final film. The crowd was also lucky enough to have the night MCed by the utterly hilarious and charming Salma Hindy. 

The night was sure to have you sad cry, happy cry, and then laugh-cry by the time the event wrapped up. Be sure to keep your eyes open for next year’s events and get your tickets early because the festival is sure to please.

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