Qasim “Q” Basir is an award-winning filmmaker who often weaves autobiographical elements into his movies. He offers dynamic post-screening discussions of his films as well as engaging keynotes that explore issues of race and Islam, drawing on his experiences growing up Black and Muslim in the United States.
He directed his first feature film in 2010, MOOZ-lum, starring Nia Long, Evan Ross and Danny Glover. The coming-of-age tale about a Muslim boy going to college around the time of the September 11 attacks has received much critical acclaim, with nominations from the NAACP Image Awards and the Black Reel Awards. It won Best Narrative Feature at the 14th Annual Urban World Film Festival in New York. The film also gained international momentum, opening in over 25 countries. Given the current political climate, the film is once again in high demand as it speaks to the fear, hatred, and hostility towards Islam and Muslims, providing a powerful and complex story of what it means to be Muslim in America.
Basir’s most recent film, Destined, has won nine awards, including “Best Director” and “Best Actor” at the American Black Film Festival, as well as “Best Narrative Feature” at Urbanworld.” Destined tells the parallel stories of Sheed and Rasheed - both played by Cory Hardrict. In one world, he is a hardened criminal who has spent years building his drug empire. In another, he is an ambitious architect who has been working his way up the corporate ladder. Uniquely illustrated through parallel lives, Destined explores the idea of destiny as well as how the smallest incident can manifest itself into a life-changing event.
Basir’s forthcoming movie, A Boy, A Girl, A Dream, opens in theaters nationwide this Fall. This film takes place on the night of the 2016 Presidential election. Cass (Omari Hardwick), an L.A. club promoter, takes a thrilling and emotional journey with Frida (Meagan Good), a Midwestern visitor. She challenges him to revisit his broken dreams - while he pushes her to discover hers.
Basir’s earlier films include his first short, Glimpse, which won the Drama Category in the One Nation Film contest and The Inspiration of Barack, for which Qasim received the “Inspirational Filmmaker of the Year” award from the Memphis Black Writers Film Festival.
Qasim Basir is available to screen his films - Mooz-lum and Destined - followed by lively and engaging post-screening discussions.
He can also do keynotes and lecture presentations, drawing on his experiences as an award-winning filmmaker, exploring issues of diversity, race and Islam in film as well as growing up Black and Muslim in the United States.
Speech titles include: Pursuing Creativity with a Purpose For over 100 years of film and TV, the narrative of this country, and much of the world, has been controlled by a small group of people. And it has shaped the way people see different cultures, faiths and communities - many times, in an imbalanced way. It has only been in the last 20-30 years that more diverse voices have been able to speak their truths and contribute to the re-education of a portrayal that's been one-sided for far too long. This is the day to hear and tell the truth about who we are, in whatever medium you choose, to create a country that is meant to be "United."
Black & Muslim: From Fear to Unity The Power of our Unique Voices