Take a journey into the much talked about but little known American community in Mara Ahmed’s personal documentary that focuses on the Pakistani American community in Rochester.

Immediately following the broadcast, Ahmed will participate in an online chat about the production at wxxi.org/chat The Muslims I Know aims to become a dialogue between Americans who might not otherwise interact by exploring the similarities between Islam and other Abrahamic Faiths. The documentary also celebrates the cultural richness and diversity brought into the American mix by Muslim communities. By asking Pakistani Americans questions non-Muslim Americans have framed through vox pop interviews, Ahmed aims to break the stereotypes that have become well-entrenched since 9/11.

Filmmaker Ahmed, who also narrates the documentary, has a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Hartford, Connecticut, and another Master’s in Business Administration from the Institute of Business Administration in Pakistan. In spite of her training in finance and economics, Mara was always interested in writing, art, and film.

Ahmed’s film training began in 2006 at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY. She started shooting her first film, The Muslims I Know, in 2006. With the assistance Professor Cat Ashworth of the Rochester Institute of Technology, Mara went from 30-40 hours of uncut video to an hour long film during an 11-week period.

Ahmed’s production company is Neelum Films. She is a member of Rochester Women in Film and Television and of Rochester Film Lab since 2007. The Muslims I Know premiered at the Dryden Theatre in June 2008, and will broadcast on WXXI-TV as part of the Rochester High Falls International Film Festival. Check out the post-broadcast Live Chat with Mara Ahmed, Additional Questions and Answers, and the Director’s Biography on WXXI.

More information on the WXXI Website.