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  • Writer's pictureGlobal Ties Iowa

Stranger at the Gate: Join us for an Oscar-nominated film screening!

Global Ties Iowa, the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council, and FilmScene, with financial supporters the UI Center for Human Rights, Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, and the Religious Studies Department, are proud to present 2023 Oscar-nominated short documentary Stranger at the Gate!  


This program will include a free small popcorn and a Q&A discussion with filmmaker Josh Seftel and two of the film’s primary subjects, Bibi Bahrami and Richard “Mac” McKinney. Our very own Amy Alice Chastain, Executive Director, will be hosting the event. Please plan to join us and invite your community! 



Stranger at the Gate 

MARCH 24, 2024, 3:30PM - 4:30PM 

FILMSCENE AT THE CHAUNCEY   

DOORS OPEN AT 3:00PM - FREE POPCORN! 


“An Afghan refugee named Bibi Bahrami – and the members of her little Indiana mosque –  come face to face with a U.S. Marine who has secret plans to bomb their community center. But Mac McKinney's plan takes an unexpected turn. Directed by Joshua Seftel, 'STRANGER AT THE GATE' is a story of grace, transformation, and hope.” 




About our Q&A Guest Speakers 


Joshua Seftel is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker who received his first Emmy nomination at age 22 with his documentary Lost and Found about Romania’s orphaned children. The film led to the American adoption of thousands of Romanian orphans. Stranger at the Gate, Executive Produced by Malala Yousafzai and nominated for an Academy Award® in 2023, is the latest film in Seftel’s Emmy and Peabody-nominated Secret Life of Muslims project (SXSW), which combats Islamophobia with filmmaking and have more than 70 million views to date. Seftel, who experienced antisemitism as a child, has been committed to working on this subject matter for the past seven years. He is also a contributor to the Peabody Award-winning podcast This American Life and The New York Times.   


Bibi Bahrami was born and raised in Behsood, Afghanistan. She came to Muncie, Indiana in 1986 as a refugee to join her husband, Dr. Saber Bahrami, where they raised 6 beautiful children and have both been an active part of their community for over 36 years. After learning English and earning her GED, she went on to receive her art degree from Ball State University. In 2002, she founded and became president of her own nonprofit organization, AWAKEN, (Afghan Women’s And Kids’ Education & Necessities), in order to give back to the Afghan women and children she left behind. AWAKEN has made a difference in the education and health care for thousands of Afghan women and children for over a decade. Last year, Bibi founded MARRC (Muncie Afghan Refugee Resettlement Committee), a sub-committee under AWAKEN. Through MARRC, Bibi brought the entire community together to assist with the dire need of resettlement of 137 Afghan refugees to help them thrive in Muncie. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her charitable work, including the Indiana Women of Achievement Award and Ball State’s International Development Award. Her lifelong commitment to the service of others has made a difference in the local and international community, and most recently she was nominated for an Academy Award with the film "Stranger At the Gate," which shares a message of the strength of kindness to change lives.   


Richard “MAC’ McKinney is a U.S. Marine Corps and Army Veteran. After 25 years in the armed services, and several tours in the Middle East, a Marine and Army veteran named Richard McKinney came back to the U.S. filled with rage towards Muslims. In what he viewed as a final mission for his country, McKinney planned and built an IED to blow up the Muncie Islamic Center. Then, a fateful trip to the Mosque, where he was welcomed by the local Muslim community, changed the course of his life; and eventually he became the President and leader of the Mosque. He has since begun a new mission, called “From Hate to Understanding,” where he travels and speaks about his journey and changing the narrative. 

 

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