Mooz-Lum director Qasim Basir steps from behind the camera and into the spotlight (Press)
A lot goes into making an independent movie. Beyond securing budgets (or the lack thereof), talent and equipment, it takes a lot of patience and perseverance to actually see a screenplay go from just words on a page to a finished reel. Still, the best most indie filmmakers can hope for are a few screenings on the film fest circuit and critical acclaim, but that wasnâ€™t enough for writer/director Qasim â€œQâ€ Basir.
Not only did Basir get to complete his first feature film, Mooz-Lum, but the 30-year-old Michigan native secured an all-star castâ€”including Nia Long, Danny Glover, Evan Ross, Roger Guenveur Smith and Dorian Missickâ€”and a direct distribution deal with AMC Theatres for his independent picture. Promoted primarily through social media and word of mouth, Mooz-Lum, which took home Best Narrative Feature honors at last yearâ€™s Urbanworld Film Festival, garnered so much public support that Eventful reached out to Basir about distributing the film along with AMC, which is virtually unheard of for a non-mainstream project and a first-time feature director.
â€œEventful has worked with films that have been part of a studio and AMC has too,â€ Basir explains. â€œBut there hasnâ€™t been an independent film thatâ€™s had Eventful.com as a primary marketing partner and literally we open in the top 10 cities that demand the film.â€
Thanks to this groundbreaking distribution deal, Mooz-Lum, which tells the coming of age story of a young Muslim American man trying to find a balance between his faith and the secular world, opens today (February 11) in limited release. In the midst of drumming up moviegoer turnout for opening weekend, Basir sat down with BLACKENTERPRISE.COM to share tips for aspiring filmmakers looking to get their film on the silver screen. â€”Anslem Samuel
Anslem Samuel, Senior Producer, has been a culture critic and entertainment journalist for over 10 years. After a four-year stint as Culture Editor at The Source, the New York native became the founding Editor-in-Chief of The Ave, an independent quarterly publication that combined entertainment, social issues and politics. From there, he served as the Senior Editor for XXL magazine for three years before moving up the ranks to Digital Content Director for XXLMag.com. Also heading up an award-winning relationship blog, he now brings his lifestyle expertise to BlackEnterprise.com