Director Jay Dockendorf was appalled when he found out about the FBI’s program of secret spying on mosques in Brooklyn a few years ago. In a post-9/11 world, tensions are still high regarding Muslims in New York City – and well, the United States as a whole – over a decade later. As a result, Dockendorf became inspired.
An upcoming independent film Naz + Maalik follows two closeted Muslim teens as they go about their day in Bed-stuy, Brooklyn. While it’s a day in the life of two lovers, it’s also described as “a love letter to the grit and color of Brooklyn; a cold-eyed reflection on the effects of surveillance and the War on Terror; a film about the parallels and paradoxes of national and sexual identities.”
To make the film’s screenplay as authentic as possible, Dockendorf interviewed Muslims throughout Brooklyn, including a handful of closeted individuals who still conceal their sexuality from their conservative (and some say, oppressive) communities.
While shooting has completed, Dockendorf still needs funds to complete post production so he launched a Kickstarter campaign which as of today has raised over $31,000 of the $35,000 goal.