Fan Film, Fan Films

Controversial Star Wars Fan Filmmaker Wins $25,000

star wars fan film winnerFilmmaker Nabil Abou-Harb recently won Link TV’s One Nation Many Voices Online Film Contest with his original short film, , a comedic, if moderately controversial, take on the atmosphere of post-9/11 U.S.

Georgia-based Abou-Harb began making movies six years ago when he lensed the never-completed fan film, while in high school. Only the trailer was ever finished, but that was enough to earn him a $35,000 Francis McLarkin Scholarship from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Now his 2007 comic short, Arab in America, has won Link TV’s contest, nabbing a $20,000 Grand Prize, an additional $5,000 for “Best Assignment” and a FLIP camera. Not everyone’s laughing, however; according to, religion writer Barbara Falconer Newhall refused to cover the film on her blog, noting, “As a non-Muslim, I was offended by the way this video stereotypes non-Muslims as ignorant and biased; I fear that my readers would react the same way, making things worse, not better, for Muslims in America.”


Here’s the plot, according to Link TV:

“Arab in America” chronicles the journey of an American-born character named, “Osama Ahmed Abou-Bakr” and his plight to find a job in America’s post-9/11 atmosphere.
The story highlights the hardships of Middle Easterners and Muslims living in the United States of America. The character, “Osama”, a recent college graduate, cannot get anyone to hire him so he resorts to a drastic measure: he changes his name from “Osama Ahmed Abou-Bakr” to the more appealing “Samuel Adam Baker”. Instantly, he’s offered a high-paying job at a prestigious company. However, concealing his true identity turns into a daunting task that unfortunately “Sam” cannot keep up and eventually comes clean.
The script is loosely based on real-life events that continue to plague Nabil’s cousin, Nidal Abo-Hareb, his father, Zouheir Abou-Harb, his brother, Osama Abou-Harb, and himself.

The folks at Link TV aren’t the only ones who like the short; the flick has also screened at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and the Arabian Sights Film Festival in Washington, D.C., where it nabbed the Audience Award for Best Short Film.

Like this story? Tell the world:

Comments are closed.

RSS for Posts RSS for Comments