School: Chapman University Dodge College of Film & Media Arts
Sponsor: Sharif Family
Duaa H. Alwan’s perspectives on Film are rooted in her unique experiences, because in addition to both her study and work in the industry, Duaa’s interaction with the core issues of multiple cultures and communities has been a distinctively organic, ground-level undertaking. From her birthplace of Edinburgh UK, through her school years in Saudi Arabia, to her twenty-plus years in the United States, Duaa’s background has given her access to diverse communities, each with their own experiences with film and media. Harnessing the power of her many hats … student of film, wife and mother, scout leader, teacher, youth counselor, public speaker, activist, director, editor, lecturer… Duaa seeks to create new prominence in film for the overwhelmingly positive middle ground that people of all faiths, ages, walks of life, and viewpoints already share. She holds an undergraduate degree in Film and Media Arts Production, and is currently a second year graduate student at Chapman University Dodge College of Film & Media Arts. With plans to complete a PhD in the same field, her study of film is driven by a strong conviction that film is one of the most powerful tools to promote understanding among cultures. Film is an art with a universal language that touches people and leaves its mark on them for generations to come. Her goals are to offer new filmmakers perspectives on Muslim values and expressions in film beyond whining about stereotypes, to create a support system that will give permanent and mainstream roots to the young Muslim American film industry, and also provide a scholarly insider’s reference point for the industry, within the US and abroad.
Duaa’s Message to Supporters:
I am grateful that we have in our community outstanding individuals and organizations who understand how critical it is for Muslim Americans to not only be present in the film arena but also to be supported and backed by community leaders. It is very encouraging to see the shift in our priorities through actions like that of the ISF and the financial support of their donors, far beyond the traditional support through trendy slogans. Essentially, ISF and its donors really put their money where their mouth is, and I sincerely appreciate it. I pray that such genuine effort grows and blossoms year after year. My utmost gratitude is extended to those pioneering individuals who make scholarships possible in unrepresented fields, an investment with depth and vision that shall only yield positive results for our global communities.
Duaa graduated in 2010 and is a Film consultant , researcher and presenter at Hollywood Muslim Exchange.