School: University of Southern California
Mustafa grew up traveling between the US, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. He still marks the Polaroid camera his mom bought him for his 10th birthday as a major milestone in his life as a visual artist. In his teenage years, he shot and edited skateboarding videos of he and his friends on the streets of Cairo, Egypt, Dahran, Saudi Arabia, and Northern Arizona. Shooting these gritty digital videos continues to inspire his shooting style.
Prior to attending the School of Cinematic Arts, Mustafa attended the Zaki Gordon Institute where he created a short documentary exploring his dual American-Egyptian heritage, titled Ana Mish Fahim ( I don’t Understand) dealing with misconceptions of the Middle East and the Muslim world. This film featured a rare interview with Gihan Sadat, the widow of the late Egyptian President Anwar Al Sadat and became selected as a finalist for the Student Academy Award.
In 2010, Mustafa produced an award-winning short film out of the UCLA MFA film program, The Perfect Gentleman (Panavision New Filmmakers grant, Hollywood Foreign Press award). This project was selected by industry powerhouse Deluxe Industries for free film processing and professional color correction (DI), as part of the Deluxe Film Award grant. At the beginning of 2011, just days before the Egyptian revolution (Jan. 25th), Mustafa directed an Arabic hip hop music video in the heart of Tahrir Square in Cairo. Mustafa is currently directing his first feature length film, The I Don’t Understand Movie, based on his award winning short, Ana Mish Fahim (www.TheIDontUnderstandmovie.com), which also deals with reconciling the dual identity of an Egyptian American and adolescent angst.
Mustafa’s Message to Supporters:
I’m so humbled to have been selected for a scholarship by the ISF and MPAC. It is of great importance that our community, with the partnership of organizations such as the ISF and MPAC, continue to organize ourselves and engage the larger American community. I’m delighted to witness American Muslims refusing to have their religion and cultures be defined by misconceptions shaped by the media. Insh’Allah, in the near future, we will see a more accurate portrayal of Islam on TV and in major motion pictures. Together we can make this happen.
Mustafa is working hard making movies.