$15 – $20

FIRST PERSON PLURAL - film screening at NOVA with Q&A discussion

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North Virginia Community College

AA-196 Auditorium (Free Parking B3 Parking Ramp)

5000 Dawes Ave

Alexandria, VA 22311

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Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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WATCH MOVIE TRAILER (1:39)

Join us for a special preview screening of FIRST PERSON PLURAL, a new scripted feature film starring actors Faysal Ahmed (CAPT PHILLIPS, SICARIO 2), Amanda Day (THE SEEKER), Pearce Bunting (BOARDWALK EMPIRE), activist-filmmaker Fathia Absie (EatWithMuslims.org), and writer Ahmed Ismail Yusuf (THE LION’S BINDING OATH).

 Following the film, director Eric Tretbar will host a Q&A discussion about the film's issues and production. (Film running time is 92 minutes.)

FIRST PERSON PLURAL is the story of two Minneapolis filmmakers—the son of a Somali imam and daughter of a white Baptist preacher—who fall in love on Thanksgiving Day and bring together their estranged families for Thanksgiving dinner. With a cautionary twist, this story of happy love and sad love expresses hope and tolerance at a time when we need them most.


EVENT TIMELINE

6:30pm DOORS
7:00pm SCREENING
8:45pm Q&A Discussion

FIRST PERSON PLURAL was developed with actors, artists, composers and musicians from the Twin Cities’ thriving Somali, film, theater and music communities. With empathy and humor, the film shows two families grappling with doubt and imperfection to discover their common conflicts of love. 

Created before our eyes by its film making characters, FIRST PERSON PLURAL takes us inside the creative process—of Cinema, belief, and love—showing how the images we create and consume can bring understanding, but also destruction.

FAQs


Is there free parking?

Yes! There is FREE PARKING in the B3 parking lot (Dawes Garage) on the college campus. Enter ramp from Dawes Avenue. Film screening is in AA-196 auditorium across the street from parking ramp.

Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

No, but the film is PG-13, with adult situations that may be beyond pre-teen children, including kissing scenes, brief depictions of violence, and brief language.

What language is the film in? Are there subtitles? 


The film is in English, with some Somali phrases. There are no subtitles.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?


You can bring a printed ticket or show your e-ticket on your phone upon entering.


Is my ticket refundable?


Yes, until Friday, Feb 21, 2020 (the day before the event). The Eventbrite ticketing fee is not refundable, however.


STORY SYNOPSIS


When Faysal and Bettina meet in a camera store, their painful Thanksgiving plans are pleasantly interrupted by love at first sight. They dive into a lively discussion of life, love and their personal filmmaking styles. Both children of clergy, they’re consumed by questions of doubt and faith in their family traditions, and in their own traditions of Cinema.

As the lovers' plans converge, so do their Thanksgiving film projects, revealing unexpected truths as they remove their camera masks and step in front of each other's lenses. In filming each other, they see themselves. But the closer they become, the more their families begin to intervene. Their little brothers are spying on them, angered at their worldly ways and interaction with perceived enemies. Faysal is angry to be judged by his little brother whose condemnations rekindle his own self-judgement. Bettina also judges herself harshly, still anguished over the family and church she left long ago.

Faysal invites Bettina to dinner at his parents’ apartment, and she accepts. Little does she know her family has tracked her down, her mother intent on reuniting her estranged children. Soon, the two families are thrown together for an impromptu meeting of cultures and rituals that will test their love and belief. In the end, it is Cinema itself that expresses hope--that a story of sad love might begin again and go a different way, a better way.

PROJECT BACKGROUND

Director, Eric Tretbar, developed FIRST PERSON PLURAL with actor Faysal Ahmed and writer and playwright Ahmed Ismail Yusuf, who plays The Imam. 
Tretbar discusses the project’s process:


“Political extremism was on the rise, and we asked ourselves how we could counteract the grim caricatures that demogogues use to divide us. We began with two families so often portrayed as enemies—one Muslim, one Christian. But before the families meet, their oldest children fall in love at first sight, an undeniable bond even demagogues can’t question. Looking through their cameras into each other’s eyes, we participate in the birth of their love. Throughout the film, characters reveal their intimate selves and realities, encouraging viewers to see themselves in people who might at first look unfamiliar.”


“FIRST PERSON PLURAL also documents the ever-changing realities of its Minneapolis setting. Culturally, the story’s two families represent a new Minnesota that, in the last decade, has become home to the largest Somali community in North America. Set in this increasingly international area, FIRST PERSON PLURAL points beyond the Midwest toward the many conflicts now threatening to take shape around the world. While posing questions about interfaith understanding, gun control and the exploitation of vulnerable youth, it’s also a story of happy love that shows that love can conquer all. But there’s sad love, too, reminding us that love is fragile, and needs our care and courage."

"Aesthetically, this project allowed us to explore the changing language of Cinema. The lovers, their brothers and family members each use a specific image device that identifies them to viewers and shows not only what they see but how. As it moves from character to character, the film collects individual first-person points of view to build a plural portrait of each family, moving from ‘I’ to ‘We’, and thus the film's title FIRST PERSON PLURAL.”

“Through the images of these families and their film-making children, FIRST PERSON PLURAL brings viewers inside the conflicts of desire and belief common to all families. What it ultimately expresses are the many paradoxes of love.”


FIRST PERSON PLURAL - CREDITS

USA / 2019 / Winter Light Films / 92 min / drama / color+b/w



Written and directed by Eric Tretbar. Starring Faysal Ahmed (Sicario 2, Captain Phillips) and Amanda Day (The Seeker). With writer Ahmed Ismail Yusuf (A Crack in The Sky, The Lion’s Binding Oath), filmmaker and poet Fathia Absie (The Lobby), Pearce Bunting (Boardwalk Empire), Mikey Johnson (Supermoto), Barkhad Abdirahman (Fargo, A Stray), and Guthrie Theater great, Michelle O'Neill. With music by Somali pop stars Nimco Jamaac and Nibo Hudon, Ethiopian superstar Gizachew Ligabaw, traditional songs by Abdi Salam and Fathia Absie, sitar by Mark Ilaud, and score by Helsinki composer Alex Freeman.




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Date and Time

Location

North Virginia Community College

AA-196 Auditorium (Free Parking B3 Parking Ramp)

5000 Dawes Ave

Alexandria, VA 22311

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 1 day before event

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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