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Hamtramck, USA

Through the exploration of daily life and democracy in America's first Muslim-majority city, Hamtramck, USA examines the benefits and tensions of multiculturalism.

  • Razi Jafri
  • Justin Feltman
  • Razi Jafri
  • Justin Feltman
  • Doug Blush
    Icarus, The Invisible War, 20 feet from Stardom
  • Luther Clement-Lam
    Stay Close, Showman
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Election, Culture, Social Justice
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 21 minutes 33 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 15, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    250,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    Arabic, Bengali, English
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • SXSW 2020
    United States
    March 14, 2020
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Sarasota Film Festival
    Sarasota, Florida
    United States
    March 31, 2020
    Florida Premiere
    Official Selection
  • DOXA Documentary Film Festival
    June 18, 2020
    Canadian Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Melbourne Documentary Film Festival
    June 30, 2020
    Australian Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    United States
    November 6, 2020
  • CAAMFest
    San Francisco, CA
    United States
    October 14, 2020
    California Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Virginia Film Festival
    Charlottesville, VA
    United States
    October 21, 2020
    Virginia Premiere
    Programmer's Award for Best Documentary Feature
  • Fayetteville Film Festival
    Fayetteville, AR
    United States
    November 5, 2020
    Southern Premier
    Official Selection
  • Essex DocFest
    Colchester, Essex
    United Kingdom
    October 29, 2020
    UK Premiere
    Official Selection
Distribution Information
  • Grasshopper Films
    Country: United States
    Rights: Internet, Video on Demand, Video / Disc
  • PBS' America Reframed
    Country: United States
    Rights: Free TV
Director Biography - Razi Jafri, Justin Feltman

Justin Feltman graduated from Pacific Union College, where he studied Film and Business Administration with a Marketing emphasis, building an understanding of the art and business of filmmaking.
Justin has worked on several independent films and documentaries such as Napa Valley Dreams and CHECK IT. He has produced several short films, a web series, music videos, and promotional videos for small businesses, political campaigns, and nonprofits. Justin is also interested in photojournalism and had work featured in Huffington Post. He, along with co-director, Razi Jafri, is directing and producing his first feature documentary film, Hamtramck, USA, about democracy in America’s first Muslim majority city.

Razi Jafri is a Detroit-based documentary photographer and filmmaker whose work focuses on ethnicity, religion, culture, immigration, democracy, and the changing cultural landscape in America. He is currently project manager and photographer at the Center for Arab American Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, where he is curating and managing an exhibit series focused on Muslim visibility in southeast Michigan. The exhibits will be shown in multiple locations across the region through the end of 2021. He, along with co-director, Justin Feltman, is directing and producing his first feature documentary film, Hamtramck, USA, about democracy in America’s first Muslim majority city. Razi's journalism work has been featured in the Detroit Free Press, National Geographic, National Public Radio, Michigan Radio, and other news outlets. He was previously a fellow in the Documenting Detroit Fellowship in documentary photography and photojournalism. Most recently he was named a member of the New York Foundation for the Arts Immigrants Artists Mentorship Program. Razi attended the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and received a Bachelor's degree in Engineering.

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Director Statement

The first majority muslim city in the U.S., Hamtramck, Michigan is a vibrant community full of diverse cultures, languages, and customs. Walking through the lively town, you will hear church bells and calls to prayer ring out while children play in the streets. In a city where community comes first, we sought to answer one question - what does it mean to be an active and positive force in society?

With HAMTRAMCK, USA, we aim to share our passion for this vibrant city and challenge the perceptions of the Muslim community in the United States. When researching the city, we were struck by how different the narrative was from how we experienced the community. Instead of colorful ceremonies and inclusive celebrations, the news outlets projected Islamophobic opinions and fears onto the city and its residents.

Filming the story with a cinema verite approach, we gave the the city a platform to speak for itself, examining the community and its politics through the lens of a local election. We were lucky to be able to capture the essence of a city where so many contribute to the beautiful fabric of their society. We hope the film inspires audiences to explore the true meaning of multiculturalism in America and the rediscover the importance of being an active member in their community.