Private Project

If You See Something

Ali and Katie have found love, after a chance introduction by a mutual friend, Dawod, a rising art-world star. Having survived the war as a doctor in Iraq, Ali has decided to seek political asylum in the United States while American Katie strives to build the art gallery she sacrificed everything to open. As they start to build their life together in New York, Baghdad comes back to haunt Ali when he receives news that Dawod has been kidnapped in the midst of the unrest there. Ali attempts to solve the problem on his own, leaving Katie and her family in the dark. As he struggles to pay the ransom to save their friend, Katie fears Ali is giving up on the demanding immigration process, and on their life together. Through a series of misunderstandings, assumptions and all-too-human mistakes, the two are landed in the eye of a storm threatening to destroy their relationship. Finally, Katie and Ali both have to decide whether their relationship is enough for them to cross borders, once and for all.

  • Oday Rasheed
  • Jess Jacobs
  • Brian Newman
    Love & Taxes, Shored Up, The Invisible World, Remittance, DamNation; The Fisherman’s Son, Jumbo Wild, FishPeople
  • Stephanie Roush
    The Principles of Pleasure, Anniversary, Underdog, Choices
  • Jess Jacobs
    Plan C, Choices, Long Weekend, Bull, Soul City
  • Frank Hall Green
    Wildlike, Descent, A Gathering of Saints, Gonzo Girl, Boy21, Getting Naked: A Burlesque Story, Remittance
  • Caitlin Zvoleff
    Quick Fix, The Outside Story, Getting Naked: A Burlesque Story,
  • Jess Jacobs
    Key Cast
    "Katie Worth"
    Choices, Butterfly Caught, Long Weekend,
  • Adam Bakri
    Key Cast
    "Ali Al Muderis"
    Omar, Official Secrets, Slam, A Gaza Weekend, Hell's Gate
  • Reed Birney
    Key Cast
    "Ward Worth"
    The Menu, Home Before Dark, Baby Ruby, Titans,
  • Nasser Faris
    Key Cast
    "Omar Farouk"
    The Week Of, The Looming Tower,Chronically Metropolitan
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 43 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    May 15, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Jordan, United States
  • Language:
    Arabic, English
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Oday Rasheed

Oday Rasheed was born in Iraq in 1973. He attended the Institute for Electrical Science and the Institute for Applicable Art in Baghdad. Shortly after completing his studies he worked for local newspapers writing critical essays and articles on cinema. In the late 1990’s, Rasheed produced several experimental movies. His works include MUD WHITENESS (1997), ANOTHER INTRODUCTION (1998), and GILGAMESH: THE EPIC ... THE PLACE (2002). He has written screenplays for television, including HUJAZ KAR (1996-97), OUR TOWN’S WORKSHOP (1997-98), DOCUMENT I2 (1998) and ONCE IN BABYLON (2002). His film QARANTINA released to critical success and IF YOU SEE SOMETHING will be Rasheed’s American debut. Passionate about reviving Iraqi cinema, his aim is to encourage all young Iraqi filmmakers to continue expressing themselves and advocating for hope, peace and freedom.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Ten years ago, I left my hometown in Baghdad, Iraq, and settled in New York City as an immigrant. During this time, I went through different levels of acceptance and rejection, producing an extreme admiration for the individuals who welcomed me and a strong sense of sympathy understanding for those who ostracized me. From these observations, I am attracted to how immigrants impact others: How does the latter think and feel, what are their limits of acceptance, and what are their reasons for rejection of the unknown? I believe that this is the right time to address this emotive topic, not only from the immigrant’s perspective, but also from the Americans who are impacted by immigrants ’ past. On a human, political, economical, and social level, what we live today is an ultimate struggle between rejection and acceptance.

Having said that, I hope that If You See Something will provide a medium to communicate this compelling human connectivity with all perspectives, that of the immigrant along with that of the Americans. Ali holds weight in our film as an immigrant with both reverence and judgement for America, as I have, and with a specific and deep desire to build a home in the U.S., both because he belongs and because he’s in love, as I do, and am. Maybe those feelings are the same. Katie will also carry the narrative in ‘If You See Something’ because of her strength and resilience in resisting the main conflicting social constructions found in her environment; she creates her own direction because she sees something the others can’t see; this is the ultimate acceptance of the unknown. In order to achieve this tone, I hope to have limited interference from everything behind the camera and to focus heavily on my actors. To get closer to my actors, my favorite element in production, I’m preparing for continuous shots to capture the emotional and psychological state of every moment for the actor and environment around them, all while controlling the pace of the narrative. If You See Something is a dialogue driven drama and our writers set a great foundation for this dialogue. However, I strongly believe the dialogue will belong to the actor, the moment of truth when they open their mouths. Additionally, If You See Something takes place in NYC, a vertical city, which I feel the need to work against. Currently, two of our main locations are a physical art gallery and a metaphorical one, the streets of New York. Filming the scenes and the moments within the art gallery should secretly mirror the intimacy of filming the scenes and the moments in the streets of NYC. All together, these elements will create a dramatic narrative which will communicate a beautiful, unique and timely story about love and the importance of faith in a society plagued by judgement and unforgiving views.