There is so much News!
But first, the hate has not stopped pouring in. Here is one example of what we wake up to.
“If you were living in a Muslim country they would have figured out a way to kill you by now. You have insulted Islam. You are a Kaafir”
At this point the negativity is impossible to count–because it comes from every possible source, including this website itself– but we will not let it deter us!
What is more important is what this film has been achieving in the world. The film is still a new-born. At HotDocs in Toronto we became the most talked about film by far. Three screenings, all sold out. Scores turned away. At one of these screenings, a gay and Muslim man came in front of the entire audience and said: “ Thank you for validating my spirituality. I have always been afraid of it and I would never have the courage to go. But with this Hajj, I feel you have done it on behalf of all of us who are afraid.”
At Sheffield in the UK, the story was repeated. A Malaysian woman wept openly about how she had gone to Saudi Arabia on pilgrimage last year and had not come back transformed and how this has lead to deep fissures in her relationship with her family. But at our second screening in Sheffield, a group of Saudi women reacted aggressively: they had come prepared to attack the film. And that is exactly what they did—they had even taken notes. One of them yelled, “No Arab or Muslim will ever see your film!” We need to prove haters like her wrong.
At Outfest in LA, we had airport style security at the screening but the audience waited patiently to get screened by the guards the festival had hired. (We have had additional security at all our screenings.). Many Muslims from the “Muslims for Progressive Values” group in LA were there to show their support. And at Outfest we have just won the Grand Jury Award for Best Feature documentary!
At every single screening, the festival space has turned into a vigorous and engaged town hall.
And the press interest has been enormous and overwhelming.
Most exciting: The film will soon open in theaters and is poised to get other major distribution! (Watch this space!)
Finally! We have just launched our Jihad for Wider Distribution using crowd-funding! We are new to this–so please help us by contributing. NO amount is too small and its all about momentum!
Stay tuned–WE will soon be at a theater or screen near you. A Sinner in Mecca will enter homes, change hearts and influence minds. Its only a matter of time!