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Filmmaker's Name:  Meedo Taha
 
Film Title: The Incident (Mississippi premiere)
 
In 50 words or less, what is your film about?

At a bus stop near Beirut, a veiled Muslim woman and a migrant Syrian worker get in a scuffle and are arrested. They must argue their innocence in the face of the only witnesses: a bus of women enroute to the mosque, each with her own version of the truth.
 
What was your motivation to make this film… why this film, and why now?

The story is drawn from the reality of my Middle Eastern culture, caught in a perpetual struggle between who we are and how we are perceived. This Rashomon-esque story places you in an unprivileged point of view, using Brechtian "distancing devices": long takes, naturalistic sound, and no music. You're an active witness amidst conflicting testimonies, and you'll form your own verdict in a culture where the truth is a matter of perception.
 
Was there anything strange, funny, interesting, sad, scary, or otherwise unusual about making this film?

The Incident was the first time I shot a film in Lebanon in a while. Our cast and crew were mostly made up of women, including our lead actors, production designer, wardrobe department, hair and makeup artist, first assistant camera person, production asssistants, first assistant director, line producer, casting director, and script consultant.

We didn’t aim to crew up our film with mostly women. We simply aimed to hire the most hardworking, creative, and dedicated filmmakers we could work with. And that’s what happened.

What is your connection to Mississippi?  If you don’t have one, why did you choose to enter your film into a Mississippi festival?

I chose to enter The Incident into the Crossroads Film Festival because I’m writing a feature film set in Mississippi. I'm very excited to visit Jackson, share my work, and spend some time among the local community.
 
Anything else you’d like the audience to know about your film?

Even though it's set in a specific culture, this is a universal story. Often the way we view others says more about us than it does about them. Rather than provide easy answers, The Incident invites us to ask questions about who we might become when we have to judge someone else.