Recipient of the Award of Excellence in the California Indie Film Festival Adds to the IIF 2016 Experience
Through high-quality films filled with humanity, values, and morals, she aims to change the world for the better. Who is Samah Safi?
Upon hearing the name Samah Safi Bayazid, many might wonder who she is. Many would look up in recognition, however, when one mentions one of recent works, a video clip from the renowned singer Maher Zein for his song “Muhammad”. At the time of this article’s writing on August 2016, the view count on said video reaches the spectacular amount 14,853,695! And it is this woman who took up the mantle of assistant director in the making of this video clip.
The clip displayed a story of true friendship between an old man and several little children. The old man’s unconditional friendship and the goodness of his heart eventually led him to the muslim Holy Land of Mecca, a place that he has longed to visit all his life.
There was a soft, ethereal quality to the final product, created through a blend of appropriate angles, distance, and backgrounds, making the video an incredibly touching one. A filmmaker! That is what Samah is. Though they can count big names such as Sophia Coppola for the movie Marie Antoinette (2006), Vicky Jenson for the animation feature Shrek, and from Indonesia, Nia Dinata for her Arisan movies among their ranks, the amount of women in the world of film production is very lacking indeed. Samah is not only one such woman, but one that has achieved prestigious accomplishments. She is one of the first hijabed women in Washington DC to work in the field.
Her professionality has successfully broken the old stereotype that hijabed muslimahs are incapable of thriving in the film industry.
But who is amah Safi Bayazid truly? She hails from Jordan, but the 27-year-old now permanently resides in Washington DC, USA. It is in this city that she built a film studio from the ground up with Muhammad Bayazid, her husband, soulmate, best friend, and working partner. She has tried her chances in the film industry since five years ago; in this short window of time, her husband and she has undertaken no less than 45 professional jobs and projects of a massive scale.
Aside from the artistic talents that she has displayed since her youth, her expertise in creating a film is directly related to the studies that she had formerly undertaken. The Jordan University graduate pursued filmmaking and scenario writing in the New York Film Academy, New York City. Until now, she has produced a number of music videos, short films, TV programs, public service announcements, soap operas, and documentary films.
She understands full well that many still think that the film industry is nothing but a smooth paved road filled with joy and free of troubles. Samah spoke out against this assumption, stating that the preparation of a film may take months, not including the editing and post-production stages. These processes not only consume the time, thoughts, and energy of the filmmakers, but also require an amount of money that is nothing to be sneezed at.
Samah has joined in cooperation with her husband to produce the first American drama series rooted in Islamic values, titled “Inspiration”. This drama series showcases the values Rasulullah Saw held close to his heart through the life of a muslim youth in the present day. It is not merely a series meant entirely for the enjoyment of its viewers, however; it provides an answer to the school of thought that the modern muslim youth cannot be connected to the life of Rasulullah Saw fourteen centuries ago.
This drama series has become an instant hit in social media circles and has attracted no less than fifty million viewers, through social media as well as television. It has been translated into 16 languages; furthermore, in the ICDA Dubai Festival “Inspiration” received an award in the category of The Best Creative Project.
Her newest work is “Orshena”, a short film that tells the story of the refugees of the world, and their lives after having lost their loved ones. The film, chock-full of values and humanity, successfully took home the Award of Excellence at the Indie Film Festival in California, USA.
The muslimah, who on April 2016 gave a talk about her passion and films in front of a 10.000-strong Chicago crowd in the MAS-ICNA Convention, has recently launched a public service announcement (PSA) regarding Islamophobia. The PSA, her response to the rampant Islamophobia in America, quickly went viral, being viewed by no less than 10 million people in only two days. She has also worked with The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) to release a PSA that will counter the Islamophobia problem in the USA.
The blogger, whose posts have attracted a 160.000-accounts-strong following and have been featured in Facebook as well as HuffPost Arabi, has now become an influencer figure. Samah,Blogger dengan pengikut tak kurang dari 160.000 akun serta tulisannya sering ditayangkan di FB maupun HuffPost Arabi ini telah menjadi seorang influencer. Samah, who has been interviewed by renowned stations such as Aljazeera and MBC1, feels responsible to contribute in changing the negative American perception of Islam. Through her films, she can combine her passion and faith to create high-quality works for the enjoyment of people both from the west and the east. Something that showcases the good sides of muslims and Islam to the world—she hopes that a good film will make for a better world.
As one form of her commitments to Islam, Samah will become one of the speakers at the 2016 International Islamic Fair 2016, which will be held in JIExpo Kemayoran, Jakarta, Indonesia, on October 20 – 23 2016. The organizers hope that Samah’s presence in the event will enrich the perspectives of its visitors regarding Islam in various parts of the world.