Documentary Filmmaker returns to find parents’ ancestral homes in Mexico and Palestine
Chicago filmmaker just launched Kickstarter campaign for production in Mexico for new film that seeks to provide accurate representations of the American immigrant community through her personal story.
Colette Ghunim, Chicago-based director of the award-winning documentary The People’s Girls, which investigated the issue of sexual harassment in Egypt, is currently working on her first feature-length film, Traces of Home.
Traces of Home explores the tragic pasts of Ghunim’s parents, Hosni and Iza. Her father, Hosni, was forced to flee with his parents from political strife from his native Palestine. Meanwhile, Ghunim’s mother Iza fled an abusive father in Mexico with her mother. The film documents the family’s return to their childhood homes in Mexico and Palestine, examining what it means to be both an immigrant and Colette’s disconnect from her identity in the process.
With the ongoing national discussion involving the plight of immigrants and their contribution to American culture, Traces of Home offers viewers a rare glimpse into the world of a family whose lives were forever altered by their decision to come to America.
“My goal is to provide a positive narrative for the Latino and Arab communities across the nation,” said Ghunim, “while exploring how first-generation Americans like me continue to struggle with our lack of cultural belonging anywhere.”
The Kickstarter campaign, going on now, must reach its goal of $35,000 by 12pm on October 4th, 2019 in order to receive any of the funds pledged by its backers.
Based in Chicago, Illinois, Colette Ghunim’s passion lies at the cross section of social impact and visual storytelling. She has produced and edited videos for organizations in Costa Rica, India, and Egypt, and is currently working on a series documenting the lives of refugees resettled in Chicago.
Colette’s most recent documentary, The People’s Girls, received worldwide attention for its bold spotlight on Egypt’s issue of sexual harassment. With recognition by major international outlets such as Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, New York Daily News, and more, The People’s Girlstrailer enticed over 2 millions views. She is currently working on Traces of Home, her first feature-length film documenting her journey back to Mexico and Palestine to locate her parents’ original homes, which they were forced to leave decades ago. Colette Ghunim strives to be a changemaker for communities worldwide, documenting powerful stories of individuals that often go unnoticed.
Click here to help by visiting Kickstarter.
Click this link for the Website + trailer: www.tracesofhome.com.
Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. He began writing in 1975 publishing The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues as Special US Correspondent for the Arab News ArabNews.com, at TheArabDailyNews.com, and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday, the Orlando Sentinel, Houston Chronical, and Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
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