This blog is part of Changing The Story’s #YoungChangemakers series. If you are a young person leading alternative actions for civil society building in the Global South and would like to be featured in the series, get in touch!
Name: Moiz Khan
Title of your video: My Story
What 3 words describe you best? Tolerant, Pragmatic and optimistic
Tell us about your video – What is it about?
The video that I made focuses on the Muslim world and the problems caused by the recent rise in Xenophobia especially when we talk about Muslims who are not in Muslim countries. It also talks about how some societies go through a tough time even though they haven’t done anything wrong only because they are Muslim.
What motivated you to create this video?
Even the minor religious obligations become hard for some people practicing Islam just because someone saw that a bomb blast was caused by a Muslim. I feel that it needs to be said that we too are the targets of this so-called terrorism. Countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan are looked down upon on accounts that they “harbor terrorists” whereas they are the countries that have lost thousands of innocent people in this war.
What was the most memorable moment from the filmmaking process?
Since this film was made in collaboration with my friend, Breech who lives in the Philippines. An online collaboration seemed impossible but we made it work. My most memorable moment is perhaps one of our calls where we were discussing our visuals for this movie and we needed someone who portrayed a stereotypical Muslim. I didn’t have anyone in mind so I grew a beard instead to portray the character better which I think is pretty amusing.
Why do you think global audiences need to see your film?
Muslims account for a large portion of the population of the world and even though many social wrongs are being committed in the name of Islam, I think the world shouldn’t discriminate against a whole religion. Everyone around the world should understand that this is a problem that can be solved by tackling it together, not by fighting a war with millions of people just for having different beliefs.
Are you working on any other films right now? Is there a particular film project or story that you’d really like to tell?
I’m working on a short film on the issue of Child Labor which is a serious problem here in Pakistan. I want to tell a story of one of the films I made on terrorism two years ago. Both me and my actor for the video were fasting since it was Ramazan which meant that we couldn’t eat or drink anything till sunset. We spent 4 hours in the scorching sun making visuals for my project. We were both exhausted after that and went home. I spent days editing and putting it together to make sure everything was perfect. I worked exceptionally hard on that project but to my surprise, it never won anything. In fact, it went down as one of my most shabby works. I learned that not everything that you do will always be successful. One has to make peace with the fact that failure is an integral part of being a better person, as soon as they can in life.
Who inspires you?
My inspiration comes from my father who even though by profession is a doctor, a profession that stereotypically implies that he wants his son to be like him and that he has a very laconic description when it comes to issues of art but that is not true. He hasn’t stopped me from doing the things that I liked, being a great father, teacher and a professional at the same time. The location for this movie was provided by him. Heroes don’t always wear capes, sometimes just a stethoscope around their neck.
What sparked your interest to become a filmmaker?
I loved writing ever since I was a kid but no matter what I wrote or how I wrote it, I could never get the response I wanted from people. I felt that it may have lacked a certain element or that punch. One day while I was in the US, I started to give film making a try and added all the elements of literature in a movie. I found out that all you had to do was engage someone in something as much as you can for them to extol your art.
Why do you think it is important for young people to produce videos and other multimedia products?
I think film and other multimedia are important for the youth because they should know that their voice, even though they may consider it insignificant, actually matters. The way they convey their message is even more important and this is the easiest and the most meaningful form I can think of.
Are you familiar with the UN Sustainable Development Goals? Which is more important and why?
I have yet to be introduced to these but I would love to learn more.
This content was originally published on the Voices of Youth website as part of the PLURAL+ project (original publication here). Voices of Youth (VOY) was founded in 1995 as UNICEF’s online place for young people to learn more about issues affecting their world. Today, VOY is a vibrant community of youth bloggers from all over the world, offering inspiring, original insight and opinion on a variety of topics. Everyone is welcome to write, film, comment and engage in discussions.