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Shahada (Faith) (Shahada)

Shahada (Faith)
Scene from "Faith" (photo courtesy of Memento Films International)

Berlin, today. During a razzia for clandestine employees in a warehouse, the fates of three young German-born Muslims collide. Ismail, a police officer of Turkish descent, is about to break his loyalty towards his badge and his wife as he finds himself attracted to illegal immigrant Leyla. Sammi is torn between his Muslim faith and his irresistible desire for one of his male co-workers, despite his friends’ violent homophobia. He is appeased by the local Imam, a liberal religious leader revered by the community, who is going through a crisis of his own: his daughter, Maryam, is moving into an ultraconservative direction although she has been raised so tolerantly. The three of them must find their place between faith and modern life in a contemporary Western society, between the luring liberated lifestyle and tradition.


Burhan Qurbani 's family fled Afghanistan in 1979, seeking political asylum in Germany. After finishing school in Stuttgart, he worked in the theater as a dramatist's assistant and later as a director's assistant. In 2002, he enrolled at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg to study Directing. His short films have been screened at festivals around the world and won numerous prizes including the German Camera Award and the German Film Critics' Award in 2008 for ILLUSION (2007). The same year he was honored with the Black Pearl for Best Newcomer of the Year from the Middle East International Film Festival. SHAHADA (2010), his graduation project and feature debut, premiered in the competition of the Berlinale (2010) and won, among other awards, the Golden Hugo in Chicago.
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2010
Director Burhan Qurbani
Screenplay Ole Giec, Burhan Qurbani
Cinematography Yoshi Heimrath
Simon Blasi
Daniel Sus
Barbara Falkner
Cast Maryam Zaree, Jeremias Acheampong, Carlo Ljubek, Marija Skaricic, Sergei Moya, Vedat Erincin, Anne Ratte-Polle, Nora Abdel-Maksoud, Burak Yigit, Yollette Thomas, Alexandros (Alexi) Gehrckens, Gerdy Zint
Producers Uwe Spiller, Robert Gold
Production Company Bittersuess Pictures/Berlin, in co-production with ZDF Das kleine Fernsehspiel, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg
Length 90 min
Original Version
 German, Turkish, Arabic, Englsih
Subtitled Version English
Festivals Berlin 2010 (In Competition), Ghent 2010, Rio de Janeiro 2010, Chicago 2010, Warsaw 2010, Montreal Festival of New Cinema 2010, Mumbai 2010, Golden Horse Taipei 2010, Sevilla Festival de Cine Europeo 2010, Tallinn Black Nights 2010, Thessaloniki 2010
Awards Gold Hugo Chicago 2010
With backing from HessenInvestFilm

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