Press Release

Beloit, Wis. — The director of a haunting documentary examining the spread of the radical Islamic teachings of the Red Mosque in Pakistan, will serve as the honorary Chair of the 2016 Beloit International Film Festival.

Hemal Trivedi, director, producer and editor of the award-winning feature length film, Among the Believers, will discuss her film and will help to welcome the international array of guests and filmmakers to this year’s BIFF. Her film will be screened three times during BIFF.

A Mumbai and New York City based documentary filmmaker for over a decade, she has edited films that have won major industry accolades. Her HBO documentary Saving Face won an Oscar and two Emmys, including one to her for outstanding editing. She has produced and edited over 50 award winning shorts for Odyssey Networks’ website.

Among The Believers premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last year and has been screened around the world, winning six prestigious awards. Her extraordinary film was shot primarily in Islamabad, Pakistan, and includes extensive footage of intimate conversations with students, teachers and the controversial Imam and head of the Red Mosque, Maulana Aziz. The film charts the coming-of-age stories of two students who are trapped in this ideological war.

Through its network of religious centers and thousands of schools or madrassas, the Red Mosque has trained legions of children to devote their lives to jihad, or holy war, from a very young age.

The film examines the sizeable protest movement led by Aziz’s longtime opponent, physicist and education reformer Pervez Hoodbhoy, calling for the closing of the madrassas. He passionately opposes Aziz and, with the tide turning against the cleric, Pervez is determined to see Aziz jailed.

“Among the Believers offers brutally honest and rare insight into the ideological battle shaping Pakistan and the Muslim world,” says BIFF Executive Director Roddie Beaudoin. “It has received international honors and we are extremely fortunate and pleased to be able to present it at BIFF. Hemal is an amazing filmmaker but, even more, is a sensitive and perceptive interpreter of these developments in the Islamic world. Her presence will greatly enhance our program this year.”

For tickets and a complete listing of all BIFF films and events please visit the BIFF website at beloitFilmFest.org.

The Beloit International Film Festival, celebrating its 11th year, is sponsored by the Hendricks Group in association with Beloit College and with funding from Visit Beloit. Support for the Festival comes from area businesses and civic organizations, and individual support for BIFF is provided through membership in the BIFF Founders and the Film Society of Beloit.

BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival