With one of his most beloved projects, filmmaker Mike Mosallam hopes to highlight the importance of family, both biological and chosen, during this Pride Month
The clip above gives Stardia a sneak peek at “Brothers,” which will be available on the streaming service Dekkoo on June 16. Written and directed by Mosallam, the short film
combines scripted scenes and modern dance to tell the story of two Arab Muslim
brothers (Martijn Sedgfield and Viktor Simon).
In the film, their relationship is put to the test in young adulthood when one of them discovers he is gay, but their bond triumphs over adversity.
“Brothers” had its world premiere in 2018 and was widely praised at festivals such as the Beirut International Film Festival, the ShanghaiPRIDE Film Festival, and Nevada
Mosallam hopes that releasing "Brothers" on a streaming platform during Pride will remind viewers that love triumphs over all as they celebrate after more than a year of pandemic
lockdown and political strife.
“Family is an important part of every LGBTQ
+ person’s life,” he told Stardia, adding, “What is clear to me now, in my 41 years, more than ever, is our innate human desire to heal our past and find closure with those who have wronged us. ‘Brothers’ is the idealistic version of that.”
“Brothers” comes at a busy time for Mosallam, who is based in Los Angeles
. His debut directorial feature, “Breaking Fast,” was released in January to rave reviews. The cross-cultural romantic comedy
stars Haaz Sleiman as a Muslim doctor of Lebanese descent who finds himself wooed by an all-American actor (Michael Cassidy) during the holy month of Ramadan.
Mosallam emphasized that his faith helped him embrace his true self as a gay man, and he hopes that “Brothers,” like “Breaking Fast,” will dispel any remaining misconceptions about the Muslim and LGBTQ communities.
“The stereotypes in Islam
and many monotheistic faiths are that the two can’t and don’t exist, but the reality is that they do,” Mosallam explained. “Asking someone to deny their faith is akin to asking them to deny their sexuality. When we talk about choice regarding one’s sexuality, what we should be talking about is the choice to love oneself.”
In terms of the film's overarching message, he said, "If you've hurt someone or if someone has hurt you, make space
for healing, let go of the hurt, and live your best life surrounded by the love you deserve."
Dekkoo will release “Brothers” on June 16th.