Waiting for Bekir
A Portrait of an Ordinary American and His Dreams
In 2010, I had a vision for a documentary film that would feature an ordinary American as its main subject. Rather than focusing on a large dramatic story or a social issue, my concept was to allow an audience to experience the humanity of an individual living a mainstream lifestyle in America.
I met Bekir, a Turkish immigrant in the U.S., who fit this description and was learning filmmaking in order to fulfill his dream of making Hollywood-style action movies. Over a year, we worked together as I filmed his day-to-day activities.
Along the way, I realized that Bekir was basically living a lifestyle common to many people in industrialized nations and could dispel myths that other Americans might have about immigrants, Middle Eastern men, and Muslims. His community, little seen in mainstream media, was the same as mine—the diaspora of middle class international immigrants in the U.S.
After a couple of years of thinking this film was complete, I am currently re-editing the opening five minutes. The finishing touch on a film can often be its beginning.
Excerpts will be shown as part of a panel workshop hosted by Re-Present Media and presented by the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center on May 25, 2017 at Bindlestiff Studio in San Francisco. Three other filmmakers are featured in a showcase focused on why personal narratives of underrepresented communities are important.
The film blends several visual styles in order to convey the idea that we are viewing Bekir through new eyes, in a way that is not stereotypical or expected.
A mix of cinema verite with experimental film techniques along with Youtube video styles and mumblecore influenced scenes blend to create the aesthetic approach.