Thought provoking, inspiring and provocative are just a few of the words that can be used to describe the award-winning The Prince; a short film focusing on a young dancer, Olivia and her uncle Amir, an actor and their struggles with what it means to be Middle-Eastern Americans following a violent, racially charged confrontation on public transportation. The film will debut at the Savannah Film Festival as part of the Global Shorts Forum: We Are America on Fri Nov. 3rd 2017, at 4 pm EST.
Written and directed by long-time veteran actress Kyra Zagorsky in her directorial debut, the story of The Prince is based on a real-life incident affecting Kyra’s family. “I wrote the first draft of this script before the 2016 Presidential election and it was relevant. Post-election, it’s not only relevant, but necessary. The word “terrorist” is still typically used in reference to a specific group of people who fit a specific physical description,” says Kyra.
The assumption, then, is that whether you’re Muslim or not, born in America or not, so long as you look like the profile of a ‘terrorist’, that must mean you’re also capable of barbaric acts. However, horrifically tragic acts such as the killing of two bystanders in Portland who tried to defend two young Muslim women and the Charleston, South Carolina massacre that took place on American soil are rarely, if ever, referred to as acts of terrorism. Should we not be asking why that is?
Kyra’s goal with The Prince is to open people’s minds, show them that the racial divide in today’s world is real and also that both bystanders and victims of overt racism can-and do-have a voice. “As artists, we have a responsibility to do something with our creative voices. If we want to change our damaged culture and make our society safe and inclusive for everyone, then we have to be conscious of the stories we tell-and learn how to deal with such incidents without resorting to aggression and violence. This film is meant to be an eye opener to the responsibility we have and I hope it inspires individuals to acknowledge their own prejudices and take the initiative to engage with communities unfamiliar to them with an open mind,” she concludes.