Somia Elrowmeim is a Yemeni immigrant — and American citizen — fighting for the rights of Muslims in South Brooklyn at a time of unprecedented Islamophobia. Holding Fire follows her trajectory as a rising activist. During the 2018 midterm elections, Somia works to galvanize the Arab and Muslim vote to flip one of the last Republican seats in New York City. As she gains recognition and considers a bigger role in politics, she must also contend with gender expectations from a conservative society. Our film provides a behind-the-scenes look at grass-root organizing among a new generation of Muslim women whose activism may determine the future of a community.
Hana Elias is a Palestinian American filmmaker who worked as an assistant editor on three documentaries, one followed three women leading feminist movements in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq. Hana’s first short documentary, ‘The Rooftops of Jerusalem’ in 2014, was selected for festivals internationally. The film follows young Palestinian parkour players fighting for space and freedom to practice on the rooftops of Jerusalem’s old city. The experience of making this film drove her to focus on stories about the complexity of belonging, for those growing up in places where their identity and home is contested and politicized.
Eleonore Voisard is a French journalist and filmmaker with past experiences with Agence France Press newswires and production companies in Paris and the Middle East. Eleonore’s first experience in documentary film was in Paris, when she assisted filmmaker Karine Dusfour on her film Rapes on Children, tackling the issue around the legal status of limitation. Eleonore is a student at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, where she covered immigration, gender and religion with a focus on visual storytelling.