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SYNOPSIS: When Mohamad Hafez received a single-entry visa to study architecture in the United States, he realized if he couldn’t return home to Syria, he could make home. A skilled architectural model-maker, he spent his years in exile sculpting life-like renditions of his Damascus neighborhood.

When the civil war broke out and his parents fled to the United States as refugees, Mohamad’s bottled-up frustration erupted on his models. In a fit of mania, he broke his artworks, leaving them shattered, bombed-out replicas of the Syrian buildings he saw on the news. And yet, when word of his broken pieces spread, Mohamad became an inspiration to refugees and immigrants in the diaspora who dreamed of homes that only existed in memories. 

Jimmy Goldblum, Director and Producer of A Broken House: Jimmy Goldblum is an Emmy Award-winning director and Executive Producer based in Los Angeles, CA. Jimmy directs the critically acclaimed documentary series, “Chef’s Table” for Netflix (IDA Winner – “Best Documentary Series”) and “HOME” for Apple+. Jimmy recently directed the pilot and set the look of “Unsolved Mysteries,” the reimagining of the 80s cult series; it’s produced by 21 Laps (“Stranger Things”) and is the first non-fiction series for Netflix Studios. “Unsolved” spent its first 10 days on Netflix as the most watched series in the world. Previously, Jimmy directed and produced Tomorrow We Disappear, a feature documentary about India’s last colony of magicians, acrobats, and puppeteers. It premiered in competition at the Tribeca Film Festival, and IndieWire listed it as one of the “20 Best Documentaries of 2014.” Jimmy’s interactive documentary for the Pulitzer Center, “Live Hope Love,” a poetic exploration of the HIV crisis in the Caribbean, won an Emmy for “New Approaches to Documentary” and a Webby for “Best Art Website.”

Mohamad Hafez, Subject of A Broken House:  A Syrian-American artist and architect, Mohamad Hafez was born in Damascus, raised in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and educated in the Midwestern United States. Expressing the juxtaposition of East and West within him, Hafez’s art reflects the political turmoil in the Middle East through the compilation of found objects, paint and scrap metal. Using his architectural skills, Hafez creates surrealistic Middle Eastern streetscapes that are architectural in their appearance yet politically charged in their content.

Waad al-Kateab, Director and Producer of For Sama – Moderator: Waad al-Kateab is a Syrian activist and award-winning filmmaker, whose debut feature film, For Sama, won a BAFTA for Best Documentary and received a nomination at the Academy Awards 2020. Waad, who lives in London with her family, works as a filmmaker / reporter for Channel 4 News, as a mentor for female journalists, and dedicates time to her advocacy campaign, Action For Sama

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