National Geographic Entertainment to release “Amreeka” beginning Sept. 4

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LOS ANGELES (June 24, 2009)—National Geographic Entertainment (NGE) will release Cherien Dabis’ comedy “Amreeka” in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, Sept. 4, 2009, with a national rollout to follow. “Amreeka” premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, at New Directors/New Films (a co-presentation of The Museum of Modern Art and The Film Society of Lincoln Center) and in Directors Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the FIPRESCI prize.

“Amreeka” tells the adventures of Muna, an indomitable woman from the West Bank who moves to the promised land of small town Illinois with her teenage son, Fadi. In America, as her son navigates high school, Muna works hard and dreams of a new life. Nisreen Faour stars as Muna; Melkar Muallen plays her 16-year-old son. Also in the cast are Hiam Abbass, Alia Shawkat, Yussef Abu-Warda and Joseph Ziegler.

Written and directed by Dabis, “Amreeka” was produced by Christina Piovesan and Paul Barkin.Alicia Sams, Cherien Dabis and Greg Keever were executive producers; Liz Jarvis and Al-Zain Al-Sabah were co-producers.

This National Geographic Entertainment Presentation is a National Geographic/Imagenation Abu Dhabi Release in association with Levantine Entertainment, A First Generation Films Production, an Alcina Pictures/Buffalo Gal Pictures/Eagle Vision Media Group Production produced in association with Manitoba Film & Music, Rotana Studios and Showtime


Earlier in her career Dabis was a recipient of a 2007 National Geographic All Roads Film Project seed grant for her short film “Make a Wish.”

National Geographic Films President Adam Leipzig said, “‘Amreeka’ is a great culture clash comedy, and with it Cherien Dabis has announced herself as one of the great new talents in film. It is both funny and moving in its depiction of the hectic work it takes to attain the American dream. This international story is a perfect fit for National Geographic as we aspire to inspire people to care about our world. Since Cherien received one of the first National Geographic All Roads grants, working with her on ‘Amreeka’ is especially exciting.”

Dabis added, “While ‘Amreeka’ is a very personal film, it’s a universal story about family, the sacrifices we make for those we love and the often elusive search for belonging. I have no doubt that we’ve found the right home for it.”




The release schedule for “Amreeka”:

Sept. 4New York

Los Angeles

Sept. 18Chicago

San Francisco


Washington, D.C.


New York and Los Angeles: Check local listings for additional theaters Orange County, Calif.

Sept. 25Philadelphia





Oct. 2Miami

Orlando, Fla.

Jacksonville, Fla.

Portland, Ore.


San Diego



Please note, as with all films, dates are subject to change. Check local listings for theaters screening the film in each city.

For group sales info, go to For more information about the film, visit

About National Geographic Entertainment

National Geographic Entertainment (NGE) includes National Geographic Films (NGF) , which co-presented the 2005 Academy Award-winning “March of the Penguins” and 2004 Oscar-nominated film “The Story of the Weeping Camel,” and National Geographic Cinema Ventures (NGCV), which released both domestically and internationally the 3-D concert film“U2 3D” in 2008 to critical acclaim. NGCV set giant-screen box office records with “Mysteries of Egypt,” and recently with “Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure.” Adam Leipzig is president of NGF, Lisa Truitt is president of NGCV and Mark Katz is president of distribution of NGCV.

NGE combines into a single operating group National Geographic’s Cinema Ventures, Films, Kids Entertainment, Home Entertainment and Music & Radio. NGE is part of National Geographic Global Media, bringing together all of National Geographic’s editorial platforms in order to streamline collaboration and further support the Society’s mission. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” National Geographic works to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 360 million people worldwide each month through magazines, books, digital media, television, radio, music and film. It funds more than 250 scientific research, exploration and conservation projects each year and supports an education program promoting geography literacy. For more information, visit


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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

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