March 19, 2009: THE MOSQUE IN MORGANTOWN is named Best Documentary Feature at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. The jury's comments:
This film demonstrated an exceptional skill with camera, editing and the ability to objectively respect — rather than objectify — its subject. The narrative was given room to speak and not deified or vilified, which is often the case with such an obvious and volatile political subject — that a director will choose to draw conclusion, rather than draw out the story. This patience by which the story is revealed reflects directorial maturity, and the use of music as a contextual and transitional modifier speaks to this, both underscoring the emotional and cultural location of a “mosque in Morgantown” and serving as an intelligent metronome to the unfolding conflict.
The MOSQUE IN MORGANTOWN is a powerful, visceral reminder of what makes a film “good,” but it is also an insightful revelation on the sometimes painful reality of what it can mean to be “Asian American”: that identity and existence are not always defined by external factors, but often by the conflict within one's own community. Most importantly, it captures a small piece of what is soon to be American — not just Asian American — history and reminds us how the smallest dose of power and perspective — whether in front or behind the camera — has the colossal strength to change, inform and sometimes, destroy lives.