Filmmaker Ali Selim talks about the artistic choices he made directing his award-winning debut feature film, Sweet Land. Educators' Guide

Artist Bio:
Filmmaker Ali Selim is most interested in telling authentic human stories. Shot on location in Southern Minnesota, Selim’s debut feature film, Sweet Land, is a love story between a German mail order bride and a Norwegian farmer after World War I. The plot was based on Will Weaver’s short story “A Gravestone Made of Wheat.”

As the son of first-generation immigrants, Selim feels deeply tied to the central theme of the film: the story of immigrant America. For him, a key message of the film is tolerance and that “we are all brothers and sisters.”

Sweet Land won several awards including the 2005 Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature Film at the 13th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival , the 2007 Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature Film;  it was named as one of the top ten best films of 2006 by Entertainment Weekly and Los Angeles Times.