A queer Muslim woman from Brooklyn grapples with the complexities of faith, sexuality and her difficult decision to come out to the most important figure in her life - her strictly devout, psychiatrist mother


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AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY - Newfest "Nothing delights me more than a piece of art that is as gorgeous as it is important. COMING AROUND clears that difficult bar with ease." — Arij Mikati | WORLD PREMIERE - Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival

LGBTQ+ • Muslim American • Arab American Families • Faith • Reconciliation • Finding Common Ground • Mother-Daughter Relationships

Date of Completion: 2023 | Run Time: 75 minutes​​ | Language: English & Arabic with English subtitles | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript | Director: Sandra ItäinenProducers: Sandra Itäinen & Chelsi Bullard | Executive Producers: Marc Smolowitz, Fawzia Mirza & Andria Wilson Mirza | Editor: Sandra Itäinen

COMING AROUND follows 28-year-old second-generation Palestinian-Egyptian Brooklynite Eman as she weighs the decision to come out to her devout Muslim mother. Having grown up in Columbia, Missouri with her mother and sister, the three women share a unique tight-knit bond that Eman desperately wants to maintain. But despite being a scholar and visibly “out” among her queer Muslim friends, Eman sits uncomfortably in silence when it comes to her mother. To postpone coming out, she decides to marry her current boyfriend, Q, to give the appearance of strictly hetero relationship interests. The story captures how she struggles with this decision and consequently navigates the opposing expectations of her multiple identities. This is a new kind of “coming out” movie with a mother-daughter love story at its core, and it reveals the often unseen intricacies of seeking common ground and family, especially in religious and marginalized communities of color. The film also has a unique opportunity to broaden the discussion around pansexuality and bisexuality, which often gets lost in the larger discussion of queerness and sexuality.

Arij Mikati | Managing Director, Culture Change, Pillars
"COMING AROUND is a moving portrayal of a story that is all too common but seldom told. This tender film perfectly encapsulates the beautiful work of loving other humans unconditionally, and both the pain and joy that results from the courageous act of showing the world our most honest selves. Nothing delights me more than a piece of art that is as gorgeous as it is important. COMING AROUND clears that difficult bar with ease."

Mo Naqvi | Emmy-Award Winning Documentary Filmmaker
"This film serves as a precious rebuke to a political realm that pits queer and Muslim identities against each other. It offers Queer Muslim youth a rare opportunity to finally hear their story being told."

Nominee, Golden Alexander in the Newcomers Competition
 | Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival
Nominee, Nigel Moore Youth Award | DOXA Documentary Film Festival
Nominee, Frameline Juried Award for Outstanding DocFrameline Film Festival
Nominee, Audience Award for Best DocumentaryFrameline Film Festival
Audience Award | Newfest
Director's Choice Award | Cinema Diverse (The Palm Springs LGBTQ Film Festival)