Flying High, Longlist - Planet Positive

Negotiating Liberation, Don’t Be a Dream, Please Be Real

Amirah Tajdin

Seven Thirty Films

“A meditative visual on the African immigrant experience in Dubai. A story of Black love in a shifting universe.” - Director Amirah Tajdin⁠ Negotiating Liberation: Don’t Be a Dream, Please Be Real touches on the idea of the spirit of the United Arab Emirates as a place where new metropolises are being built, where dreams are born, and to which the title of “the new world” currently belongs.

Amirah Tajdin is an award-winning Kenyan director and artist. Born and raised in Nairobi, she spent her teen years in Dubai and received a BFA in South Africa and Baltimore. Inspired by Riot grrrl bands of the 90s and the feminism of her rebel grandmothers, Amirah brings vibrant cultural nuance, authenticity and bold style to work across multiple genres. Her prolific career in commercials, fashion films, documentary and narrative projects includes work for brands such as Cadillac, Bloomingdale’s, M.A.C, Virgin Mobile, Pepsi, Maybelline and The Louvre Abu Dhabi. Her brand film "Sisterhood: Action for Girls Who Code" was a Tribeca X Award finalist and garnered a Best Director nomination; her short film "Marea di Tierra," competed at festivals globally, including at Sundance and Cannes Directors’ Fortnight. Amirah is a Sundance Institute Fellow, selected for both the Screenwriter's Lab and Director’s Lab for her feature film currently in development. Amirah takes pride in being Black, Arab, Kenyan, Muslim, an aesthete and a woman most of all. Her work honors the Black matrilineal kin she descends from and the voices of societies' forgotten dreamers.