From Director/Producer Tami Yeager:
I hope that A DREAM IN DOUBT helps viewers create a meaningful dialogue about identity, immigration, the impact of hate crimes on communities and what it means to be American.
Several years after 9/11, the issue of hate crimes against immigrants continues to be germane. I hope that A DREAM IN DOUBT will personalize the experience of intolerance and discrimination that followed the 9/11 attacks and serve as a catalyst for diverse communities to either strengthen existing relationships or build new ones. In many ways, Phoenix provides a model because law enforcement, local media, interfaith groups and the justice department rallied around Rana and his community to show their support and build friendships. I would love to see this model replicated far and wide.
I’ve learned from Rana that the America I see—warts and all—is very different from Rana’s view of his adopted homeland. Though America can continue to have its shortcomings, it’s a very special place that offered refuge and exceptional opportunities for the Sodhis—and millions of other immigrants. I hope viewers are inspired by Rana’s belief in the best of what America can be. I also hope that Rana’s sense of forgiveness can be an example for all of us as we continue to grapple with our history and move towards racial justice.
Lastly, I would like to see Balbir’s murder and its aftermath immortalized through film in the same vein as the stories of hate crime victims James Byrd, Vincent Chin and Matthew Shepard.
Her three favorite films:
Three of my favorite documentaries are To Be and To Have, Who Killed Vincent Chin and Latcho Drom.
Her advice for aspiring filmmakers:
Believe. There can be many obstacles but the cliché about following your dreams really is true when it comes to making independent film. Along the way, I think one of the keys to success is to ask other experienced professionals for advice about producing while keeping true to your own style and vision. I would also encourage first-time filmmakers to advocate fearlessly and relentlessly for their films at every step in the process. This doesn’t always come naturally, especially for documentary makers who are accustomed to being quiet, fly-on-the-wall observers.
Her most inspirational food for making independent film:
Sushi (and on a practical note, lots of coffee)
Tami Yeager has produced for national television networks, public broadcasting and non-profits. She co-produced an hour-long documentary about infertility for MSNBC, two half-hour documentaries about education for ABC News and PBS and a comprehensive video-based middle school curriculum package about Sikh children and their community. Yeager’s work has covered a wide range of subjects, including youth issues, culture, criminal justice, religion, science, health and the arts.
Preetmohan Singh has worked with Tami Yeager on two prior documentary projects about Sikhs. He has conducted Congressional briefings on hate crimes and trained over 6,000 law enforcement officials, including hundreds of FBI agents, about the causes and effects of such crimes. He works at the Interfaith Alliance in Washington, D.C. and is an alumnus of Georgetown University.