Yoni Brook is a film director and photographer. His first collaboration with Syeed, A Son’s Sacrifice (PBS Independent Lens 2008), won Best Documentary Short at the Tribeca Film Festival and Best Documentary Short at the International Documentary Association (IDA) Awards. Brook and Syeed are currently making The Calling, which is about young religious leaders.
Brook has worked as a photojournalist for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Seattle Times and The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal. Brook’s photography has been honored at the Pictures of the Year International and Best of Photojournalism competitions. He was earlier named the national College Photographer of the Year by the Missouri School of Journalism and was the youngest person ever to be selected for Photo District News’ “30 Photographers to Watch.” He speaks regularly about photojournalism and has instructed students at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Brook is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and was selected to attend the CPB/PBS Producers Academy and the Berlinale Talent Campus Doc Station program.
Musa Syeed is an independent filmmaker and writer. He partnered with Brook
to produce A Son’s Sacrifice, which explored a father-son relationship at a halal slaughterhouse in Queens, and is currently co-directing The Calling with Brook. Syeed was a Fulbright Fellow in Cairo, Egypt, where he focused on experimental filmmaking and Muslim identity. As a writer, he has produced original theatrical work for the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and is the recepient of the 2008 Sloan Feature Film award for his screenplay on environmental issues in Kashmir.
Syeed has worked as an educator in schools, community centers and prisons and was an adjunct professor of cross-cultural documentary production at Williams College in 2008. He has served as an advisor for film and television companies, including Thirteen/WNET New York. Syeed is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in the Middle Eastern and Islamic studies department.