Usama Alshaibi

Born in Baghdad, Iraq November 20, 1969.  Currently living in the United States of America.

Chicago-based Iraqi director Usama Alshaibi seems to be one of the most prolific Arab filmmakers in the American independent film scene—and he’s almost certainly the most experimental. Working often in close collaboration with his wife Kristie, Alshaibi has jump-started the canon of what we might term transgressive Arab-American film. -Dangerous Minds.

Usama Alshaibi… demon engineer, who like an alchemist transmuted my slovenly, drossy tapes into gold. –Studs Terkel

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation award, 2011
Kartemquin Films Diversity Fellowship, enacted by Ford and MacArthur Foundation, 2009
Creative Capital Foundation for the Arts Grant, 2005
Playboy Foundation Grant for Documentary Film, 2005
Tribeca All Access Creative Promise Award, 2005
Tribeca All Access (TAA) Connects Program, Tribeca Film Institute; 2005
City of Chicago, Community Arts Assistance Programs Grant, 2004
Chicago Underground Film Fund Grant, 2003

Best of Fest Feature film, Boston Underground Film Festival, 2011
Best Feature FIlm, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Sexy Int’l Film Festival, 2010
Best Documentary Feature, Chicago Underground Film Festival, 2006
Made in Chicago Award, Chicago Underground Film Festival, 2004
Kudzu Eyeball Music Video Showcase award, 2000

Nice Bombs” feature documenatry with shorts and extra footage; (Cinema Obscura) 2009
Solar Anus Cinema” Alshaibi film collection; 81min (Holy Mountain Video & Artvamp) 2009
Dream of Samarrah” Cinema Abattoir, A Rebours, 2008
Hold My Scissors” Experiments in Terror 2, Other Cinema, 2007
Ass” Cinema Abattoir, L’érotisme, 2007
“Convulsion Expulsion” Cinema Abattoir, Incarnation, 2007
Allahu Akbar” RESISTANCE[S]: Experimental films from the Middle East (lowave) 2006
Dance Habibi Dance‘ Movieside Film Festival, 20 Award Winning Short FIlms, 2006
Venereal Video‘ Shorts Compilation, (Artvamp) 2005- out of print
“Muhammad and Jane” +3 shorts (Artvamp) 2003- out of print

‘Nice Bombs’ review by Ronnie Scheib, Variety, July 10, 2007
“Going Home To Understand War” by Bruce Bennet, New York Sun, July 11, 2007
Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader, Critics Choice for Nice Bombs , August 11, 2006
“Filmmaker visits his native Iraq; focus on aging”, by Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, August 11, 2006
“Bringing the war home,” Time Out Chicago, by Jason Mojica, August 10-16, 2006
‘Muhammad and Jane‘ film review Erin Anadkat, Micro-Film Magazine #7, Spring 2005
‘”Back to Baghdad,’ by Rob K. Elder Chicago Tribune, November 18, 2004
‘”American Prejudice: Arab Films Try to Breakthrough Bias” Anthony Kaufman, Indiewire, Nov. 2004
”On Film: from the Web to the screen, two fests in one,” Chicago Reader, by Lee Gerstein, December 2000

WGN Morning News, television interview, August 17, 2006
PBS, Chicago Tonight, WTTW 11, television interview with Phil Ponce, August 15, 2006
Podcast Interview with Madge Weinstein on, Sirius Satellite Radio, July 12th, 2005
Interview with Steve Edwards on Eight Forty-Eight, Chicago Public Radio, December 17, 2004
“Metropolis”; Arte (French-German Television magazine); October 16, 2004; producer Nico Weber

“American Arab” Panel discussion at Columbia College Chicago with author Louise Cainkar, 2010
Artist in Residence at Extrapool in Nijmegen, Netherlands March, 2009
The War in Iraq: Impact and Influence in Chicago.  Chicago History Museum, March, 2007
IFP Chicago Filmmakers Summit; “Docs in Chicago: Nice Bombs, Case Study” mod: Gordon Quinn, 2006
School of the Art Institute Chicago, “Demystifying the Arab World: World War I to the Present,” 2004
Gene Siskel Film Center; Video Babylong (Iraqi Video Showcase); Chicago; November 20, 2004
Guest lecturer; Syracuse University; Syarcuse, NY; professor Heath Hanlin; September, 2004

Chicago Underground Film Festival, June, 2011
Boston Underground Film Festival, Boston, March 26 & 29, 2011
Sexy International Film Festival, Melbourne, Australia, November 24, 2010
Kunstfilmtag in Düsseldorf, Germany, October 25, 2010
From Aniconism to Bliss: Media art shows its Islamic roots, Pacific Cinematheque,Vancouver, Sept 2010
The National Museum, Perfromance Intermedia, Poland, June, 2010
BUTFF in Netherlands, September 9-13, 2009
Extrapool in Nijmegen, Netherlands March 20, 2009
Printers’ Ball, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago August 2008
New Filmmakers, Anthology Film Archive, NYC, Nice Bombs, September 10, 2008
Sundance Channel, Nice Bombs, broadcast on March 19, 2008
Nice Bombs,Theatrical Release: Pioneer Theater, NYC & Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago, July, 2007
New York Underground Film Festival; Anthology Film Center, Nice Bombs, March, 2007
World Premiere Nice Bombs , Chicago Underground Film Festival; Music Box Theater, August 17, 2006
Coding:Decoding: Nikolaj, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, Copenhagen, 2006

Gene Siskel Film Center; VIDEO BABYLON (Iraqi Video Showcase); Chicago; November 20, 2004
The 8th Rencontres internationales Paris/Berlin; 2004
Lausanne Underground Film & Music Festival, Switzerland; 2004
Channel 83 festival of media, Florence, Italy 2004
Select Media Festival: Regime Change For US Tour; Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Paris, Chicago 2003
Cinema of Transgression Retrospective; Pioneer Theater; New York, NY; 2003
eKsperim[E]nt3 Film Festival; Manila, Philippines; 2003
Microcinema International; Paris, Mexico City, New York City, San Francisco; 2002
Coney Island Short Film Festival; New York; September 2002
Microcinefest; Baltimore; 2002
Melbourne Underground Film Festival; Australia; July 2002
Featured Director; Chicago Deep Dish Underground; Brighton Cinematheque, England; 2002
Pink Bubble Bath: The Sexy Film Festival; San Francisco, CA; February 2002
Chamber of Pop Culture; Horse Hospital, London, England; December 2001
Featured Director: Light Plays Tricks Short Film Festival; Kingston, Ontario, Canada; October 2001
CAN TV – Channel 19; Chicago, IL; June 2001
Museum of Contemporary Art; Summer Solstice; Chicago, IL; June 2001
Digital Talkies; New Delhi, India; March 2001
Boston Underground Film Festival; Boston, MA; February 2001
Eyeball Music Showcase; Athens, Georgia; October 2000
Euro Underground Film Festival; Krakow, Poland; October 2000
New York Underground Film Festival; New York, NY; March 2000
Chicago Underground Film Festival, Chicago, IL, 1999

RESISTANCE[S], Third Guangzhou Triennal (September 9 – November 15, 2008, China)
Printers’ Ball, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago August (2008)
This Is Only Temporary, Above Crater. Chicago, Group Show (2008)
Visions of Discord, Group Show (paintings, video) Co-Prosperity Sphere,Chicago, February (2008)
Coding:Decoding, Nikolaj Contemporary Art Center, Copenhagen (2006)
It’s Not The Bullet That Thrills, It’s The Hole, F.I.N Arts; New York City, NY; July 2003 (photography, video)
Pawn, G’factor Studio; group show; Chicago, IL, May 2002, (video w/ Kristie Alshaibi)
Plan B, group show, Chicago IL, 1998 (performance, paintings)
University of Iowa; Checkered Space, solo exhibition; Iowa City, IA, 1991 (paintings, drawings)

“History of Flying Vagina,” Art book, published Knust Extrapool, Netherlands, (2009)
“Smut Vol.2” paperback book published by, front cover photograph (2009), Photography, “Red Hot” (2007) , “The LIne of Beauty” (2006) “Dressed to Kill” (2006)
“USA is boring,” model: Naomi Z, page 4: hello, Lumpen Magazine issue99, March (2006)

Juror; 30th Annual Big Muddy Film Festival ; Carbondale; Illinois; 2008
Juror; Community Arts Assistance Program (CAAP); Chicago; Illinois; 2005
Juror; 72 Hour Feature Project; Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago, IL; 2003
Juror; eKsperim[E]nt3 Film Festival; Manila, Philippines; 2003
Curator; Projections in Heaven; The Heaven Gallery; Chicago, Illinois; March 2001
Program Director; The Z Film Festival; Chicago, Illinois; December 2000 to 2005
Co-Director; Undershorts Film Festival; The Music Box Theatre; Chicago, Illinois; February 1999