Monday, December 5, 2011

Exhibition TWO: color talk - Performance Salon Recap and Rainbow HIYER-KU by Jenny D Green

Twas the first Saturday of December and unseasonably warm, which was surely a good omen for the Performance Salon of the International Women Artists' Salon's Exhibition TWO:colortalk. Chashama, the beguilingly named host for a two-week celebration of visual, literary and performance arts from NYC's global melting pot of talented shes, offered a tempting 42nd Street debut for me as MC. I got there to find an extemporised tech being banged out by one of the super performers and visual artist Patricia Shea. What a trouper! By combination of gerry-rigging a hidden PA system - with no sight lines to our stage - in what was once presumably a clothing store, and bringing into action an amped-up boombox, she ensured the show would go on. Meanwhile Salonista-in-chief, Heidi Russell, wrestled with fabulous large sculptural pieces to make way for the expected hordes. I was trying to take the time to make sure my running order was going to work, checking in with performers and making my Hiyer-Ku poems slightly more colour-coordinated than the astonishing assemblage of clothing I had on, not to mention some clown-face makeup. There are no lengths I will avoid to make a rainbow. Our 7pm stated start time slipped a little (the luxury of being free from the discipline of a stage manager) as we waited for a couple of performers, along with AN AUDIENCE. We kicked off with my reading the poems of the absentee artist, Janet Restino (happily booked for a paying gig), and the world premiere of my specially devised HIYER-KU, Manchester's irreverent answer to a more delicate Japanese art. And we were off. Karlyn DeSteno captured much delicacy with her mesmerising blend of folk guitar and voice, then Melissa Riker swung everything around, literally (or maybe bodily?), with a site-specific devised dance piece that took her and her hat out of the storefront and scampering around the scaffolding outside. She made the most of the balmy night and caught the attention of passers by as she looked in on the audience, rapt by her playful and poised movement. Way to draw a crowd! Aimee Whelan kicked up the energy another notch with her swelligant renditions of a few showtunes (replete with some avant-garde chair-dancing by yours truly during an instrumental break) which took us into an intermission that buzzed with excitement and joy. Our impromptu, show-saving tech director, Patricia Shea opened Part the Second with her punchy guitar-fuelled folk-rock, then Kelley Donovan snaked her way through the space with her hypnotic dance of reptilian renewal. Jendog Lonewolf jumpstarted my heart - and the audience - as she paid tribute to our Jenny Green clan in her powerful, lyrical hip-hop, before being joined by the arrestingly beautiful Yalini Dream' sung and spoken performance poetry. There was scarcely a dry eye in the - pleasingly full - house by the time we finished. I for one felt we had all given from our multi-colored, multi-cultured hearts to make the Exhibition TWO Performance Salon the best free ticket in town for some time to come.




I hate red

my mum always says,

so in defiance I like it

for the slag in my bed



He called it mellow yellow

in a hippy haze.

Sunflower head,

Or colour self-dead?


Pink stinks

for outraged feminista

But l’il girls still love it

- Powderpuff sista


Envy, earthy, innocent, fresh

So much meaning,

a colour most blest.

And, it’s my name – Pellegrino!


Orange is not the only fruit.

An amber flash,

a ginger joke.

Pekoe flower tribute


I am old enough to wear purple,

curse within my prose,

yet prefer the crush of velvet

To a drunken bruise


A kind of sad thing,

Downbeat jazz

Smokey ganja party

Hallucinogenic smurf

Jenny D Green: mc, actor and producing artist, working in NYC since she graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 2008. She has enjoyed hosting events ever since leading school assemblies as a tween (before tweens existed) and is more surprised than anyone that this has recently developed into being a Priestess (of the non-denominational www. kind). Fave mc & presenting gigs incl Mind The Gap, the BBC, Manhattan Theatre Source & indeed The Duplex. See for more and please don’t hesitate to contact Jenny at especially if you need your nuptials officiating! And keep an eye on her production company The OPTimistiks for word on a PANTOMIME for NYC...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

International Women Artists' Salon Presents Their Second Annual Salon exhibition November 22nd - December 4th, 2011

International Women Artists' Salon
presents their second annual salon exhibition... 




Participating Artists:
Aimee Whelan, Annie Heckman, Ashley Brooke Roberts, Bev Thompson, Bridget Riversmith, Caren Jo Shapiro, Carren Strock, Dorothy A. Krakauer, Elena Bouza, Ella Veres, Francine Trevens, Heidi Russell, Irina Kuzminsky, Janet Restino, Jeanine Alfieri, Jendog Lonewolf, Jennie Booth, Jenny D Green, Ji Ye Kim, Karlyn DeSteno, Kate Perotti, Kathryn M. Fazio, Kelley Donovan, Kera MacKenzie, Laura Cannistraci, Lauren Bond, Lisa Ferber, Lisa Zilker, Maggie Cousins, Maria Lago, Marla Mossman, Maria Taveras, Mary Gagler, Meg Graham, Melissa Riker/Kinesis Project, Miranda Loud, Nadine Charlsen, Orly Benun, Patricia Shea, Prinny Alaví, Rica Takashima, Sabina Pieslak, Sheryl Scott, Silvana D’Mikos, Stiliani Moulinos, Toni Silber-Delerive, Wen-Chi Chen, YaliniDream

Exhibition Hours:
November 22-27, Noon to 7pm, closed Thanksgiving
November 28-Dec 3, Noon to 8 pm
December 4th, Sunday, Noon to 5 pm

Special Events:
Reception:  Tuesday, November 29th, 7-10pm
Film Viewing: Friday, December 2nd, 6 pm
Performance Salon: Saturday, December, 3rd, 7-10 pm
Literary Salon:  Sunday, December 4th, 3-5 pm


Participation Peace: tapestry of hope

YOU are invited to contribute to our exhibition's participation art project, anytime during the show ~ come on in!!!

While last year’s exhibition reflected our mission through the theme of
limitless possibility in Exhibition ONE: zero gravity, this year’s theme will
reflect the very personal and, at times, aggressive use of the universal language of color in Exhibition TWO: color talk. Each artist’s use of color changes from culture to culture and from year to year as they develop, rebel and delve into their use of color’s limitless vocabulary. The theme embraces the many backgrounds and influences of salon members and exhibits them all as a survey of what women artists are saying with color today.

For more information contact Heidi Russell:

Much appreciation to chashama and their staff!

Exhibition TWO: color talk - video and film program

 Click on cards for readable view:

Exhibition TWO: color talk - Visual Art Price List

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Member Spotlight: Visual Artist Joelle Circé as part of EstroGenious Festival

International Women Artists' Salon is pleased to share some images from visual artist Joelle Circé, one of the participants in Estrogenius Festival exhibition, highlighting several Salon members and other women artists. October 5th-November 5th.

 Tanguero, oil, 28 inches x 20 inches

You can see her work in person at Manhattan Theatre Source during the Estrogenius Festival Exhibition, October 5th-November 5th.

Estro Art is that portion of the overall EstroGenius Festival celebrating female artists voices. It's open every night at the Theater before the show. Opening reception is on october 6th, from 6-8pm. Manhattan Theater Source, 177 MacDougal Street, NY, NY, 10011 (from october 5th to november 5th).

Check out:

 Shut up and be pretty, sanguine, 
pastel and charcoal, 20 inches x 17 inches

Circé's Artist Statement
My creations primarily consist of works in oils and occasionally charcoals and pastels. My process is instinctive and I?m unerringly drawn to expose and reveal the image and the moment contained therein to it?s fullest potential. I am a queer woman of transsexual origin and my art reflects an integrated queer feminism that is political, social and often emotional in nature. My art is integrated in my own personal politic and feminism, and I explore the power of this in my art.


Breaking free, oil, 20 inches x 16 inches

My Bio in short
I was born In Montreal, Canada, and raised catholic though even from a young age, I had already begun to walk my own path. I was also born with a physiological condition called transsexuality and as might be imagined, this caused much consternation, eventually I was cured of it and today live life as a very happy woman indeed. I am agnostic as far as what I think about beliefs.

I grew up in rather poor settings, covering the walls of the shared bedroom with my drawings.

I began drawing as a child and the passion for lines and colors just grew as I aged. I studied at a private Art School in Montreal for about four years and participated in many art shows.

---Joelle Circé

 Red Light, oil, 36 inches x 24 inches

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Salon Collaboration Event: One Body, A Multitude of Expression works by female artists, a component of Estrogenius Festival 2011

"Three Goddesses", Oil on Gallery Wrapped Canvas
Triptych, three 10"x 20" panels
by Anastacia Drake

International Women Artists' Salon is excited to announce founder Heidi Russell curates Estrogenius Festival exhibition, highlighting several Salon members and other women artists. October 5th-November 5th. Opening event: Thursday October 6th 6:00-8:00PM

One Body, A Multitude of Expression
works by female artists, a component of Estrogenius Festival 2011

Curated by Heidi Russell and installed by Ashley Middleton and Mary Gagler

at Manhattan Theatre Source
177 MacDougal Street, between Waverly and 8th Street
New York, NY 10011

Opening event: Thursday, October 6, 6-8pm
Show runs: October 5-November 5
The show will be on display from October 5th-November 5th.
Best viewing times: 12:00 - 7 pm

Artists include:
Anastacia Drake, Anne Carlino, Ashley Middleton, Barbara Lee, Beatriz Olivetti, Bridget Riversmith, Elena Bouza, Ella Veres, Eva Mueller, Fotini Vurgaropulou, Gretchen Radecki, Jade Chiu, Jeanine Alfieri, JiYe Kim, Joelle Circe, Judy Francesconi, Lee Ann Monat, Lillian Gottlieb, Lisa Lebofsky, Migdalia Luz, Maria Taveras, Marla Mossman, Mary Gagler, Matilda Szydagis, Meg Graham, Patricia Shea, Sheryl Scott, Stacie Joy, Toni Quest, Tracy Von Becker, Tricia Sellmer, and Zofia Bogusz

Poetry, music and performance by leading NYC female artists will help launch the opening on Thursday, October 6th, 6-8pm. 

Performers at the free reception include:
Cheryl B. Engelhardt, Ella Veres, Jennifer Pawlitschek, Kat Georges, Lauren Bond, Louise D. E. Jensen, Nicole Zaray, & Patricia Shea

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Member Spotlight: Heba Amin, filmmaker, announces fundraising campaign for experimental film "Voices from the Revolution"

International Women Artists' Salon is honored to support filmmaker member Heba Amin's fund-raising campaign for her experimental film "Voices from the Revolution."  We invite you to visit her IndieGoGo and Facebook pages to learn about her film project and support her effort in any way you can.


During the recent uprising in Egypt in 2011, speak2Tweet allowed Egyptians to post their breaking news and opinions on Twitter via voicemail despite countrywide Internet cuts. The result was thousands of heartfelt messages from Egyptians recording their emotions by phone. This experimental film presents selected speak2Tweet messages prior to the fall of the Mubarak regime on February 11, 2011 and juxtaposes them with the abandoned structures that represent the long-lasting effects of a corrupt dictatorship. It attempts to depict the harsh reality of the physical state of the city and addresses the role that the urban infrastructure plays in instigating unrest amongst its inhabitants. The project reveals the hopes and fears of a people who have yet to discover the outcome of their revolution within the context of their crumbling surroundings. This is not another documentary about the revolution but rather an artistic presentation revealing the collective psyche during a specific time-frame.

Heba Amin: Artist, Director
Heba Amin is an Egyptian artist whose work seeks to map collective memory as it relates to the built environment. Her theoretical and studio-based work addresses themes related to urban planning, mapping, migration/immigration and language as an aesthetic database to explore junctures, failures, and flawed memory.

Amin has taught at the University of Minnesota, the American University in Cairo, and the Hochschule fur Technik und Wirtschaft in Berlin. She is a 2009 Rhizome Commissions grant recipient and a 2010 Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) scholar. She has exhibited her work internationally and has attended several workshops and residencies in Europe. Amin currently resides in Berlin. More information about her work can be found at

More from Heba:
I am very happy to share with you exciting updates for Voices from the Revolution, an experimental documentary I am directing!  I see this project as a platform to discuss very important issues addressed by the film including democratization of communication, rights to internet access, impact of neglected infrastructure, and importance of historical structures, among others. This is not another documentary about the revolution but rather an artistic presentation that not only gives you intimate insight on what the emotional state of the people was before their government fell but also features beautiful architecture in Cairo, much of which has been abandoned, neglected and forgotten, relaying the context in which revolution happened.

I am perhaps doing the unthinkable, but with complete confidence in the project, I am sending you a call to help support it.

Contributions can be as low as $1, be anonymous and be done using Paypal or credit card. Couldn't be more simple!

To help make this project happen visit our IndieGoGo campaign (where you can also see an excerpt of the project):


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Member Spotlight: Visual Artist Jennie Booth - Solo Exhibition- "The Universe Goes Looking 4 an Answer"

International Women Artists' Salon is thrilled to announce member Jennie Booth's solo exhibition of mixed-media paintings, "The Universe Goes Looking 4 an Answer" at Chashama 461 Studio Gallery, September 14, 2011 - Tuesday, September 27, 2011.

The Universe Goes Looking 4 an Answer

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 - Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Wednesday through Sunday, 1-6PM
Chashama 461 Studio Gallery, 461 W. 126th St, NYC

Opening Reception Friday, September 16th, 2011 6-9PM

Click HERE for directions.

Universe Gets a Query
4"w x 7" h 2011
oil/beeswax on paper

The Universe comes to Harlem from September 14-27, 2011 as chashama's 461 Gallery presents mixed-media paintings by New York City artist Jennie Booth. Booth fills the gallery with glowing portraits of an iconographic Universe walking through the landscape of her own Consciousness.

These oil and mixed media paintings express the power and vulnerability of the human psyche when faced with its own vast and mysterious nature. Having lost loved ones to the worst outcomes of mental illness, and having struggled for years herself with the crushing depressions of Bipolar II, she has experienced firsthand how "reality" is truly a projection of the mind, and the mind is vulnerable to the complex wiring of its motherboard, the brain.

Jennie Booth's iconography carries us through a world of Freaky Observers, vibrating Strings, life-anchoring yucca and blazing sunsets painted with jewel-like colors that have the feeling of stained glass. This layering of brain science, physics, psychology, icongraphic traditions and landscape tableaux speaks to the miracle of thought on the micro and macro scale.

Universe Goes Looking 4 an Answer
Oil/beeswax on Paper

Artist, Jennie Booth has exhibited her work nationally and internationally and is recipient of numerous grants and awards including a Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation Studio Residency, Vermont Studio Full Fellowship, and Fundacion Valparaiso Residency in Spain. She works between New York City and Los Angeles, California

Sunset With Freaky Observers
10" x 10"  2010
Oil Beeswax on Canvas

Artist Statement
The central figure in my work is the Universal Self, wandering through a landscape of her own Consciousness. She is compassion, rationality, strength and kinetic energy.  Brain clouds hovering around her are the Freaky Observers of the Albrecht/SoroBoltzmann Brain Paradox; a play on the mathematical unlikelihood that we are here thinking at all.
Travel through the Egyptian Sahara in 2005 and White Sands Desert during a 2007 Artist Residency at Mano Y Mente in New Mexico allowed me to experience the awe and strange familiarity of being surrounded by an ocean of sand.  These vast, stark environments were the settings in which celebrated thinkers from both regions sought to answer fundamental questions and gain control of their worlds, resulting in The Eyptian Book of Emerging Forth Into the Light…..and the nuclear bomb. Quiet, immense and dazzling, I found the Desert ecosystem to be a potent symbolic parallel to our human presence on Earth: fragile, tentative and interdependent, yet ultimately alone.

PowerSource (The Universe Gets Juiced)
71/2" w x 6" h  2007
Oil/Beeswax on Paper

Sponsored by Chashama:
Facebook Invitation:

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Member Spotlight: Judith Z. Miller - "Celebration of Life!" Artists Commemorating 9/11

International Women Artists' Salon member Judith Z. Miller Invites You to Collaborate in the  Celebration of Life! “Be-In” Artists Commemorating 9/11

Come Celebrate LIFE on 9/11/2011
Artists Commemorating 9/11

(*RAIN DATES: Saturday, September 24 or in case of rain, Sunday, September 25th.)

In Park Slope's Lush Warren/ St. Mark's Community Garden (619-625 Warren St, Between 4th and 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY).

“Celebration of Life!” - a dance-percussive-art “Happening” - features Sticks & Stones healing ritual artist

Judith Z. Miller’s primal wearable art and sculpture made from trees and stones, set to a live soundscape of global rhythms by Music for the Masses DJ Neva Wartell, in Park Slope’s lush St. Marks/Warren Street Community Garden.

“Celebration of Life” will include dancers in body paint wearing Judith’s handmade, one-of-a-kind amulets, moving throughout the garden with her “Sacred Staffs” made from the roots and trunks of trees. Dancers will be accompanied by music spun by DJ Neva along with live percussion. The community will be invited to participate.

To RSVP, search Facebook:
Celebration of Life! “Be-In”
View Video Invitation:
Dancers will honor the earth by creating movement in response to the song “MANKIND” by MAURI, accompanied by live music.
Dancers, Choreographers, Percussionists, Body Painters, Poets & Writers, Photographers, Videographers, and advance & on-site Event Organizers are invited to collaborate. If you want to participate, please let us know what skills you'd like to share!

POTLUCK: Please bring food and non-alcoholic beverages to share. The grill will be fired up.

Featured Artists:
DJ NEVA (Music for the Masses) is an ethnomusicologist and long-time cultural activist. Along with performances at festivals and events, she co-produces "New York International" — NY’s longest-running weekly live-format World Music radio show — on Haitian community station Radio Soleil

More information:
Radio show archive:

Judith Z. Miller (Sticks & Stones) is a self-trained healing ritual artist who lives in an erotic, musical, spiritual universe. Inspired by the beauty of nature and the guiding force of her intuition, she draws and creates primal sculpture and wearable art from trees, stones and found objects, which she fashions into ritual staffs, instruments, wearable amulets, and employs in healing rituals.

To learn more about Judith Z. Miller, go to:

Partial list of collaborating artists:
Artist/Designer/Raconteur Thomas Lynn Pool will display his origami designs and shoot video.

Jazz improvisational and devotional vocalist Deborah Shelton will lead a song circle combining vocal improvisation and multi-part songs of faith, hope and love.
Dub Poet Infinity [] will perform.
Jim Su and Tyler P. Fairbanks [] will paint the dancers’ bodies and Ahuva Adanani will do makeup and hair.
Taino tongue drummer William Ruiz [] and percussionist Shoshana Jedwab [] will lead drum circles.

Brooklyn videographer Jett Cain a documentary, live music performance and music video producer will document the days’ events and create a music video.
We invite your collaboration, please contact and let us know what you’d like to contribute.

Please include the words “Celebration of Life!” in the subject line.

Event Hashtag: #911COL

Create a small temporary installation and document it for submission for "Return, Remember" sponsored by the Brooklyn Arts Council at Celebration of Life!

Return, Remember

Ephemeral Memorials in the Legacy of September 11th Deadline: September 30, 2011

For more information:

For information and inspiration, view this beautiful memorial on CityLore's website:

Monday, August 29, 2011

Member Spotlight: Kelley Donovan & Dancers showing work in NYC!!‏

International Women Artists' Salon is happy to share the good news that Salon Member Kelley Donovan and Dancers will be in New York City on September 17th with "In a World" and "What is Stable Shifts, What is Solid Slips."

Kelley Donovan
and Dancers present

In a World
What is Stable Shifts, What is Solid Slips

Guest Choreographers:  David Parker,

Jessica Parks and Sharon Montella 



We are now performing at PEARL STUDIOS!
500 8th Ave., 12th Floor, room 1204

For tickets go to:
(if you cannot attend the show but want to contribute please go to the link above and purchase a ticket)

for directions
Monthly Series Continues:  October 8, Nov. 12th, December 10th

“…a noticeably personal style…gorgeously fluid,

strongly rooted movement.  -The New York Times



Performed By:   David Parker, Jessica Parks, Sharon Montella, Samantha Wilson, Michael West Jr., Sasha Peterson, Kelley Donovan, Nordica Holton, Lucy Considine, Laura Murphy,  Tiffany Ballinger, Stephanie  Reeves

for information call 617-388-3247 or e-mail   


Kelley Donovan splits her time between Boston and New York City, teaching in both cities and has performed work by Ann Carlson and Liz Lerman.   She currently teaches modern dance at UMass Boston, Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre in Cambridge and Third Life Studios in Somerville.  She received her training in choreography from Mark Morris and Bessie Schonberg and her work has been called “vibrant, imaginative...with a rare feeling for stage space” by the New York Times.  She has shown work in numerous Boston venues and at the Merce Cunningham Studio, Joyce SoHo, Movement Research, The Rover and the 92nd St. Y in New York City.  She has been selected as a Choreography Fellow at Summerstages Dance at Concord Academy this summer.  Starting in September she will produce a monthly Salon Series in New York City this fall at PMT House of Dance.  You can find information at

Kelley Donovan & Dancers classes

Blog, about our process & recent work

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Member Spotlight: Nicole Zaray's One Woman Musical Show "A Woman Alone" in New York City on Sept 9th

International Women Artists' Salon is thrilled to announce member Nicole Zaray's performance in her One Woman Musical Show "A Woman Alone," Friday, September 9th at 7:30pm at The Dixon Place Lounge, NYC. Admission is FREE!

Welcome the FALL
with a night of music with

7:30 pm

a one woman musical show
Nicole Zaray

Get ready to challenge your preconceptions of pop and American Songbook. Nicole Zaray guarantees you some bizarre hooks tonight. This is a musical journey through various existential modalities of solitude in the city. Within her set of quirky, feminist, jazz-influenced experimental songs, Nicole delivers catchy choruses and weird piano phrasings (while dancing) and illustrates the particular loneliness of the urban environment of our time, while providing brief analyses on how it makes perfect sense that we have all arrived here. This is funny, memorable, and definitely a new form of one-woman-cabaret. Think Almodovar meets Laurie Anderson. Loneliness never seemed so interesting.

Photo: Eva Mueller

161A Chrystie Street NY NY 10002 212-219-0736
F R E E.

Music, vocals, keyboards and music production by Nicole Zaray.
Visuals by Eva Mueller and Nicole Zaray.

Nicole Zaray Brief Bio:

Nicole Zaray is a vocalist, songwriter and producer. She was born on the LES, was raised in Brooklyn and studied at Barnard College. She studied classical piano for 10 years, but was greatly influenced by stride piano players Fats Waller and James P. Johnson when no one was looking. Her solo music work has been presented at PS 122, the Roulette Concert Series, and the SuperCoda music series. Dedicated to studying the evolution of ‘The American Songbook’, she was commissioned by The American Music Center to write about American film music history. She was featured vocalist on Moby’s CDs “Feeling So Real” and “Next is the E” (Mute/Elektra); and starred in the eclectic scifi flick “The Sticky Fingers of Time” which premiered at the Venice Biennale, played over forty other festivals, and was released worldwide.

More information:

Monday, August 1, 2011

Member Spotlight: Sharine Mohamed, filmmaker, announces fundraising campaign for "I am not Virgin" film teaser

International Women Artists' Salon is honored to support filmmaker member Sharine Mohamed's fund-raising campaign for her 'I am not Virgin' film teaser.  We invite you to learn about her film project and support her effort in any way.  She will hold a fundraiser event August 3rd in conjunction with an IndieGoGo online fund-raising campaign through November 18th, 2011.

Sharine invites you to join her Wednesday, August 3rd, 7pm through the evening.  Enjoy an Egyptian Homemade Dinner. Drink Mediterranean Fig Flavored Vodka. See the Live Monologues. Win Raffle Prizes. All monies raised will be used for I am not VIRGIN's five minute film teaser.
Please see event details at these two links and to reserve your ticket (please reserve by August 1st ,or contact Heidi Russell or Sharine if interested and past reservation deadline).
F I L M    D I R E C T O R
I am not Virgin Movie. INC


Note from the Filmmaker:
I love filmmaking. I am obsessed. I just want to be on set all day, all night, directing. I really believe that I was born in this life just to make movies. I come from an art background, and love colors, lighting, scenes; the beauty of the creative process obsesses me! But aside from that, throughout my life, I have always thought critically, and fought against what I felt was wrong. Due to activism DNA in me, what better idea could I have than to mix both my passions?

My mission as an Egyptian filmmaker is to be a voice for women on women’s issues in my country, Egypt where it can be an example to all other countries. As an American, my mission as a filmmaker is to show how even here in America we can still find social conflict, and that in the end, a city is only a city and becomes labeled by its people.  Hopefully my films can beautifully and artistically emphasize fundamental human rights on a global level, and to be a bridge to link different cultures so that it would broaden and highlight the similarities that unite us as a people on this one same planet that we all share.
The Project: Stage in Development: 

Log Line: Egyptian feature film based on true events about victimized women accused of not being virgins. The double standards between women and men on the topic of virginity and hymen restoration procedures with a backdrop of the current revolution in Egypt and the outcome of vile acts towards women involving their virginity while protesting. 

Why this Topic?
The topic is important because it’s a twisted old fashion tradition. It’s dreadful and serious, painful, astonishing, unfair and brutal. These atrocities are still happening to women, women I personally knew and still know till this day, my friends, family, even myself and it needs to end.

What is virginity? What does it mean to be a virgin? Does the hymen need to be intact? What is the significance of a hymen in terms of biological, traditional, physical? How many types of hymens are there? Religious people have one answer, while doctors have another, different from what some Egyptian men think, different from what Egyptian women think even amongst other Egyptian women, different from what non-Egyptian men and women think… 

How sad is it to know that a father would let his daughter die rather than permit her to have necessary cervical surgery, believing that she would no longer be a virgin and therefore not die with honor. 

How crazy is it to know that after seven years of a loving marriage, the wife is divorced because the husband suspects she was never a virgin after she gifts him with a hymen restoration procedure on their seventh wedding anniversary.
How sad is it to know that most women end up marrying their rapist, since the rapist has the luxury to choose between being in prison for a few months or marrying the victim in order to not press charges against him thereby preserving her and her family’s’ honor. 

How strange is it to learn that some women, between the ages of twenty and forty, are so depressed that they refuse to engage in sexual intercourse with their husbands because of fear and paranoia. 

How sad is it for a woman to be accused of not being a virgin, brutally threatened, mentally and physically abused, all because she did not bleed? 

A young woman Azraa (popular Egyptian name meaning Virgin), in her early 20s, admitted by the lead scholarship to study Psychology, Western Philosophy, Anthropology, Sociology, and the Arts at the AUC: American University in Cairo. Although she is obedient at home amongst her parents (in a slum like area called Boolak in Cairo) and abides by the Eastern traditional ways, she has a Westernized and unaccepted (by Egyptian Society standards) lifestyle when away from home; and even though she wishes to be accepted, she has a dreadful fear and expresses her desperate desire to never reveal her secret “but preferred” life-style to her parents. An American professor at AUC makes an announcement in class about a study-abroad contest, where the student contestants are assigned to research a conflicted cultural topic to win a sponsored trip to New York City and attend The International Cultural Convention at the UN where the student will represent Egypt with a public speech on the researched topic. Azraa is interested and applies. However, Ahmed, Azraas’ jealous, controlling boyfriend threatens to tell her family that she is not a virgin unless she drops the assignment and stops spending so much time with the American Professor. After seeing Ahmed’s true colors, she decides to end the relationship. She is heartbroken and crushed with confusions, fears and regrets. Azraa is drenched in fear and decides to go to one of those illegal clinics to find a cosmetic surgeon to stitch her hymen. Azraa cannot afford the procedure but begs the doctor to work in exchange and he agrees. During her working hours she shares chats with a few women who attend the clinic and learns so much about virginity and all matters involved. She takes an interest in the subject and starts to research the topic for the AUC competition assignment. The relationship with her professor becomes deeper as they work together, and although its platonic, students and faculty see them together often, start to gossip and assume it’s more. Ahmed, her ex-boyfriend, continues to follow her and harass her with his threats. Meanwhile, her parents are aware it’s her last year in college and they keep telling her about potential husbands who are visiting to propose, but she avoids them by creating excuses to not show up, and her parents start to suspect something is wrong. Political turmoil results in new uprising and protests start to take place in Tahrir square. Azraa joins one morning after seeing a group of women shouting for freedom and democracy. Masses of people are protesting to get rid of the President. She and a few other women get arrested by the authorities and are forced to undergo virginity examinations. As her family finds out and her ex-boyfriend confirms this news by spreading rumors in the town where she lives, Azraa is brutally beaten by her brother and father, her family disowns her, and she is a popular subject for gossip, exaggerative rumors and an outcast in her neighborhood. After rejections from family members and friends for a place to stay, she can think of no one to go to but the American Professor. He takes her in and tries to encourage her to finish the research she’s started, but she is too hurt, depressed and distracted as everything else in her life falling apart. Rumors from faculty and students intensify. After a long time of almost giving up, she than realizes it’s all she has left. After seeing people who die to free Egypt, Azraa realizes the importance of voice and insists on struggling against all odds to achieve her only serious desire to win the contest. She presents her project proposal to the dean and wins. The film ends with Azraa in New York City at the International Cultural Convention. She starts the long public speech revealing her entire research on the virginity issue with women in Egypt. The crowd comes to tears, laughs, and claps. 

What is Needed:
Right now I am working on producing a 5 minute teaser and have 4 months between Aug 15th and December 15th for Pre-production and Production in Cairo then post here in New York once I get back December 15th. In general I probably need to raise about $150,000.00 or above only for development and still figuring it out. Some examples for why I need this amount... 

1-      5 min Teaser ($50 thousand) Deadline December15th
2-      Website
3-      Script
4-      Logo & other stationeries
5-      Critiquing and proof reading
6-      Entertainment Lawyer/ drafting Contracts and Agreements
7-      Casting
8-      Locations & Permits 

The list goes on, but this was just to give you an idea… What I am really focusing on now is producing the 5 minute teaser. I have been working on research in Cairo for the past year, attending film festivals to network and working on the development. I just registered the project as an S-corporation, and all of this preliminary work is expensive, so I need support.
For any questions please email me at
Thank you!
F I L M    D I R E C T O R
I am not Virgin Movie. INC

+1 917 703 8244  USA
+2 019 718 1 718  EGYPT
+33 6 197479 23  FRANCE 
About the Director:
New York and Cairo based emerging filmmaker Sharine Mohamed intends to create fictional films based on true stories about issues that women face, relationships, cultural clashes, and social stigmas. The daughter of an Egyptian father and American mother, Sharine Mohamed has lived half her life in each country always feeling torn between two very different cultures and having difficulty adapting to both and being accepted in each. Currently, she shifts between living in New York and Cairo and tries to mix the best from both cities which mold her to be who she is today no matter where she goes.