A community-wide program that connects the people,
places, and stories of Malden through discovery-based filmmaking.

Filmbuilding Malden is a city-wide, city-funded program that took place in 2022/2023 as a way to activate and connect the Malden community through collaborative filmmaking projects, film screenings, and public media art events. 

The planning for this pilot program began in 2022. As a preview to the larger program, a mini version, Filmbuilding Blast, took place in 2022. Four filmbuilders created “River Ran Through Here” over a weekend. 

Following an orientation in May 2023, 23 members of the Malden community formed six groups to create six short films along the theme Who is Malden. Five of these films were premiered and completed as part of the Who is Malden Film Series in the fall of 2023. 

Behind the Scenes Documentary

UMA Summer Interns Sydney Roth, Zachary Bennett, and Yipeng (Nicole) Kong produced a 19-minute film about the Filmbuilding Malden experience. Special thanks to Masio Dotson and UMA staff for guidance.

Roundtable Discussion October 28, 2023

Roundtable discussion held at the final event October 28. The panelists reflect on the Filmbuilding Malden program and its relevance to Malden and the broader society. Panelists include moderator Tom Flint, Amanda Linehan, Kobena Bonney, Alexander Nezam, and John Sarrouf 
Edited and recorded by James Mudge.


To view the films, visit the Who is Malden Film Series & Discussion page.


The filmbuilders were selected through an application process. Media experience was not required. Some of the participants have little or no experience creating media. A few have created films, videos, and/or photography. The filmbuilders were selected based on their interest and connection to Malden and a willingness to collaborate with and meet new people from various backgrounds. 

Headshots by Justin Dovidio, not including Jessica Varga, Shiva Mishra, Martha Bezzat, Pamela Bronder-Giroux, and Doc Havey

Filmbuilding Mentors

Dan Girmus

Dan Girmus is a filmmaker based in Boston. Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, he serves as Senior Video Producer at Klaviyo and teaches Documentary Production and Personal Storytelling at Emerson College. His work has screened at Visions du Reel, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, and IFF Boston.

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Nasara Hassan

Nasara Hassan is a filmmaker and Educator who loves storytelling. He obtained my Bachelor of media in screen production and public relations from Murdoch university, Perth, Australia. His filmmaking career began in Dubai where he wrote, directed, and produced short films. As an educator he has had the privilege of working with students at Boston University on a project that allowed him to be a guide during production. He is currently producing a short film and teaching elementary school students filmmaking. He believes that with the right inspiration and medium in hand, we all have the ability to be impactful storytellers.

Asma Khoshmehr

Asma Khoshmehr is a multifaceted Boston-based filmmaker experienced in writing, directing, producing, and cinematography. She has worked on short films, documentaries, music videos, and virtual reality projects, with a focus ongenerational trauma, forced displacement, forced marriage, and political sexual violence under dictatorship. Asma specializes in 2D and 3D animation, volumetric cinema, and photography. Her exhibitions have been showcased in various locations, including Iran, India, South Korea, Italy, and the United States. Her work has been featured in publications such as Art Reveal Magazine and Peripheral Arteries Biennial. Asma has been awarded several scholarships, including the Virgin Unite Award and MASS MoCA residency. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Theater while completing her final year of film studies at Emerson College.

Alexander Nezam

Alexander Nezam is an avant-garde filmmaker that has produced experimental, documentary, and narrative films about migration and social integration. His award-winning 2019 feature documentary, We Are Not Together, has premiered in 7 countries and screened at NYU, Harvard, and University of Milano. He was the recipient of the 2021 Creative Fellowship from the Othering and Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley, and is currently pursuing an MFA in Film and Media Art at Emerson College.

Bilal Saed

Bilal Saed is an accomplished filmmaker, specializing in documentaries. He is a patient teacher and eager to help people aspiring to learn more about film and video production. Bilal is trilingual and enjoys learning about new cultures.

Jozef Zekanoski

Jozef Zekanoski is a digital media producer at Urban Media arts who is passionate about filmmaking and creative arts. He graduated from UMass Amherst in 2022 with degrees in Journalism, Communication, and film studies and moved to Boston shortly after to pursue his goals. jozefilm.com.

The Team


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Karyn Alzayer

Marketing Coordinator

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Meredith Rumore

Program Coordinator


Anne D'Urso Rose

UMA Liaison

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Marcel Schwab

Data Analyst, Social Impact Reporting


Tom Flint

Artistic Director


Ose Schwab

Program Lead

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Amanda Hurley

Intern Liaison

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Jozef Zekanoski

WeVideo Support, Assistant Mentor



Zachary Bennett

Video Production and Editing Support Intern

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Yipeng (Nicole) Kong

Video Production and Editing Support Intern

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Catherine Leuba

Marketing and Arts Coordination Intern

ELLA class of 2020 HHS

Ella Nasca

Marketing and Advertizing Intern


Sydney Roth

Video Production and Community Liaison Intern


Cara Cargill

Cara Cargill

Essential Partners Liaison

Mina Kim

Mina Kim

Community Engagement Consultant

Bybiose Larochelle

Bybiose Larochelle

City Advisor

Maria Luise

Maria Luise

City Liaison

Elena Martinez

City Language Access Specialist

Community Advisors

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Fatiha Ainane

Director of Emerging Markets and Community Relations @ Ascendus

Parto Korshidi

Parto Korshidi

Public Health Professional

Souad Akib

Souad Akib

Executive Director. American Association for Arab Women

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Cecilia Nuñez O’Doherty

Fifth Grade ELL Educator in Malden, Local Artist & Jeweler

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Conrad Mitala

Managing Director @ Nunjie Capital Group

Karen Phillips

Karen Phillips

Healthcare Professional, World Traveler & Community Volunteer

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Daniele Deghi

Sales & Marketing @ Brazilian Times Newspaper

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Mary D'Alba

Owner of Spiritualitygirl LLC.

Nathalie Fanfan

Nathalie Fanfan-Glyman

Fashion Stylist, Personal Shopper & Event Planner

Mo Saeed

Mo Saeed

Founder/CEO @ OrbisPay & Social Entrepreneur

Sponsoring Partners

City of Malden Seal
Essential Partners


Mass Cultural Council
CRG Graphics

Food Sponsors

Contact Us

We would love to hear your questions, thoughts, and ideas!

More about Discovery-Based Filmbuilding

About the Filmbuilding Experience

What is a Filmbuilder video produced and edited by Keren He.

About the Filmbuilding Approach