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Watch a Film - Start a Dialogue - Make Peace Happen
20,000 Dialogues is a nationwide initiative that uses films to facilitate dialogue about Muslims and Islam. Watch the video to learn more.

FAQS

20,000 Dialogues Frequently Asked Questions

What is 20,000 Dialogues?
How did you come up with the idea?
What about the title "20,000 Dialogues"?
What is your overall hope for this initiative?
Who should be involved?
How can organizations be involved?
What films have been selected to watch and why?
What are the requirements to start a Dialogue?
I believe in interfaith dialogue but can't meet the requirements. How can I get the films?
Is there a cost to participate?
How do I get started? How do I get the DVD? What are the requirements?
How are you able to provide the DVD at no cost?
Will there be other films in the future to continue the dialogues?


What is 20,000 Dialogues?

20,000 Dialogues is a campaign designed to bring people of different faiths together using films about Muslims to stimulate discussion and promote understanding. It's an educational outreach project of Unity Productions Foundation, a non-profit filmmaker with a mission to promote peace among some of the world's spiritual and cultural traditions. Part of that mission is to help people understand who Muslims are in a wider social and historical context. See "Why Muslims? Why Now?" for more information.

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How did you come up with the idea?

After our first film, Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet was broadcast on PBS and then released on DVD, we saw that it was frequently used in formal interfaith efforts. Churches, university groups and other institutions would screen it and they liked it because it encouraged debate and discussion on the film's issues. As the film's producers we were invited to talk about it all over the country, and would often be invited to speak on a panel with religious leaders or academic scholars.

We saw that grassroots interests were spreading as well. People would tell us that their book club screened it, a group of college dorm-mates would watch it together, a family would watch it after they saw something on the news about Muslims, and so forth. All of these experiences made us realize that if we can make the film available and give people some guidelines for discussion, it can help promote positive dialogue. The project was then beta tested with the help of the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington which further developed the model.

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What about the title "20,000 Dialogues"?

Enabling 20,000 Dialogues is an immense project, yet it still seems attainable and possible. We want these dialogues happening all the time, in big cities and small towns, and "20,000" Dialogues implies that.

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What is your overall hope for this initiative?

Films will always spark discussion. Everyone has an opinion to share about a film and no one needs to be an expert. The two films used in 20,000 Dialogues are ideal because they get people talking about Islam and its connection to the Abrahamic tradition. Our hope is that people of diverse backgrounds use these films to talk to each other, and realize that despite our differences, we need to build bridges of understanding.

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Who should be involved?

20,000 Dialogues is for anyone that wishes to strengthen understanding and help build relationships across different faiths.

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How can organizations be involved?

Absolutely. We need the help of organizations to take this project far and wide. Click on 'Partner' to learn more.

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What films have been selected to watch and why?

Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet is a PBS Documentary film that not only tells the story about the Prophet Muhammad, but also how his life influences the lives of American Muslims today.

Cities of Light charts a relatively unknown history about the rise and fall of one of the lost civilizations of the world- Islamic Spain. At its peak, it lit the Dark Ages of Europe with science and philosophy, poetry, art and architecture. It marked the Golden Age of the Jews as well as the Muslims, and eventually helped spark the European Renaissance. Its strength was its religious and cultural diversity.

Currently, UPF is only using its own films and is not accepting suggestions for other films.

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What are the requirements to start a Dialogue?

  1. Have a minimum of 5 participants of different faiths who will watch the film together and discuss it. A group only consisting of Muslims is not acceptable.
  2. Identify the date when the dialogue will take place.
  3. Make a good faith effort to have a Muslim participate. See (Invite a Muslim to Participate) for ideas.

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I believe in interfaith dialogue but can't meet the requirements. How can I get the films?

You can always purchase the DVDs on our website. Visit www.upf.tv and click on Shop. It's a very small investment.

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Is there a cost to participate?

Currently, there is no cost to participate in this project, what you pay is with your time and commitment to be a part of a dialogue group. It is required that you follow the guidelines.

As long as funds are available, we will continue to provide the DVD at no cost. After that, the DVD will be available for purchase.

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How do I get started? How do I get the DVD? What are the requirements?

See 'Start a Dialogue'

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How are you able to provide the DVD at no cost?

Currently, we have enough funding for just a few hundred dialogues but seek the support of institutions and individuals to expand this project.

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Will there be other films in the future to continue the dialogues?

Funds permitting, we hope to continue making these films available and hope to add more UPF films to the mix. Currently, this project is only available for UPF films.

If you have any other questions, please email us at outreach@upf.tv

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