MUNCIE,INDIANA.---- The 95th Oscars are coming up March 12. One short documentary called “stranger at the gate” produced and made in Muncie was nominated.
The documentary focuses on Mac McKinney, who spent 25 years serving for the U.S Marine Corps. He came back to his hometown of Muncie, Indiana with severe PTSD and islamophobia. While serving, it was mostly spent fighting and killing muslims.
“He decides that the best thing to do for his country is to blow up the local mosque in Muncie,” said Josh Seftel, Producer and Director of the film.
After scoping out his target, he met with Bibi and Saber Bahrami, who welcomed him with a hug and open hearts. That moment changed everything for McKinney.
“I can't explain how grateful I am to Bibi, her family and the Muncie community. Because without them, we would definitely be having a different conversation right now,” McKinney said.
In January, the “stranger at the gate” crew found out something they never expected. Getting a 2023 Oscar Nomination for best short documentary.
“Now the final step is whether we win the Oscar or not, it was one of the top ones out of 5,” Seftel said.
Since the film's debut, it has reached hundreds of thousands of people. Seftel says the film has a deeper meaning.
“If we welcome people with kindness, if we are open minded and kind to others great things can happen and Bibi Bahrami is the hero of this film in many ways,” Seftel said.
McKinney is now an inspirational speaker, hoping others will be inspired by his story.
“It's about the message that learning even though we’re different, in a lot of ways we’re the same, and, love will conquer all, period.
If you want to watch the Oscar nominated documentary, you can find it on YouTube or at Strangeratthegate.com