Per a report in the Lowell Sun by Pete McQuaid, Cambodian filmmaker Kalyanee Mam was there to screen her 2013 Sundance award-winning documentary A River Changes Course. At the end of the presentation, a 19-year-old student in the class asked a schoolmate what the visitor's name was again, then exclaimed that he knew her. He sure does.
The student, Mohammed Alasadi, was featured along with his Iraqi family in Mam's 2009 documentary Between Earth and Sky. She filmed them in Egypt a year earlier and had not seen them since.
From McQuaid's article:
"I was shocked," said Mam. "He just came up to me saying, 'Kalyanee? It's me, Saoud's brother.' It's such a small world." She reunited with his family after school Tuesday, a surprise to her considering she had no idea they now live in Lowell.
Mam spent time with Mohammed's parents and two sisters. Older brother Saoud, a painter featured prominently in Between Earth and Sky, is currently studying in New York. Mam plans to meet up with him there when her film tour takes her to Manhattan.
The Alasadi family settled in Lowell just eight months ago after stints back in Iraq and then Jordan. During that same interim, Mam was also the cinematographer for the Oscar-winning 2010 documentary Inside Job, about the Wall Street financial crisis.