November 5, 2021 • ISSUE 595

Abdul Khalik Mokhtar

Connecting to Creativity and Community

Abdul Khalik Mokhtar was born in Azerbaijan, came to the US as a child, and grew up in Des Moines, Iowa. He inherited the love of performing from his theater-trained parents and acted in stage productions throughout middle and high school.

He dreamed of becoming a filmmaker and studied the work of film director David Lynch, which led him to discover MIU. He attended a Visitors Weekend in the summer of 2019 and enrolled that fall in the Cinematic Arts and New Media Program.

Abdul likes the small classes at MIU, where students can develop a stronger connection to their professors, each other, and the subjects they are studying. He enjoys collaborating with other students and making lifelong friendships.

Filming the firefly documentary about Radim Schreiber (photo by Amine Kouider)

“Practicing the TM technique has helped me become a better filmmaker,” he said. “I am able to access ideas better, stay in the creative flow, and feel more connected to people. I was able to reconnect with the things I love doing—filmmaking and acting.”

In the summer of 2020 Abdul had the opportunity to make a short documentary about MIU alumnus and award-winning firefly photographer Radim Schreiber. Abdul filmed and edited the documentary within a month, with the help of MIU cinematography graduate Nina Ziv, who provided aerial photography, and faculty member Amine Kouider, who produced the film.

Recreating a movie scene in class; left to right: Dustin Matthews, Jonathan Walton, Abdul Khalik Mokhtar; behind the camera Jonathan Looney (photo by Giovanni Merino)

Recently he had his first paid assignment as a production assistant on an independent feature film shot in Bentonsport, Iowa. “Working on a film set was something I have always dreamed about, and it was very rewarding,” said Abdul.

Abdul is graduating in spring 2022 and plans to move to New York City to pursue acting and independent filmmaking.