The Seventh Art Stand is a new film series launching across the nation in May that features films from and about the countries being affected by the Trump administration’s travel ban. Northwest Film Forum is one of the three lead organizers and is hosting the Seattle series with the Seattle International Film Festival.

“[The Seventh Art Stand] is an active cinematic stance against Islamophobia,” said NWFF executive director Courtney Sheehan. “Cinema is known as the seventh art, and that was our way of taking a stand. We wanted to really highlight the cinemas of these countries, whose stories and films are not being screened enough in the U.S. to begin with.”

Abramorama, an independent distribution and marketing company, and writer, filmmaker and activist Vivian Hua are the other two forces behind the nationwide series.

“It’s really exciting to be connecting community organizations and really have everyone put out messages against Islamophobia,” Hua said. “This type of thing only works when there’s community support.”

And support they received.

The Seventh Art Stand currently has more than 50 venues across 24 states screening the series, including many community and independent theaters. The series has also received national and international coverage.

All of the participating venues are free to choose their own films to screen for the series.

“The films shown at the series are based on and driven by the communities where the screenings are happening. We didn’t want to dictate the options to the venues,” Sheehan said. “We also expanded to films featuring by and about American Muslims as well. [We also learned] the significance of having films that are not necessarily about war and refugees, but also dramas, comedies, and some more basic exposure for something that’s not happening in the U.S. at all.”

Northwest Film Forum’s screenings run May 7-25. Iranian film, “Starless Dreams,” will open the Seattle series on Sunday, May 7. The social documentary explores the lives of teenage girls that were incarcerated and share quarters at a juvenile detention center on the outskirts of Tehran.

Hua’s short film, “Searching Skies,” about a Christmas dinner with Syrian refugees and a Christian family, premieres Wednesday, May 10, and will show alongside other shorts. On May 14, there will be a screening for younger audiences, featuring shorts from and about Middle Eastern children. These shorts are meant to break the barriers and show that kids dream, laugh, and want to live in peace no matter where they come from.

The series will culminate with a screening of a 2016 U.S. film, “A Stray,” on Thursday, May 25. Directed by Musa Syeed, “A Stray” is about a young Somali man in Minneapolis, who gets abandoned by his community for adopting a stray impure dog after he nearly kills it. The dpg becomes Adan’s only friend, as he struggles with faith and his place in life.

SIFF will screen two films in the series, “Iraqi Odyssey” (Iraq, 2014) and “Yemenniettes” (Yemen, 2014), on May 11 and May 14, respectively, with venues to be determined. All of the events in Seattle are free to the public.

Other series highlights include Honolulu’s Doris Duke Foundation hosting a talk by the Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin, who filed a legal challenge against Donald Trump’s travel ban.

For more information and screening times, click here.