Art Is A Process Not A Result by Occidental College Professor Aleem Hossain

Film Courage: When you were in film school what were some of the things teachers did where you said This really works for me. If I become a teacher, I want to emulate this and then the reverse (what shut you down)?

Aleem Hossain, filmmaker and AR/VR creator, assistant professor in media arts and culture at Occidental College: One of the most important things that happened to me in film school was I had a professor who introduced me to the idea that art could about about process not result.

He showed a series of experimental films and even narrative films that were built around a way of working or an approach or a system and the idea that you could do that and be open to the result. I don’t make films that are as experimental as that but that overall idea just changed my entire way of thinking. I’m so grateful that someone introduced me to that idea.

We live in a media environment where I think we’re very result oriented. How much money did this film make…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

Occidental College


AFTER WE LEAVE by Aleem Hossain


I’m a film writer/director, virtual reality creator, and professor.  

I grew up in a Connecticut town so small that Pizza Hut would not deliver there until 1997… but my family was very diverse and international. My father is a Muslim from Bangladesh who immigrated to the US. My mother was born and raised in Connecticut in a Roman Catholic family with roots in Italy, Spain, England, Ireland, and France. I grew up watching baseball and Bollywood, eating curry under a Christmas tree, and waiting for the day when Oreos would no longer use lard as an ingredient… also not until 1997! This multi-cultural mashup has shaped me as an artist.

Most recently, I wrote and directed AFTER WE LEAVE, a gritty sci-fi drama feature film won Best Feature Film at SCI FI LONDON in May 2019 and will soon be released theatrically in the United States.

I was selected for the initial Oculus Launchpad program, a VR incubator run by Facebook/Oculus, where I began developing my ongoing documentary VR series, I NEVER TOLD YOU.

I was an artist-in-residence at the 2017 VR Action Lab where I created NO EASY ANSWERS, a VR anti-bullying project, in collaboration with Google, Harmony Labs, and Screenwriters Colony. It has been translated into several languages and is used by Google Daydream in schools around the world.

I’m currently developing YOU ARE FOREVER, YOU ARE EVERYONE, an interactive narrative sci-fi VR experience with the support of the Tribeca Film Institute.

I am also the ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF DIGITAL STORYTELLING at OCCIDENTAL COLLEGE in Los Angeles where my teaching and research are focused on expanding how we tell stories and who gets to tell them.

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