ZMA Entertainment

ABROAD (à l'étranger or الغربة) is the first film produced by ZMA Entertainment, an American film production company owned and soon to be launched by Zayn Alexander. ABROAD is a short film starring Zayn Alexander and Pascale Seigneurie. The screenplay was written by Seigneurie and the film was directed by Alexander. Co-produced by Rorbi Productions, ABROAD made its world premiere at the 2018 Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 2, 2018. 

Presented in a perfectly accessible, uncomplicated, relatable narrative format that addresses issues ranging from difference of opinion and questioning the future to deeper topics like societal conventions and expectations, director/producer Alexander and writer Seigneurie’s 10-minute exploration into the potential collapse of the American Dream for an immigrant couple is both relevant and provocative.
Entertaining and Touching.
— DC Shorts Film Festival
Abroad can safely claim a space among well-conceived, credibly engineered, and suitably pertinent short film efforts while deftly yet effortlessly conveying its message for us as the viewer to chew on with straightforward intent.
In a world full of overly expensive special effects-driven films which have little in terms of a story, we need more films like Abroad. It has heart, it has character, and it has layers.
— CARL BURGESS, Screencritix
Abroad gives proof to the point that when you start with a solid screenplay and cast two fine actors who can carry it off, the audience is bound to follow.
— MARK SCHWAB, Diamond in the Rough Films
This is a simple, thought-provoking film to which anyone can relate. The performances just elevate the film to another level.
— ROY ZAFRANI, Top Shorts
Not only was it entertaining watching these two people in their uncertain moments, this was also a great way to shed some light on an ongoing real-life situation.
— Indyred Reviews
Our leading cast put on one hell of a show. Seigneurie and Alexander have seemingly little problem portraying the life of this couple. They are believable in their roles and don’t miss a beat.
— 22 Indie Street
Alexander and Seigneurie are exquisite.
— MATTHEW MAGUIRE, Theatre Program Director at Fordham University
Un court métrage simple, doux et subtil dans l’écriture et dans le jeu, qui expose plusieurs problèmes imbriqués, dont on sent qu’ils entrent en écho les uns avec les autres.
— MARCEAU DESCHAMPS-SÉGURA, Le Conservatoire National Supérieur d'Art Dramatique (CNSAD)
Subtilement, de manière organique, le film évolue comme dans une pièce de théâtre, un seul lieu, un seul temps, l’espace d’une discussion où la tension se fait croissante.
— NAYLA RACHED, Agenda Culturel

News and Updates:

  • SBIFF 2018 Filmmaker Seminar: SHORTS FILMMAKERS sponsored by Driscoll's Berries.

During the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival Jan 31 - Feb 10, actor/director Zayn Alexander discussed along with filmmakers Randall Christopher, Daniel Chein, and Kyle Morrison the unusual challenges in their projects, how they deal with changes in their plans, what you should and shouldn't fear as an aspiring filmmaker. Moderated by Michael Albright, the panel was an invaluable source of information for film students, filmmakers and film lovers alike.

Shorts Filmmakers Seminar

SBIFF 2018 FREE SEMINAR LIVE! Sponsored by Driscoll's at the Visit The Santa Ynez Valley Lounge Shorts Filmmakers

Posted by Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Wednesday, February 7, 2018
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION, FilmFest52 2018 (Bethel, CT)

ABROAD has been accepted for screening at FilmFest52. FilmFest52 is a unique festival that runs years round, screening on average 250 films per year. ARBOAD screened on Thursday, March 28 at 7 pm at the Bethel Cinema located in Bethel, Connecticut.

  • OFFICIAL SELECTION, New Haven International Film Festival 2018 (New Haven, CT)

ABROAD has been accepted to screen at New Haven International Film Festival May 3-5, 2018 in New Haven, Connecticut. 

COUNTRY United States


RUNTIME 10 minutes


AKA Abroad | El Gherbe | à l'étranger

Director Statement

There are a lot of conversations taking place today at the national stage, one of them is that of diversity. While the industry has come a long way, particularly when it comes to embracing diverse characters, the issue still remains. I believe that true diversity means cultural inclusiveness in all of its forms with the story being front and center. It's one thing to greenlight a generic storyline and include a diverse cast (LGBTQ, Asian, African American, Middle-Eastern, etc.), it's a whole other thing to present the lives of people from different cultures and, as a result, pave the way for an organic casting process and true change.

ABROAD is my first film as a filmmaker. I'm also an actor in the project. This film started out as a personal experiment between Pascale and myself. Pascale Seigneurie is my writer and co-star. We wanted to tell a story about how we as people are not so different from each other regardless of where we come from. Our stories, emotions, and thoughts are universal. We’ve all experienced that inner conflict of having to choose between our dreams and material reality. We’ve all experienced that yearn for what we believe is an idealistic existence and how, eventually, we succumb to the temptations of the regular. 

ABROAD revolves around actors and the film industry. However, the film is not just a short film about the typecasting of Middle-Eastern actors. The real focus are the lives of a Lebanese couple beyond the small roles available to them. It's a "slice of life" story that hasn't been told before, and it's my desire to see it instigate deep conversations about family, career, and the struggles one faces in pursing his or her dreams while convention and societal expectations play their respective roles in influencing one's thoughts and behavior. In making this film, I imagined a film I wanted to see, so I made one. 

 Zayn Alexander speaks at the Shorts Filmmakers Seminar during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the Lobero Theatre on February 7, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California.

Zayn Alexander speaks at the Shorts Filmmakers Seminar during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the Lobero Theatre on February 7, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California.

A wonderfully accomplished film.
— Simon TaufiQue, PGA
Alexander’s directorial debut delivers true to life conflicts and concerns in such a grounded yet compelling way.
— Directors Notes
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  • OFFICIAL SELECTION, SOHO International Film Festival 2018 (New York, NY)

ABROAD has been accepted to screen at the 2018 SOHO International Film Festival. The screening was the film's New York premiere and was held on June 16 at Village East Cinema. The film picked up a nomination for "Best Showcase Short Film"

  • INVITATION, The Made in NY Media Center by IFP (New York, NY)

ABROAD has been invited by The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) to screen as part of IFP's "Made in NY Media Center" new short film screening series. IFP is the nation’s oldest and largest not-for-profit advocacy organization for independent filmmakers.

  • OFFICIAL SELECTION, 2018 St. George Bank Lebanese Film Festival (Sydney, Australia)

ABROAD has been accepted to screen at the 2018 St. George Bank Lebanese Film Festival August 16 - September 1 in Sydney, Australia.

St.George Bank Lebanese Film Festival

ALL SYDNEY TICKETS NOW LIVE! Sydneysiders can now access all tickets to screenings across Bankstown, Broadway and Moore Park via our website, Spread the word.

Posted by Lebanese Film Festival Australia - LFF Australia on Thursday, July 26, 2018
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION, 2018 Lebanese Film Festival (Beirut, Lebanon)

ABROAD has been accepted to screen at the 2018 Lebanese Film Festival September 17 - September 21 at Beirut Souks CINEMACITY.

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Check out my interview on Alam Al Sabah cc: FutureTV :: Group . . . #lff2018 #abroadshortfilm #MENApremiere

Posted by Zayn Alexander on Thursday, September 20, 2018

Check out my full interview with Al Araby TV | برنامج صباح النور | #lff2018 #abroadshortfilm #MENApremiere . . . . . Rita Bassil

Posted by Zayn Alexander on Saturday, September 15, 2018

Filmmaker Interview - MTV Alive |Cinema| cc: MTV Lebanon

Posted by Zayn Alexander on Sunday, October 14, 2018

Press and Reviews: