The Feeling of Being Watched


World Premiere

USA | 86 MINUTES | English |


Documentary, Female Director(s), First Time Filmmaker, Tribeca Film Institute Alumni
“The grey area between paranoia and the truth is a dangerous place,” says filmmaker Assia Boundaoui at the outset of The Feeling of Being Watched. Boundaoui hails from a predominantly Arab-American enclave of Bridgeview, Illinois, just south of Chicago, where rumors of F.B.I. surveillance circulated throughout the ’90s and early ’00s. A public radio journalist by day, Boundaoui sets out to uncover why her family and neighbors were targeted and whether that scrutiny was justified; in the process, she discovers the wide-reaching effects of constant surveillance on the community’s relationships with law enforcement and with each other.

Fueled by interviews with community members, a dogged pursuit of F.O.I.A. requests, and even Foucauldian theories, The Feeling of Being Watched is an eye-opening look at the perils of xenophobia and prejudice. Despite her own mounting fears as she closes in on the truth of the surveillance program, Boundaoui uses her documentary to boldly take on the F.B.I. and to tirelessly confront racial and religious profiling. “The opposite of surveillance is a two-way gaze,” she says. “It’s about making sure the systems of power also feel watched.”

—Matt Barone


Directed by Assia Boundaoui

Assia Boundaoui is an Algerian-American journalist and filmmaker based between Chicago and New York who has reported for the BBC, NPR, Al Jazeera, Vice, and CNN. Her debut short, a film about hijabi hair salons for the HBO Lenny documentary series, premiered at Sundance in 2018. Boundaoui received a masters in journalism from New York University in 2011.
Assia Boundaoui
Jessica Devaney, Assia Boundaoui
Assia Boundaoui
Shuling Yong
Angelica Negron
Rabab Haj Yahya
Executive Producers
Daniel Chalfen, Jim Butterworth, Jenny Raskin, Dan Cogan, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Ruth Ann Harnisch, Bill Harnisch, Jay Sears, Deborah McLeod, Alexa Poletto, Michael D. Mann, Barry W. Rashkover, Vijay Dewan
Associate Producer
Sohib Boundaoui, Colleen Cassingham, Samar Rashid
Co-Executive Producer
Christina Abraham


Print Source
Jessica Devaney
Multitude Films
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Phone: 561 373 4701
US Sales Contact
John Sloss
Cinetic Media
New York, NY 10004
Phone: 2122047979
International Sales Contact
Vesna Cudic
MetFilm Sales
London, W5 5EP
Phone: +44 20 8280 9117
Press Contact
Susan Norget
Susan Norget Film Promotion
New York, NY 10010
Phone: 917-833-3056