Amin Matalqa’s new film ‘5000 Blankets’ hits theaters

The adjunct faculty member in the Elon in Los Angeles program directed the new project set to debut in 700-plus theaters nationwide.

While Amin Matalqa (far right) began teaching in the Elon in Los Angeles program in summer 2022, his connection to Elon dates back nearly 15 years prior. This photo was taken during a summer session in the program’s Second Home Hollywood facility, a collaborate workspace off Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Photo by Bryan Baker.

Just in time for the holidays, Amin Matalqa’s new heartwarming film “5000 Blankets” hits theaters this week. The Elon in Los Angeles adjunct faculty member directed the movie that debuts in theaters for two nights only (Dec. 12 and 13). According to Variety, the film will be screened in more than 700 theaters nationwide, including regionally in Burlington and Greensboro. Visit the film’s official website to find participating venues.

Matalqa is slated to teach in the Elon in Los Angeles program’s upcoming spring and summer sessions. Photo courtesy of

Inspired by the real events that led to the Phillip’s Wish foundation, “5000 Blankets” follows the story of a determined woman, played by Anna Camp (“Pitch Perfect”), who sets out to find her husband after he’s suffered a mental breakdown and disappeared. The wife and the couple’s young son set out to find him on the streets, sparking a movement of compassion and inspiring a city.

Watch the film’s trailer here.

Matalqa began teaching in the Elon in Los Angeles program last summer, but his connection to Elon began back in 2007. It was at that time that Matalqua and Elon alumnus Laith Majali ’05 formed a friendship and partnership, which served as a main inspiration for the program’s Sundance Film Festival experience, according to Elon in LA program director J McMerty.

“5000 Blankets” is a Sony AFFIRM Originals film and has a PG-13 rating.

Matalqa, who was born in Jordan and raised in Ohio, wrote and directed “Captain Abu Raed,” which won the Sundance World Cinema Audience Award in 2008 and was the first Oscar submission from his home country. Majali edited and produced the film, highlighting the story of a lonely, yet friendly, janitor at Amman’s International Airport. In the years since, Matalqa directed the Disney soccer drama, “The United,” followed by films “Strangely In Love” and “The Rendezvous.”

Matalqa is slated to teach directing courses during the upcoming spring and summer sessions in the Elon in LA program. He also teaches at the world-renowned American Film Institute, where he earned an MFA in Directing.