Udi Aloni’s Tribeca Film Festival pic Junction 48 has its U.S. premiere Friday night after an industry screening the morning before for buyers and press. The Israeli pic, which won the audience award in the Panorama section at Berlin this year, has serious indie cred: it was co-written by Oren Moverman who exec produced with James Schamus.
The movie stars Tamer Nafar, a Palestinian rapper who fronts the group DAM. The film is inspired by his life and he co-wrote the screenplay: It centers on Kareem, who leads an aimless life in a crime-ridden section of the mixed Jewish-Arab city of Lyd, just outside Tel Aviv, once a main railroad junction before the 1948 Palestinian War. A tragedy compels him to do more with his life, and with the help of his girlfriend (Samar Qupty) he turns to his love of music to save him — though that path as the “first Arab rapper” is far from easy as he must confront obstacles both political and traditional.
Check out Nafar’s music video above for his song “If Only” (Ya Reit) that features scenes from the movie. He will perform at the pic’s after-party Friday night.