Junction 48, inspired by the true life story of Palestinian rapper Tamer Nafar, has been acquired by The Orchard for release in the US.
The film, directed by Udi Aloni, which won the Panorama Audience Award at the Berlin Film Festival, and the Best International Narrative Feature at Tribeca Film Festival, is eyeing a Fall 2017 release date.
Co-written by real-life Palestinian rapper Tamer Nafar along with Oren Moverman; Junction 48 also stars Tamer Nafar, in addition to Samar Qupty, Salwa Nakkara, Ayed Fadel, Sameh “SAZ” Zakout, Saeed Dassuki.
Kareem leads an aimless life between odd jobs and hanging out with his buddies. He lives with his parents in a crime-ridden ghetto of the mixed Jewish-Arab city of Lyd, some 20 minutes from Tel Aviv. Most of his childhood friends have turned to selling drugs through “ATMs” – transaction holes in the walls of dilapidated buildings.
Kareem‘s loving musician parents are constantly worrying about his life choices and they try hard to guide their son on the right path. Kareem is devastated when his father is killed in a car crash. The family tragedy brings him closer to his singer girlfriend, Manar, and motivates him to do something more with his life.
Kareem and his group have been performing at small neighborhood gigs and family birthday parties. When they finally get a chance to perform in a Tel Aviv hip-hop club, Kareem‘s star potential is quickly noticed. The “first Arab rapper” is asked to appear on a TV news program. As Kareem‘s talent develops, so does his political consciousness, and the group‘s lyrics become more defiant. Although he raps “I‘m not political,” Kareem and the group use music to express their tough life as Palestinian youth.
But the road to success is never easy… Kareem and his group face a violent confrontation with nationalistic Jewish rappers. Their friend Talal, already mixed up with a dangerous drug lord, could lose his home because of government-imposed gentrification.
Kareem‘s biggest blow could be not having Manar onstage with him for his most important gig yet. Her cousins threaten to harm them if she performs publicly with him, an act which they consider a disgrace to the family honor. The time has come for Kareem to either surrender to conservative tradition or stand up for the woman he loves, the artist he respects…
Junction 48 features ‘kick-ass’ music written by Nafar, and a soundtrack will be released, along with the film.