The Idol, a film by two-time Academy Award nominee Hany Abu-Assad (Paradise Now, Omar), is inspired by the incredible true story of Mohammed Assaf, a young man who realizes his dream of becoming a singing sensation and bringing joy to others through the gift of his voice.
Released theatrically by Adopt Films earlier this year, The Idol opened to critical acclaim and screened in key national markets including New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Portland, Dallas, and Seattle, among others. The film had its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and also won the UNESCO Award at the 2015 Asia Pacific Screen Awards, and was recently selected by Palestine as its official entry for the 2017 Oscar in the Foreign Language film category.
The Idol will become available on DVD on October 25th via Adopt Films and Kino Lorber.
Gaza. Synonymous to so many with conflict, destruction and despair but to Mohammed Assaf, and his sister Nour, Gaza is their home and their playground. It’s where they, along with their best friends Ahmad and Omar, play music, football, and dare to dream big. Their band might play on secondhand, beaten up instruments, but their ambitions are sky-high. For Mohammed and Nour, nothing less than playing the world famous Cairo Opera Hall will do. It might take them a lifetime to get there but, as Mohammed will find out, some dreams are worth living for.
Along the way, Mohammed will experience tragedy and loss. The world around him will shatter. Through it all, however, he will somehow retain the hope that his voice will somehow deliver him from the pain that surrounds him and bring joy to others. He sings at weddings and he drives a taxi to pay for his university studies. Even as the siege around Gaza intensifies, the prison around them ever more forbidding, Mohammed knows he has a rare gift. To make people smile and forget their troubles.
And so, in front of him on TV one evening lies an impossible dream: the auditions for Arab Idol, the most popular show in the Arab world, are taking place in Cairo. The borders are closed. There is no way out. Somehow, he finds a way and makes it in front of the judges in Egypt. From there, destiny awaits, a chance to change his life and give a voiceless people the greatest feeling of all: the freedom to love, live, and feel free.