U.S. Trailer for Hany Abu-Assad’s ‘The Idol’

Hany Abu-Assad's Film

Adopt Films has released the first domestic trailer for Hany Abu-Assad’s new feature The Idol, on the heels of its limited release on May 6.

The biopic about Mohammad Assaf, the 2013 winner of ‘Arab Idol,’ premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was the first feature film to be shot on location in Gaza in decades.

Directed by acclaimed Palestinian filmmaker Abu-Assad, best known for two earlier films, Paradise Now and Omar, both of which earned foreign-language-Oscar nominations, The Idol stars a quartet of young actors from Gaza — Qais Attallah, Hiba Attallah, Ahmad Qassim and Abdalkarim Abubaraka – as well as Tawfeek Barhom, Nadine Labaki, Ashraf Barhoum and Ali Suliman. Watch the trailer below:

The now 25-year-old Assaf has travelled incognito for two days from a refugee camp in Gaza to Egypt to participate in the internationally renowned franchising TV show. Upon arriving late, there was a risk of Assaf not being allowed to enroll. It was not until he started to sing at the lobby of the hotel that he was allowed to take part in the audition. He was admitted in the show and eventually won in the finale with Ali Al-keffiyeh, a song which is considered an unofficial Palestinian national anthem.

Hany Abu-Assad's Film

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 and 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.