Acclaimed Palestinian documentary LYD hits UAE's Cinema Akil after wowing global festivals and US universities

25 June 2024
The award-winning documentary LYD from acclaimed filmmakers Rami Younis and Sarah Ema Friedland will make its highly anticipated debut at the UAE’s esteemed Cinema Akil, with the film running for a limited two-week release from June 28th to July 11th.
The film is a sci-fi documentary that follows the rise and fall of Lyd — a 5,000-year-old metropolis that was once a bustling Palestinian town until it was conquered when the State of Israel was established in 1948. 
As the film unfolds, a chorus of characters creates a tapestry of the Palestinian experience of this city and the trauma left by the massacre and expulsion. 
Most recently, the six-time-award-winning film clinched the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Houston Palestine Film Festival and the Audience Choice Award for Feature Films at the San Diego Arab Film Festival.
Prior to this, LYD received the Best Asian Feature Award at the Pramana Asian Film Festival, earned two special mentions at the Sguardi Altrove International Women's Film Festival, and won both a Jury Award for Best Documentary and the inaugural FIPRESCI Award at the fourth edition of the Amman International Film Festival - Awal Film.
LYD also captivated audiences at a string of celebrated festivals, including Pune, Middle East Now, Al Ard, Reel Palestine, Palestinian, and Melbourne Science Fiction. Moreover, it enjoyed multiple screenings worldwide, including extensive showings across the US, Jordan, Italy, and Australia. 
The movie’s executive producer is Roger Waters, the English musician, singer, songwriter, and composer best known for co-founding the progressive rock band Pink Floyd in 1965, where he served as its bassist. Waters, who often incorporates political themes in his work, has drawn controversy for his views, particularly his support for Palestine in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He has likened Israel's treatment of Palestine to that of Nazi Germany and has steadfastly refused to perform in Israel.
Rami Younis is a Palestinian filmmaker, writer, and journalist from Lyd. Younis was also a 2019-20 Harvard Divinity School Fellow and worked as a journalist for the online magazine +972 and as the writer and editor of its Hebrew sister site Local Call — a journalistic initiative he co-founded to question Israeli conventional news sources.
Meanwhile, Sarah Ema Friedland is a New York-based documentary filmmaker and media artist. Friedland's works have screened widely in the US and abroad and have been broadcast nationally on PBS.