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The Idol (Ya Tayr El Tayer)

Hany Abu-Assad's uplifting drama puts a fictional sheen on the true life story of Mohammed Assaf, a singer from the Gaza Strip, who famously won the 2013 series of Arab Idol against the odds. The film begins with the childhood of Mohammed (Qais Atallah), who enjoys singing at weddings or performing with his spunky sister Nour (Hiba Atallah) on the street. Their youthful exuberance is a tonic to the hard reality of life in Gaza, where death is never far away and every possession - even musical instruments - must be acquired for a price. As he grows up, Mohammed (now played by Tawfeek Barhom) continues to indulge his passion for music and he barely overcomes his nerves to audition for Arab Idol via Skype. Thankfully, Mohammed passes the initial test and treks to the auditions in Egypt to showcase his talent, embarking on a life-changing journey that inspires the viewers and the people around him.