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16th NY Sephardic Jewish Film Fest Premiere of Iraq n Roll Now on DVD

By Maria Esteves – March 25, 2012

The 16th New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival 2012 (NYSJFF2012) closing night premiere documentary of IRAQ n ROLL, directed by Gill Gaon, was held at the Center for Jewish History, Thursday, March 22, 2012. Hosted by the American Sephardi Federation (ASF) in association with Yeshiva University Museum, the Pomegranate Award presented by ASF director Lynn Winters and renowned sculptor Oded Halahmy, Oded Halahmy Foundation for the Arts, Inc., went to Israeli artist, actor Yair Dalal (Iraq n’ Roll, Got No Jeep and My Camel Died). A special post screening performance by Pomegranate Award winner Yair Dalal preceded the closing night reception. NYSJFF 2012 Closing Night attendees included artists, casts, international filmmakers, celebrity guests, members, and festival patrons.

Music is Endless, it’s like the Sea! IRAQ n ROLL is an awe-inspiring and compelling documentary based on the musical journey of Israeli rock star Dudu (David) Tassa. Grandson of Sephardic Jewish celebrity folk musician Daoud Kuwaiti “The Ali-Kuwaiti Brothers” from Iraq in 1930s, Dudu artistically incorporates his rock music talent with his grandfather’s Arabic folk music creating a successful global Middle Eastern rock genre and album “Dudu Tassa & The Kuwaitis”. The film captures a street renaming ceremony honoring the Ali-Kuwaiti Brothers in Israel, intimate moments with his family, band members, and musical mentor composer, violinist, oud player, singer Yair Dalal. In addition, filmmaker Gaon includes archival footage of musical performances by the Ali-Kuwaiti Brothers. IRAQ n ROLL DVD and album Dudu Tassa & The Kuwaitis is now available.

IRAQ n ROLL, directed by Gili Gaon | Documentary Feature | Israel | 2011 | 52 mins. | Hebrew, Arabic with English subtitles | Original music by Dudu Tassa & the Kuwaitis. In 2012, IRAQ n ROLL premiered at the 16th NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival, 21st NY Jewish Film Festival, Free Thinking Film Festival, Canada; and Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival. In 2011, at the Doc Aviv Gallil, Jerusalem International Film Festival, Israel; Vermont International Film Festival, Seattle Jewish Film Festival; and Calgary Jewish Film Festival, Canada.

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