New Muslim Cool (USA, 2009)

Directed by: Jennifer Maytorena Taylor

Synopsis:

Puerto Rican American rapper Hamza Pérez ended his life as a drug dealer 12 years ago, and started down a new path as a young Muslim.

Now he’s moved to Pittsburgh’s tough North Side to start a new religious community, rebuild his shattered family, and take his message of faith to other young people through his uncompromising music as part of the hip-hop duo M-Team.

Raising his two kids as a single dad and longing for companionship, Hamza finds love on a Muslim networking website and seizes the chance for happiness in a second marriage.

But when the FBI raids his mosque, Hamza must confront the realities of the post-9/11 world, and challenge himself. He starts reaching for a deeper understanding of his faith, discovering new connections with people from Christian and Jewish communities.

NEW MUSLIM COOL takes viewers on Hamza’s ride through the streets, projects and jail cells of urban America, following his spiritual journey to some surprising places — where we can all see ourselves reflected in a world that never stops changing.

Cast: Hamza Perez, M-Team

Awards:

Opening Night Selection, POV on PBS

Winner, Freedom Award, Al Jazeera International Film Festival

Documentary Competition, San Francisco International Film Festival

Official Selection, Rooftop Film Festival

Official Selection, Lincoln Center Independents Night

www.newmuslimcool.com

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