Directed by: Travis Beard

Australia, 90 minutes

Grayslake Campus
Saturday, September 7
3:30 pm
Sunday, September 8
11:15 am

Waukegan Campus
Sunday, September 8
7:25 pm

Afghanistan’s first heavy metal band is District Unknown, a group who taught themselves to play with more enthusiasm than musicality. Discovered in 2009 by musician and filmmaker Travis Beard, he followed them with his camera from early on and coached them in developing their career. However, musical progress is not the only challenge they face: rock music is seen as satanic by religious fanatics in Afghanistan and its practitioners are targeted. The documentary therefore mainly plays out in Kabul’s underground music scene, i.e. cramped practice pads and living rooms, but also at the unique Sound Central music festival.

District Unknown are now famous far beyond their country’s borders, but their popularity also increases the danger for the band’s members, who – just like every other inhabitant of Kabul – have to deal with daily bombings and firefights. Is their love of country, band, and family stronger than the call of a more normal life abroad?

Festivals & Awards:

Rotterdam International Film Festival
Sydney Film Festival
Arizona Film Festival
Brooklyn Film Festival

preceded by:

Noble Sissle’s Syncopated Ragtime
Directed By: Daniel Bernardi & David de Rozas
Combining unseen period footage with original scores from that era, ‘Syncopated Ragtime’ tells the story of Noble Sissle incredible life journey that spans “The Harlem Hellfighters” of World War I, Broadway Theatre, the Civil Rights movement, and decades of Black cultural production.
USA, 24 minutes
Festivals: Cleveland, American Documentary, Ashland, Harlem