LYD – Co-directors Sarah Ema Friedland & Rami Younis

Filmmakers Rami Younis and Sarah Ema Friedland feature length, speculative documentary, LYD follows the rise and fall of a 5,000-year-old metropolis, Lyd. It  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, while vivid animations envision an alternate reality where the same characters live free from the trauma of the past and the violence of the present. Using never-before-seen archival footage of the Israeli soldiers who carried out the massacre and expulsion, the personified city explains that these events were so devastating that they fractured reality, and now there are two Lyds — one occupied and one free. As the film cuts between fantastical and documentary realities, it ultimately leaves the viewer questioning which future should prevail. Lyd dares to ask the question: what would the city be like had the Israeli occupation of Lyd never happened? Co-directors Rami Younis and Sarah Ema Friedland join us for a wide ranging conversation on the utterly fascinating and pivotal role that the city of Lyd has played in the multiple empires, ancient and modern, the establishment of the state of Israel, the forced expulsion of Palestinians during Nakba and the provocative question at the heart of the film… What if?

For more go to:
For more about the filmmakers go to:
For Los Angeles area screenings go to:
All other screenings: Go to:

LYD premiered at the 2023 Amman International Film Festival where it won the Jury Prize for Best Documentary and the FIPRESCI prize from the International Critics Association. 

About the Filmmaker – Director and Cinematographer Sarah Ema Friedland is an NYC-based media artist and educator. Her work has screened at institutions including Cannes Film Festival, Lincoln Center, Anthology Film Archives, PBS, the Tang Teaching Museum, The Chelsea Museum, The Queens Museum, The 14th Street Y, and the MIT List Center. Her works have been supported by grants and fellowships, including the Jerome Founation, NYSCA, the Palestine American Research Center, the LABA House of Study, and the MacDowell Colony. Named one of the “Top 10 Independent Filmmakers to Watch” by Independent Magazine, she is a recipient of the Paul Robeson Award from the Newark Museum, and was nominated for a New York Emmy. Friedland is a member of the Meerkat Media Collective and the Director of the MDOCS Storyteller’s Institute at Skidmore College where she is also a Teaching Professor in the MDOCS Program.

About the filmmaker – Director and Producer Rami Younis is a Palestinian filmmaker, writer, journalist and activist from Lyd. He was a 2019-20 Fellow at the Harvard Divinity School. As a journalist, he mainly wrote for the online magazine +972 and served as both writer and editor of its Hebrew sister site, “local call”, a journalistic project he co-founded, designed to challenge Israeli mainstream journalism outlets. Rami served as a parliamentary consultant and media spokesperson for Palestinian member of Knesset (Israeli parliament) Haneen Zoabi. Rami is also co-founder and manager of the first-ever Palestine Music Expo, an event that connects the local Palestinian music scene to the worldwide industry. Younis is the host of the Arabic-language daily news show, “On the Other Hand.”




“Lyd is a film that should, for all that it touches upon and how it does what it sets out to do, certainly stand the test of time. Above all, it’s a cinematic What if…?.” – Schayan Riaz, The International Federation of Film Critics “A unique artistic and historical journey.” – Mohamed Tarek, The International Federation of Film Critics

“A harrowing watch, but a vital one if the goal is gaining greater understanding the history of Israel-Palestine conflict.” – ScreenHub

“A cinematic achievement that breaks down the wide divide between documentary and science fiction.” – The National

“Lyd occasionally spins its wheels across modes of storytelling, but it never loses sight of these slippery questions about what is, and what could be, achieved through the power of our collective imagination.” – Chris Cassingham, In Review Online

“Provocative, heartfelt and eye-opening.” – Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru