Nocturne in Black

In a war-ravaged Middle Eastern neighborhood, a musician struggles to rebuild his piano after it is destroyed by terrorists.

  • Jimmy Keyrouz
  • Jimmy Keyrouz
  • Felecia Hunter
  • Marc Fadel
  • Tarek Yaacoub
    Key Cast
    Very Big Shot
  • Julian Farhat
    Key Cast
    Where do we go now?
  • Karim Zein
    Key Cast
  • Rachid Slalom
    Key Cast
    Very Big Shot
  • Ziad Chahoud
    Director of Photography
  • Rawan Berzerji
    Production Designer
  • Fatrin Krajka
  • Ellie Foumbi
  • Jimmy Keyrouz
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    War, Drama
  • Runtime:
    22 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 10, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    37,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Jimmy Keyrouz

Jimmy Keyrouz is an award-winning director/writer. His latest film Nocturne In Black won the Gold Medal in the 43rd Student Academy Awards, the BAFTA Student Film Awards, the Director's Guild of America Film Award, and was shortlisted for the 2017 Oscars in the Live Action Short category.

Nocturne in Black also won Jury Selects at the Columbia University Film Festival as well as the National Board of Review Grant, the Caucus Foundation production grant, the Marion Carter Green Award, and the IFP Audience Award. It premiered at the Lincoln Center in May 2016, and screened at Telluride, LA Shorts Fest and many film festivals around the world.

In 2012, Jimmy joined the Screenwriting/Directing Master in Fine Arts program at Columbia University, New York, where he enrolled in directing, screenwriting, TV writing and directing actors classes and served as teaching assistant where he taught directing and writing classes.

Jimmy is currently developing the feature-length version of Nocturne in Black, Twelve, a one-hour TV drama, and works as a freelance director/writer.

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Director Statement

Nocturne in Black is a devastating portrait of a Middle Eastern neighborhood where a young man rebuilds his piano after it is destroyed by Jihadists while showing his community the strength and uplifting power of music in times of hopelessness.

Through the noble and transcendental power of music, the narrative explores matters of survival, resistance, defiance and war, against the backdrop of a conflict-ravaged Middle Eastern neighborhood in the present-day.

In a world where music - among other misdeeds like smoking tobacco, improper dressing, dancing and profanity - has been banned by Jihadists imposing their strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia law, Karim, a young musician, secretly plays the piano.

Despite the despair of war and daily fear of death, Karim wishes to remind his people that there are still beautiful things in life, and music is one of them. After his piano is destroyed by Jihadists, Karim defies their rule and rebuilds his beloved instrument, thus fighting for both the material and intangible elements lost during the conflict: art, music and the cultural identities that make us human.

Nocturne In Black is inspired by a young, Syrian man named Ahmed, who continues to play his piano under threat of persecution in the midst of his country’s civil war. Where having his fingers removed is the mildest of dangers facing him, Ahmed believes it is important to provide a glimpse of hope to people who have been abandoned to destruction and despair. In a part of the world ruled by terror, our protagonist Karim, much like Ahmed, believes music is a universal language and a passport to reach others.

Music is what feelings sound like. Through the power of music, this film will convey what Karim, Ahmed and the millions trapped in the horror of war truly feel. Our message is one of hope; the fight for a future that exists without bullets and where living is more than just surviving.