For Immediate Release


Winner of MPAC’s first ever “Media Trailblazer” Award


LOS ANGELES, CA (May 16, 2014) Following a limited theatrical release, the award-winning IT’S BETTER TO JUMP, a social issue documentary about the cultural erasure of the Arab population in ancient city of Akka (Acre), Israel, has been awarded the first ever “Media Trailblazer” award from the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). MPAC was created to recognize pioneering efforts from American Muslim artists in entertainment media which exhibit excellence both in their message and artistic beauty. Other honorees this year include CNN’s Anthony Bourdain, Marvel Comics character Ms. Marvel, Academy Award nominated film Omar as well as the documentary film Valentino’s Ghost. All content producers will be honored at a ceremony in Long Beach, California on Sunday, May 18th.

It’s Better to Jump is directed by Patrick A. Stewart, Gina M. Angelone, and Mouna B. Stewart and has won recognition on the festival circuit including: Winner of the Golden Lion (Barcelona International Film Festival, the Best Director), the Best International Documentary Feature (Oaxaca International Film Festival), runner up for the Grand Prize for Best Film at the Al Jazeera Documentary Festival, and was also nominated for the Social Justice Award at the Santa Barbara Int. Film Festival and for Best Documentary at Milano Int. Film Festival.

Akka, known as the crusader city of Acre, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. While visiting the historic Arab city on vacation in Israel, Patrick A. Stewart (who is married to Palestinian-born Mouna B. Stewart), was taken by the local custom of young people jumping off the ancient seawall as a rite of passage.  He realized it was a strong metaphor for the Palestinian struggle when juxtaposed against Israel’s “cut-and-paste urban philosophy, promoting ethnic Jewish migration in established Arab cities while pushing out the poor native population and shifting the demography. The historic town of Akka is now in danger of becoming another soulless, touristic, seaside destination much like Jaffa, with its native Arab citizens all but gone.”

Film Synopsis: The ancient city of Akka, along the northern coast of Israel, is the home to a melting pot of Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Baha’i. For centuries, its surrounding forty-foot sea wall has protected its people and repelled invaders.  As the Old City endures harsh economic pressures and vast social changes, Palestinian families who have lived here for generations are being pressured to leave.

Despite the daily challenges they face, the city’s youth – sons and daughters of fishermen, school teachers, and artists – continue a perilous inter-generational rite of passage expressing individuality and the right to control their destiny: jumping from the high wall into the tempestuous sea below.

IT’S BETTER TO JUMP captures the spirit of Akka’s Arab residents and the leaps of faith they make towards achieving self-determination and a better future.

View the trailer here:

Featuring actor Makram Khoury (a native of Akka and the first Arab artist to win the Israel Prize); Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Brown University, Beshara Doumani; Abdu Matta, an expert holy land tour guide in Akka and Safa Hathou and Nahwa Abdel Al , two female Arabic rap artists of the group Arapiat.

The 73 minute documentary will be released on DVD in North America on January 28, 2014 (at DVD stores online) and via video on demand (VOD) platforms including Amazon streaming and Hulu.

TECHNICAL DETAILS: USA | Documentary | Unrated |73 minutes | Directed by Patrick A. Stewart, Gina M Angelone, Mouna Stewart | In English and Arabic with subtitles

DVD DETAILS: CLS 1187| 881394118720 | SRP: $ 19.95

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Filmmaker Interviews, Interactive Menus, Trailer


Streaming platforms:
Amazon Instant:
Cinema Libre On Demand:




Video Clips & Trailer Album on Vimeo:

DVD cover art LR:

DVD cover art HR:

ABOUT CINEMA LIBRE: Cinema Libre Studio is a leader in distributing social issue documentaries and features by passionate filmmakers.  Headquartered in Los Angeles, the team has released over one hundred films including the Sundance Audience Award‐winning FUEL, THE END OF POVERTY?, Rachid Bouchareb’s LONDON RIVER and Oliver Stone’s SOUTH OF THE BORDER. The studio is in pre-production on an epic historical biopic on Algeria’s greatest leader, THE EMIR ABD EL KADER and is developing John Perkins’ best‐selling memoirs, CONFESSIONS OF AN ECONOMIC HIT MAN, into a major motion picture. For more information about our film productions, upcoming movies, on demand and DVD releases, visit:| Updates | Facebook | Twitter .

For screener or interviews, please contact press (at) cinemalibrestudio (dot) com, ph: 323-785-1585

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