“Hardcore Punk” and “Muslims” are the least likely words you would ever find combined together, but The Taqwacores, the debut film from Cleveland native Eyad Zahra, is just that. The term taqwacore comes from the the Islamic word for piety or devotion (taqwa) and hardcore (core). Together they have spawned an entire punk rock movement. Based on the cult classic novel by Michael Muhammad Knight, the film chronicles a year in the life of an engineering student in Buffalo whose family is from Pakistan named Yusef and his interaction with a group of unlikely Muslims punk rockers he has unwillingly shacked up with after moving off-campus. During his stay, Yusef learns to bond with the most unorthodox group of characters to ever grace the Islamic religion. While the film strives to keep your focus on lead actor Bobby Naderi as Yusef, actor Dominic Rains is the clear standout here and shines as mohawk-wearing Jehangir, the leader of the misfits that dwell within the punk rock household. What I admired most about The Taqwacores, is that it never manages to get bogged down by typical first-timer cliches that plague most micro-budget films. The film never seems weighted down by its minor storytelling issues and rises above with a bit more complexity than most grassroots films of its kind. Zahra direction, while at times fledgling makes up for it in charm and devotion to the film and its story. Each character has a fair amount of depth and the majority of the performances help breathe new life into the picture. What the film lacks in first-timer errors, it makes up for with creativity and ingenuity missing from most films on a minuscule budget. Though the film takes place in Buffalo, New York it was shot right here in Cleveland. The true joy of the film, however, comes within the music sequences that can be found near the end of the film. After all, good things come to those who wait. The Taqwacores screens Friday, February 25 at 9:30pm at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque located in University Circle across from the Cleveland Art Museum and tucked away within the Cleveland Institute of Art. Director Eyad Zahra will be on hand to answer questions and discuss the production of his film.