Ajyal Film Festival 2021

Ajyal Film Festival 2021

Captains of Zaatari

Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2021

Ali El Arabi / Egypt / 2021 / 75 min / Colour / DCP / In Arabic / English subtitles
Rated: Parental guidance is advised. Some material may be inappropriate for young children.

Screenings

  • Mon, Nov 8 - 5:30 PM
    Vox Cinema 12, DFC
    Fee: 40 QAR
    Buy
  • Sat, Nov 13 - 1:30 PM
    Vox Cinema 11, DFC
    Fee: 40 QAR
  • Sat, Nov 13 - 4:30 PM
    Vox Cinema 11, DFC
    Fee: 40 QAR
    Buy

Synopsis

After fleeing the war in Syria, best friends Mahmoud and Fawzi have spent the last five years in Jordan's Za'atari refugee camp. Though they both have little sense of what the future may hold for them, they focus their energy on their shared love—soccer. Despite the dire circumstances in the camp, the pair practice day in and day out, firmly believing that playing professional football is their ticket to freedom and a brighter future. When Aspire Academy, one of the world’s leading sports academies, arrives to pick players for an international tournament in Qatar, the friends seize their chance.
The visiting scouts quickly identify Mahmoud as a promising talent and fly him to Doha, while Fawzi has an anxious delay due to a selection technicality. Reunited, the friends train hard for the most important day of their burgeoning careers—a televised match that will be watched by their families back in Za'atari thanks to a hastily erected satellite dish. A profoundly authentic and human story, ‘Captains of Zaatari’ highlights the real struggles faced by people uprooted and displaced by conflict. As Mahmoud himself succinctly proclaims at the post-match press conference, refugees don't need pity; they need opportunities.

Director

Ali El Arabi

Ali El Arabi is a documentary director and producer who has worked with Dream TV (Egypt), ZDF, Stern TV Germany, and National Geographic. In 2015 El Arabi set up Ambient Light—a Cairo-based production company that focuses on topics relevant to the MENA region, such as refugee displacement and women’s and children’s rights. His directorial debut, 'Captains of Zaatari', was at Sundance as an entry for the World Documentary Competition, and the film was named one of the best 15 films at Sundance by Variety.

Credits

Producer
Ali El Arabi
Editor
Menna El Shishini
Cinematographer
Mahmoud Basher