Film Festival

Film: Egyptian ‘Captains of Zaatari’ To Premiere At Sundance 2021

Egyptian director Ali El Arabi’s documentary Captains of Zaatari will be premiering at this year’s Sundance festival. Sundance Institute has announced the world premiere of the film on Sunday, January 31 at 6:00 pm Mountain Time on the festival’s digital platform.

The Egyptian film will be competing in the festival’s World Documentary Competition section. This is El Arabi’s first independent directorial project, and it will be shown alongside 78 feature-length films from 30 countries.

The feature is about two best friends, Mahmoud and Fawzi, who are trapped in the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan and dream of becoming professional football players. When a world-renowned sports academy scout visits the camp, both have a chance to make their dreams come true.

Captains of Zaatari was directed and produced by El Arabi and co-produced by Aya Dowara, Amjad Abu Alala and Michael Henrichs. Consulting producers are Daniel J. Chalfen and Mark Lotfy. Support was provided from the Beirut DC Madar Fund, CineGouna Platform, FinalCut Venice, IEFTA, Malmo Arab Film Festival, Medimed and the Tribeca Film Institute. The documentary-film was chosen from a pool of 14, 092 applications.

El Arabi has previously produced documentaries for National Geographic, ZDF and Stern Germany. He also runs his own Cairo-based production company, Ambient Light, which focuses on topics relevant to the MENA region, including refugee displacement and women’s and children’s rights.

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