Captains of Zaatari


Captains of Zaatari

Ali El ArabiEgypt – 2021

Mahmoud and Fawzi have been living in the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan. Though they both have no sense of what the future holds for them, they focus their energy together on their first love: soccer. Despite the dire circumstances in the camp, they practice day in and day out, believing firmly that playing professionally is their ticket to freedom.

When Aspire Academy, one of the world’s leading sports academies, arrives to pick players for an international tournament in Doha, they quickly identify Mahmoud as a talent and fly him there, while Fawzi is left behind due to a technicality. Mahmoud is boarding a plane for the first time and is taking in the experience, while Fawzi is facing the difficult reality in Zaatari.

Unexpectedly, the Aspire coaches decide to fly Fawzi in to join his team. The two best friends train and compete in the most important soccer matches of their lives, while their families in Zaatari watch via satellite. After the final match, they speak at a press conference. On behalf of the displaced people of Syria, they make clear that people need an opportunity, not pity. Three years later they grew to young men. They are still stuck in Zaatari, still troubled by fears of an insecure future.

Original Title Captains of Zaatari
German Title Captains of Zaatari
French Title Captains of Zaatari
Other Titles Captains of Zaatari
Directed by Ali El Arabi
Country Egypt
Available Formats Blu-ray, DCP
Screenplay Ali El Arabi
Film Editing Menna El Shishini
Soundtrack Gil Talmi
Cinematography Mahmoud Bashir
Sound Cherif Allam, Rana Eid
Production Ali El Arabi, Aya Dowara, Amjad Abu Alala, Michael Henrichs
Runtime 73 Min.
Language Arabisch/d/f
Mahmoud Dagher Mahmoud Dagher
Fawzi Qatleesh Fawzi Qatleesh

Sundance Film Festival

Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival

Moscow International Film Festival

San Francisco International Film Festival

Seattle International Film Festival

Visions du réel Nyon

«Regisseur Ali El Arabi zeigt, wie der Sport helfen kann, Brücken zu schlagen. Ein bildgewaltiger Dokumentarfilm.» Amnesty International Schweiz, Boris Bögli

«Ali El Arabi begleitet die beiden aus nächster Nähe auf ihrem aussergewöhnlichen Weg und liefert die Geschichte einer einzigartigen Freundschaft voller Hoffnung und Entschlossenheit.» Visions du réel, Aurélien Marsais

«Die bewegende Geschichte zweier syrischer Teenager und ihrer leidenschaftlichen Liebe zum Fussball.» Variety

«Eine herzerwärmende Geschichte über die Freundschaft zweier Jungs, die die Liebe zum Fussball und zueinander verbindet.» RogerEbert

«Full of human touches and radiating a spirit of positivity.» Screen International

«Beautifully shot, impeccably heartwarming, and far more entertaining than anything bent like Beckham, we have this true story to give us just a little bit of hope.» Film Threat

Dossier_Medien (244 kB)

Dossier_Presse (451 kB)

Flyer (1223 kB)


Texts as well as any visual and audio material on the website of the trigon-film foundation are intended for reporting on the respective film or the promotion of the theatrical release. The material is available free of charge only for reporting on the respective film or its promotion. Any other usage is forbidden through copyright and has to be discussed with trigon-film. Passing on the material to a third party in return for payment or for free is strictly prohibited. The copyright reference © is mandatory. By using our material you accept our copyright regulations!