Syrian Refugees Want to Play Soccer in 'Captains of Zataari' Trailer
"Dreams can never disappear!" Utopia has released an official US trailer for the outstanding documentary film Captains of Zataari, made by an Egyptian filmmaker named Ali El-Arabi. This originally premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and also played at the San Francisco, Seattle, Moscow, Melbourne, Helsinki, and DocLisboa Film Festivals as well. Two best friends trapped in the Za'atari Refugee Camp in Jordan have an undying dream of becoming professional football players. When a world renowned sports academy visits the camp to find players for a match, they now have a chance to make this dream come true. This is a really triumphant film about two Syrian refugees and friends, Mahmoud and Fawzi, who are passionate and hopeful despite their situation. "On behalf of the displaced people of Syria, they make clear that people need an opportunity, not pity." It's one of my favorite Sundance docs this year, moving in its portrayal of refugees as regular people who want to live their lives, too. Highly recommend watching this.
Here's the official US trailer (+ poster) for Ali El-Arabi's doc Captains of Zataari, from YouTube:
Mahmoud and Fawzi are friends 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 (or football outside of the US). 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. 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. Captains of Zataari is directed by the Egyptian producer / filmmaker Ali El-Arabi, making his feature directorial debut. This first premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Utopia will debut Captains of Zataari in select US theaters + on VOD starting November 19th, 2021 this month.