CPH:DOX – Captains of Zaatari

The CPH:DOX programme is launched. The festival runs from April 21 to May 12. The cinemas are scheduled to re-open in the beginning of May so the festival intends to be part of this (cross fingers…) festive celebration of watching (also) documentaries on a big screen. Otherwise the festival’s 177 films will be available (for those who are in Denmark) online as well as an enormous line-up of events. Check the website: https://cphdox.dk/film/

On this site – www.filmkommentaren.dk – we will follow the festival from now on with recommendations of films to be watched. It will be in English as many of the films will show up to be watched at other festivals around the world.

This is the catalogue text of CPH:DOX:

”Fawzi and Mahmoud are best friends. They are two teenage boys who, like so many others their age, love football and dream of an international career on the pitch. And they live in Zaatari, the world’s largest camp for Syrian refugees. When a scout from a football club in Qatar visits the camp to spot new talents, the boys eye their lives’ opportunity. This becomes a journey that culminates in a finale (literally), which is just as emotional and nerve-wracking as a football match where everything is at stake. And that’s exactly what it is here. The director Ali El Arabi met Fawzi and Mahmoud when they played football in the desert sand with bare feet as young boys, and he has built mutual trust with them over many years. The resulting film was a hit with both reviewers and audiences at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. With its two irresistible protagonists and moments of true friendship, it is also a story that hits you straight in the heart.”

The film was at the Sundance FF, I have not seen it but as one who is a football-idiot and played when a teenager, I am not gonna miss it!

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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