When it comes to the Street Child World Cup, Pakistan has emerged as a significant and powerful contender, showcasing their strength and prowess in the Street World Cup Championship finishing in second place. In this regard, producer Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s latest feature documentary, featuring football icon David Beckham in a guest appearance, ‘I Am Somebody’ tells the story of six street-connected children who were chosen to represent their country at the ‘Street Child World Cup’ in Qatar.
Some of them come from poor families in Pakistan, some are from the streets of Brazil and Bangladesh, and another is from a refugee camp in Palestine. But there is one thing that all these children have in common: their lives change forever when they participate in the Street Child World Cup. The movie was filmed in five countries portraying the children before, during and after the Street Child World Cup that brought together 28 teams with more than 280 street-connected children from 25 countries from across the world for their own boys and girls international football tournaments, festival of arts, and congress for their rights.
It is directed by Jamillah van der Hulst from Netherlands, with assistant director Dina Amin from Palestine and Rio unit director Maria Clara Costa from Brazil. Mike Downey, producer, and the chairman of the European Film Academy and a long-time human rights activist and defender of the rights of street children, and Stephen Daldry, nominee of three Academy Awards for Best Director, are among the involved Executive Producers of the film. “These children show resilience and despite the extremely challenging circumstances, they keep hope for a better future. The children opened up to us and their strong characters and touching stories are an inspiration to everyone they meet,” shared the director about working with the main characters.
“Our journey to capture the stories of these young talents on the streets of Pakistan, showcasing their determination to shine at the World Cup, and proving that they are just as capable as anyone else, serves as an inspiration for all of us.,” said the producer of the film.
‘I Am Somebody’ was awarded the Guirlande d’Honneur for best film in the category ‘Football feature films’ at the 40th Sport Movies & TV - Milano International FICTS Fest (Federation Internationale Cinema Television Sportifs - recognised by the International Olympic Committee). Earlier this year, the world premiere of the documentary was hosted by Festival do Rio (Brazil) followed up by screenings at Cambridge Film Festival (UK), the Women in Film and Television event in Cyprus, Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (USA), Asia Pacific Screen Awards and Milano International FICTS Fest.
The film demonstrates the power of football to ignite hope and positively impact the lives of these young people. It is set to be screened at the Dhaka International Film Festival in January 2024.
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