What is the Funding for?
Funds raised will be used to support a nationwide
T H E A T R I C A L R E L E A S E
in January which has the potential to roll out to other Gulf countries. The money will be used specifically towards the production of theatrical exhibition materials, clearances, and a full marketing campaign necessary to generate awareness of the film at theaters and make the release a success. Historically, all films released without a supporting marketing campaign will fail to attract sufficient attendance. In such cases, the theaters always cancel the release in favor of more commercial titles within days.
About the Film
For all of us living the typical expat life in the UAE, we have few opportunities to interact with the legion of men who build our cities.
" C h a m p o f t h e C a m p "
is the first ever feature-length documentary filmed in the UAE's labor camps. Told (and sung) entirely in the voices of the laborers, it follows a Bollywood singing and trivia competition that takes place in Dubai. The film humanizes and celebrates the dignity of these laborers in an attempt to bring down the invisible barrier that has separated us for decades.
The film generated passionate reactions and glowing reviews at its world premiere at Dubai International Film Festival a few weeks ago. The landmark screening outside Burj Khalifa was greeted with a standing ovation by 1,200+ viewers. The laborers and the public interacted afterwards, taking pictures together and hugging in tears. In local and international press, the evening was hailed as a historic moment of social reconciliation between two halves of a society.
The success of the world premiere has enabled us to secure a theatrical release date for January 30th; this is no small feat for an independent documentary. However, our last dime has gone into the picture itself. Without significant funding to promote this release, the film will not attract enough numbers and will disappear from cinemas in a heartbeat. Our goal is to share this experience with the greater UAE public, and eventually the rest of the Gulf.
Now is the time that we really need your help. Your enthusiasm is what inspired us to release the film to a wider audience.
Your generous support will directly contribute to how many UAE and GCC residents will have this chance to immerse themselves in the world of the labor camps, meet the incredible and inspiring men behind our towers and, we hope, exit the cinema with heightened empathy and understanding of this important segment of our society.
The funding will be used to cover the costs associated with the theatrical release on January 30th as detailed above.
Mahmoud Kaabour is a multi award-winning Lebanese filmmaker, writer, and lecturer based in the UAE. He is the founder and managing director of Veritas Films, a Dubai-based company specializing in creative and corporate documentaries. With his first film, Being Osama, he was the youngest commissioned filmmaker in the history of Canadian television. His ground-breaking film Teta, Alf Marra (Grandma, a Thousand Times) set multiple records in regional and global distribution winning along the way seven Best Film and Audience Awards and a "New York Times' Critics Pick." It qualified for the Oscar of best feature-length documentary but did not win. His third feature-length film, Champ of the Camp, about a Bollywood singing competition in the labor camps of the UAE, had its world premiere at the 10th Dubai International Film Festival on Dec 7th, 2013 in a special outdoor screening at Burj Khalifa that attracted over 1200 viewers.