Football fans making their way to Doha for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will be pleased to know that the UAE’s independent arthouse theater, Cinema Akil, has set up temporary shop in the tournament’s host country for the remainder of the quadrennial football competition.
In partnership with ONSIDE DOHA, the one-of-a-kind cinema and culinary popup is situated in the heart of the Msheireb district in Downtown Doha, and will be screening 13 football-inspired feature films and documentaries, and five shorts from across the globe, including Captains of Zaatari, an award-winning documentary by Egyptian director Ali Al-Araby that follows the story of two young refugee men from the Zaatari camp in Jordan; Marwa Zein’s Khartoum Offside, a documentary based on a group of ambitious female football players who aspire to play for the Sudanese national team in the FIFA Women’s World Cup; Diego Maradona, a 2019 British documentary film directed by Asif Kapadia about the Argentine footballer with never before seen archival footage; as well as Shaolin Soccer, the 2001 Stephen Chow and Sing-Chi-directed comedy about a squad of skilled Shaolin kung fu devotees-turned-footballers who combine martial arts and soccer skills to beat out their competition.
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Other films screening during the month-long open-air popup include Pelè: Birth Of A Legend, 17, El Clássico, Offside, Nossa Chape, Freedom Fields, Nadia, Cristiano Ronaldo: World At His Feet, and Harag W’Marag.
The theatrical popup is coupled with a culinary experience, teaming up with restaurants Filia and Tandoor Tacos to offer cinemagoers a range of delicious dishes to gulf down while they enjoy their movies.
Taking place until Dec. 21, we can’t think of a better way to make the most of a breezy evening after a stress-inducing football game than by cozying up to a feel-good production at an outdoor cinema under the Doha stars.