Egyptian documentary Lift Like a Girl screens at UK's SAFAR Film Festival

Ahram Online , Friday 9 Jul 2021

Running between 1 and 17 July, the festival has also screened two other Egyptian titles: Souad and Let's Talk

Lift Like a Girl

The Egyptian documentary Lift Like a Girl by Mayye Zayed is being screened today at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London.

The screening is part of the ongoing SAFAR Film Festival, an event dedicated to Arab cinema which runs online and across London's cinemas between 1 and 17 July.

Two other Egyptian films were screened in London, Ayten Amin's Souad (1 July, Barbican) and Marianne Khoury's Let's Talk (8 July, ICA).

The feature-length documentary Lift Like a Girl had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (10-19 September).

According to the brief released by the filmmaker on IMDb, the documentary follows a women’s weightlifting community that trains in the streets of Alexandria, focusing on 14-year-old Zebiba as she pursues her dream of becoming a professional weightlifter.

"Her coach, Captain Ramadan, believes so much in her and never takes no for an answer. He has been training world champion weightlifters for more than 20 years, including his daughter Nahla Ramadan, the former world champion, an Olympian and the pioneer of weightlifting in Egypt, as well as Abeer Abdel-Rahman, the first Arab female two-time Olympic medalist. For four years, Zebiba goes through victories and defeats, including major losses that shape her, as she finds her way from dust to gold," the brief reads.

The film won several awards including The Bronze Pyramid Award for best first or second work at the Cairo International Film Festival 2020. It also won the Youssef Cherif Rizkallah Award — an audience award worth USD 20,000 — and the ISIS Award for best Egyptian film to show the economic and social emancipation of women — worth USD 10,000.

Prior to its release in Egypt, the film won the Golden Dove for Best Film in the German Competition, Long Film category, at the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, Germany, the 63rd edition of which took place between 26 October and 1 November.

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