FREEDOM FIELDS follows three women and their football team over five years in post-revolution Libya.
A love letter to sisterhood and the power of the team, FREEDOM FIELDS follows three women and their football team over five years in post-revolution Libya. This captivating and inspiring debut documentary feature by British Libyan Naziha Arebi will be released in UK cinemas on 31 May, in the run up to the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
FREEDOM FIELDS is the story of three accidental activists - friends coming from different social and political backgrounds who play for their country’s female football team.
Libya was only ever associated with one face: Gaddafi's. But in February 2011 it suddenly arrived on the world stage with many. Women played a key role in the Libyan revolution, initiating the first protests, lobbying, smuggling arms and cooking food on the frontlines. In the first national elections, women were voted in as key decision makers. However, after this hopeful first step, the country took a different path and women have now been squeezed out of the equation yet again. Civil war, the on-going assassinations and the rising presence of extremism is not the Libya these women had fought for… FREEDOM FIELDS is the story of three accidental activists - friends coming from different social and political backgrounds who play for their country’s female football team. Through their eyes, we see their hope, struggle and sacrifice in a land where dreams seem a luxury.
Praised by critics and audiences at festivals around the world including Toronto, London, Mumbai, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Doha, Glasgow, Copenhagen and winner of Best Film at the 2018 Joburg Film Festival and Best Documentary at the 2018 Karama Human Rights Film Festival, FREEDOM FIELDS is one of the first feature films about Libya to be directed by a Libyan filmmaker and the first by a female Libyan director. Naziha Arebi captures the beauty of streetlife and the women's games with immersive self-shot cinematography, enhanced by evocative sound design by Giovanni Buccomino and rousing score by Katya Mihailova. The film was edited by an award-winning trio Ling Lee, Alice Powell and Maya Hawke and produced by Flore Cosquer of SDI Productions.
Director Naziha Arebi says about her film...
“Initially I thought I was making a film about the women’s fight to play their first ever match as Libya's national women's football team but it became something far richer, more intimate and more powerful. I started to question how far we go before we realise a dream is over, I also discovered the power we find in such moments to start to create new dreams. This revealed itself as the core essence of the film, for the team, and for myself. The human ability to re-invent, to find strength, spirit, even when we feel we have lost everything. FREEDOM FIELDS is a testament to taking action, finding strength in the face of adversity, and sharing that will, power and joy with others and the next generation.”
Naziha Arebi is a Libyan/British artist and filmmaker who returned to Libya after the revolution to work and explore her father's homeland. In 2012 she co-founded HuNa Productions, a Tripoli-based production collective, aiming at developing Libyan cinema as a tool for change. She has since made short films shown internationally, completed a series of educational shorts on Libyan reconciliation, and regularly works as a cinematpgrapher in the MENA region. Naziha is a HotDocs Blue Ice and a Sundance Lab fellow and a WEF Global Shaper. Her artwork has been published extensively in print and exhibited globally and alongside her first feature FREEDOM FIELDS, she is also producing AFTER A REVOLUTION and working on her first fiction hybrid feature.