Sneak Preview Screening: Team Qatar

Screening Monday 20th April, 2009

Team Qatar follows the journey of five Middle Eastern teens from the world’s richest country as they are initiated into the cutthroat subculture of competitive high-school debating. They are charismatic and cultured, with strong views, immense curiosity, and a boundless ambition that they direct – for five intense weeks, under the guidance of their Oxford-trained coach – towards mastering the arcane strategies of British parliamentary debate. Aware that their region is associated in Western minds with oil, money, and jihad, they are determined to show they are not closed-minded extremists – and even more determined to win.

Only 20% of Qatar’s residents are Qatari and this is reflected in the team: Tina an Iranian girl who has lived in Canada; Vartan a Syrian-Armenian who has lived in Qatar most of his life; Fatima an energetic girl from Northern Iraq; Ayesha a bubbly, athletic tom-boy from Pakistan; and Talal, a good-natured military trainee and the sole Qatari on the team. Will the team overcome their inexperience and hold their own against the sarcastic English, meticulous Singaporeans, and ferocious Australians – all with years of practice reducing lesser teams to tears? How will they deal with America?  What will they make of Team Israel? Quirky and endearing, entertaining and informative, this small story offers an entertaining window onto the rapidly growing global culture of the Arab world and its relation to the West.

Directed by Liz Mermin
90 Mins
A Drive Thru Pictures Film