Nefta Football Club: A charming Oscar-nominated tale

Nefta Football Club is a short film directed by France’s Yves Piat. Supplied
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Updated 02 February 2020

Nefta Football Club: A charming Oscar-nominated tale

CHENNAI: Nefta Football Club is a short film directed by France’s Yves Piat. In the race for the Oscars in the Best Live Action Short Film, the movie won awards at several festivals. In about 17 minutes, Piat tells us a witty story about how a cartload of narcotics finds its way — not to the market, but onto a football ground. 

Set on the southern border between Tunisia and Algeria, two young brothers take a break on a deserted road. One of the boys wanders off and comes across a donkey with headphones. At a distance, two men are waiting for the donkey to turn up. The donkey is carrying narcotic drugs, and the boys chance upon it.

The plot pans out nicely and continues to surprise. You would expect a dark and sinister drama, but instead Piat gives us levity, examining the enormity of the evil through two young boys — one who knows that he can make money out of the drugs, and the other who has no idea what the white powder is all about. He assumes it to be chalk powder, and make good use of it — much to the chagrin of his elder sibling.

The story has been developed from Piat’s childhood. Hanging out with his friends, the director once came across a camping stove with a huge amount of white powder in small plastic bags. He and his friends knew what it was and how lethal it could be, and so they dumped the drug in a river. They were tempted to make money out of it, but refrained.

The film refers to real situations. Smugglers use donkeys fitted with headphones to guide them to their destinations. Piat weaves such details into his narrative. The casting is superb, and the characters are well written. The children, played by Eltayef Dhaoui and young Mohamed Ali Ayari, give a compelling performance. 


George and Amal Clooney to donate $100,000 to Lebanese charities

Updated 07 August 2020

George and Amal Clooney to donate $100,000 to Lebanese charities

DUBAI: American actor George Clooney and his wife, Lebanese-British human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, are donating $100,000 to Lebanese charities helping those left homeless by the deadly explosion in Beirut.

The blast, which broke though the capital city on Aug. 4, has killed at least 137 people and injured thousands.

According to Variety, the couple said: “We’re both deeply concerned for the people of Beirut and the devastation they’ve faced in the last few days.”

“Three charitable organizations we’ve found are providing essential relief on the ground: the Lebanese Red Cross, Impact Lebanon, and Baytna Baytak. We will be donating to these three $100,000 and hope that others will help in any way they can,” they added.

Other celebrities such as Kylie Jenner, DJ Khaled, and singer Dua Lipa, have been taking to social media to show their support for victims, and online influencers around the world have been urging their followers to make donations toward rescue and recovery work.