Garbage Dreams

Mai Iskander, USA / Egypt, 2009, color, HDcam, 79'
Synopsis

The Zabbaleen people are trash collectors and proud of it. This community of around 60,000 Coptic Christians inhabits a suburb of Cairo. For generations, they have been collecting, sorting, processing and recycling the trash this metropolis produces. They see it not as waste, but as a way of life. The arrival of foreign refuse companies using "modern" trucks and dumps is a threat to this people's continued survival. Suddenly, they are being forced to fight for their trash and it seems there is no future for the young generation. Garbage Dreams follows three Zabbaleen boys as they each find their own ways to deal with the new challenges facing them -- by either working harder or joining their rivals. Meanwhile, a social worker named Laila, whose roots are in the Zabbaleen community, tries to make her people aware of the risks of working with refuse and to solve the problem of their diminishing incomes. Almost poetic imagery combines with interviews with the boys and Laila to contrast the closely knit Zabbaleen community with the indifference of the city.

Call for Entry: IDFA Bertha Fund December 8, 2014 | The IDFA Bertha Fund has announced its first selection round for 2015. The deadline for project entry is February 1, 2015.
Help crowdfund Lyari Notes November 26, 2014 | In the IDFA Bertha Fund-supported Lyari Notes, a rock star teaches a group of girls from the most volatile district of Karachi, Pakistan how to express themselves through music. The directors need your help to finish their film!
And the winners are... November 28, 2014 | The winners of IDFA's seven competitions and two audience awards have been announced.
The Female Gaze: IDFA statistics As part of the theme program The Female Gaze, IDFA investigated its own gendered history: are female filmmakers equally represented in the program?

Twitter

IDFAindustry @IDFAindustry 8 hour ago
The creators of @LyariNotes got exceptional access to rock star Hamza and his young students! http://t.co/c3COAMoHdG
Open
IDFAindustry @IDFAindustry 2 days ago
RT @FilmmakerMag: Doc pitching advice day: @postbrooklyn w/ 10 Tips from the @idfa Forum. http://t.co/6Yamra3ZVl
Open
VPRO Oxfam Novib de Volkskrant BankGiro Loterij Fonds 21 Fonds 21