Garbage Dreams 79 min.

Mai Iskander, USA / Egypt, 2009, color, HDcam
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 22, 2016 | The IDFA Bertha Fund is looking for new creative documentary projects from developing countries for both its classic program and the IBF Europe distribution scheme.
Ally Derks receives Pioneer Award December 12, 2016 | Last Saturday, Ally Derks received a prestigious Pioneer Award from the International Documentary Association.
Open Call: Short Web Documentaries November 26, 2016 | IDFA and Jos de Putter from Deep Focus Web Documentaries invite entries for project proposals from talented (young) filmmakers.
And the winners are... November 23, 2016 | At the Awards Ceremony in the Stadsschouwburg, the 14 winners of IDFA 2016 have just been announced.

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