TCAFF: Pirates of Salé


The Main 3 Sun, Nov 8, 2015 1:00 PM
Film Info
Premiere Status:Special Preview
English Title:TCAFF: Pirates of Salé
Program:Twin Cities Arab Film Festival
Hosted Events
Family Friendly
Release Year:2015
Runtime:89 min
Type:Feature Documentary
United Kingdom
Director:Rosa Rogers
Merieme Addou
Producer:Hilary Durman
Cinematographer:Rosa Rogers
Editor:Jane Harris


Screening with short films Made of Clay and Ball of Hope.

On Morocco’s old pirate coast, in the city of Salé, a new generation of pirates are setting sail in Morocco’s first ever professional circus. Cirque Shems’y sits on the edge of one of Morocco’s poorest slums, and hundreds of teenagers come to audition each year hoping to find a new future in the circus. Pirates of Sale´ tells the story of four of these young performers on a tough journey of transformation. Hajar is a talented aerialist who was living on the streets until she joined the circus; Imed is a dazzling performer who sees circus as a way to challenge corruption in Morocco; Rizlan is fighting for a life of creative freedom rather than arranged marriage; and Abd’Ali has to succeed to support his nine brothers and sisters at home.

Kid friendly


Rosa Rogers began her filmmaking career with short experimental dance and poetry films, which won awards at festivals around the world. She was drawn to the world of documentaries and over the past few years has directed many short documentaries for leading UK broadcasters which have been shown across several continents. Prize winning films include: The Greatest Show on Earth. Her first feature documentary was Casablanca Calling (2014), following the work of Morocco’s new generation of female Muslim leaders, is currently nominated for a One World Media Award, 2015.

Merieme Addou was born in Morocco and graduated from Mohammed V University with a degree in Law. She lives and works in Rabat as freelance correspondent for Radio D-W. She has also been a Producer for Camino Media, a Moroccan production company based in Rabat. Merieme has worked as an assistant to the BBC correspondent in Morocco, as a correspondent for Kuwait TV, and as an AP for Al Jazeera International. She produced a documentary for Moroccan national television about Orson Welles and his relationship with the city of Essouaira, and a series of programmes about Moroccan women in history. She has just completed an MA in Documentary Film at the University of Tetouan.

Made of Clay
Director: Fayssal Bin Sahli
2015 | United Arab Emirates | Arabic | 10 min | Regional Premiere
Ahmed, a passionate young stop-motion artist wants to pursue his dream, but finds it difficult because of his father’s views on art. In an attempt to gain his father’s acceptance, Ahmed unravels the truth behind his father’s past, he learns something about his own future.


Fayssal Bin Sahli is a 21-year-old Emirati filmmaker living in Dubai. He’s passionate about making films varying from narrative to documentaries. Finding inspiration from old BBC documentaries that influenced his belief in the power of visual storytelling, he’s interested in experimenting with various approaches to filmmaking.

Ball of Hope
Director: Mayar Nouri
Syria | Arabic | 18 min | Regional Premiere
In a school at a Syrian refugee camp, a teenage boy tries desperately to play a soccer match that will allow him to meet the girl he loves in person. But first, he must find a ball.


Mayar Nouri is a Syrian film director. In addition to “Ball of Hope,” he directed two short films in 2013: “Being” and “Meeting of “Minds.”