The movie, although a remake of the Spanish film 'Campeones', has maintained a regional flavour.
Champions‘ producer and Oscar-winner Andrés Vicente Gómez, along with the film’s stars Yassir Al Saggaf and Fatima Al Banawi, attended a press conference at Vox Cinema, Mall of the Emirates, to commemorate the film’s upcoming release on March 10.
The 90-minute uplifting comedy, produced by Vicente Gómez and directed by Manuel Calvo, tells the story of Khaled, the assistant coach of a top Saudi Arabian football team. Arrogant and easily riled, Khaled is the temperamental assistant coach of a top Saudi Arabian football team. After a particularly frustrating match, Khalid’s temper lands him in disciplinary court. He is deprived of his prestigious job, receives a big blow to his ego, and is forced to carry out an unexpected community service: coaching a non-professional team of players with intellectual disabilities.
It is only as his new team counters his bad attitude with good humour, kindness and an infectious innocence that Khaled realises how much he has to learn from them.
The Saudi football film stars Yassir Al Saggaf, the famous host of The Voice (MBC) talent show, alongside Fatima Al Banawi of Barakah Meets Barakah, as well as a cast of young people with intellectual disabilities, many of them recruited from Jeddah’s Help Center with the aid of its director, Maha Al Juffali. A crew of 90 film professionals from Saudi Arabia and Spain, filmed in various locations across the city of Jeddah.
It is a remake of the top-grossing Spanish film Campeones and has been adapted for the Arab market by Saudi scriptwriters Maram Taibah and Wael Al Saeed. The filmmakers were inspired to make this film in Saudi Arabia because of the opportunity to raise awareness of people with special needs in the Kingdom, as the previous film had achieved in Spain. The filmmakers were also greatly inspired by the true story of the Saudi football team, which were crowned champions – four times in a row – of the International Federation of Athletes with Intellectual Impairments (INAS) Football World Championships.
Champions will be released across the GCC by Vox Cinemas.