Ajyal Film Festival 2024

All Films

Baghdad Messi

Hilal - ages 13+

Sahim Omar Kalifa / Short Narrative / Belgium, United Arab Emirates, Iraq / 2013 / 18 min / Colour / HDCAM
In Arabic / English subtitles
Interests: Sports, War, Youth, Disability
Qatar Premiere


In Competition

Hammoudi is the biggest Messi fan in the world. He is missing a leg, but that doesn’t prevent him from playing football with his friends. Truth is, his mates let him play on their team only because they can watch the UEFA Champions League matches on TV at his place. As the final approaches, Hammoudi’s TV breaks, and his friends ditch him. Hammoudi begs his father to go to Baghdad to get the set fixed before the match – but the streets are not safe …

Official Film Website

About the Directors

Sahim Omar Kalifa, was raised in Iraqi Kurdistan, and moved to Belgium in 2001. With the success of his graduation short film ‘Nan’ 2008, he was able to make his first professional short film, ‘Land of the Heroes’ (2011). ‘Baghdad Messi’ has received significant attention worldwide.


Sahim Omar Kalifa
Sahim Omar Kalifa
Hendrik Verthé, Kobe Van Steenberghe
Pieter Jan Bergmans
Hannes De Maeyer
Robrecht Heyvaert, Kobe Van Steenberghe
Production Company
A Team Productions
Ali Raad Al-Zaidawy , Hayder Helo, Noor Al-Hoda

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