Ajyal Film Festival 2023

All Films

Neon Phantom

Ajyal Competition, Ajyal at Vox

Leonardo Martinelli / Short Narrative / Brazil / 2021 / 20 min / Colour / DCP
In Portuguese / Arabic, English subtitles
Interests: Drama, Musical
MENA Premiere


Joao works on the streets of Brazil as a delivery driver in the so-called “gig” economy. Him and his friend dream about buying a motorcycle, travelling the country, and transforming their lives into a sweet fairytale-like musical. But sadly, even their indulgences into operatic and beautifully choreographed fantasy crash back to their harsh reality of inadequate wages, unempathetic customers and constant threats that surround them. A thought-provoking short about inequality and imbalance of power in zero-hour contract employment.

About the Directors

Leonardo Martinelli is an audiovisual artist from Rio de Janeiro. His films have been selected at more than three hundred film festivals and museums worldwide, including Locarno, San Sebastian, BFI London, Montreal and others. Through a vote among several film critics, Leonardo Martinelli was listed as one of the Top 10 New Brazilian Filmmakers by Papo de Cinema. In 2021, his film ‘Neon Phantom’ won the Golden Leopard for Best International Short Film at the Locarno Film Festival.


Leonardo Martinelli
Leonardo Martinelli
Ayssa Yamaguti Norek, Leonardo Martinelli, Rafael Teixeira
Lobo Mauro
Ayssa Yamaguti Norek, Carol Maia, José Miguel Brasil, Leonardo Martinelli
Felipe Quintelas
Gustavo Andrade
Dennis Pinheiro, Silvero Pereira

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