Archive of films Theeb / Theeb

Jordan / United Kingdom / United Arab Emirates / Qatar
2014, 100 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2015

A Bedouin boy accompanies a lost British Army officer on a dangerous trek through the desert. This feature debut, awarded at the Venice IFF, penetrates the distinctive culture of the nomadic tribes as captured against a mind-blowing natural backdrop.


Arabia 1916. A Bedouin boy becomes the responsibility of his older brother after their father dies. When a British Army officer stumbles onto their tribe, the brothers agree to accompany him on a dangerous journey across the desert. The story of Naji Abu Nowar’s feature debut is driven by Dakheel, a traditional Bedouin law requiring that guests be given protection regardless of the circumstances. The art of acquiring this honor transforms the boy into a man, and if he stands the test he will be worthy of the name Theeb (Wolf). Year-long, thoroughgoing preparations preceded shooting on location in a remote region of Jordan’s Wadi Rum desert. During that time the director lived among nomadic tribes that still maintain their original way of life. The picture is filled with the unmistakable culture of the Bedouins – from religious rituals and their poetic tradition to fighting skills – set against breathtaking natural scenery as captured by Austrian DOP Wolfgang Thaler. At the Venice IFF Naji Abu Nowar took Best Director in the Orizzonti section.

Jan Křipač

About the director

Naji Abu Nowar (b. 1981, Oxford, UK) was educated in the UK and Jordan, where he now lives and works. In 2005 his screenplay Hammer (Shakoush) was accepted for the RAWI Screenwriters Lab established by the Royal Film Commission Jordan and the Sundance Institute to assist independent Arab screenwriters in finishing their projects. His first movie, the short Death of a Boxer (2009), gained international buzz via screenings at several noted festivals (Dubai, Palm Springs, Miami). After premiering at Venice, his feature debut Theeb (2014) was selected by the program departments of the Toronto, London, Hong Kong, and Cairo festivals, the latter of which awarded him Best Director. In 2014 Variety magazine named him Arab Director of the Year.


Fortissimo Films
Van Diemenstraat 100, 1013 CN, Amsterdam
Tel: +31 206 273 215
Fax: +31 206 261 155

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Horizons
Director: Naji Abu Nowar
Screenplay:  Bassel Ghandour, Naji Abu Nowar
Dir. of Photography: Wolfgang Thaler
Music: Jerry Lane
Editor: Rupert Lloyd
Art Director: Anna Lavelle
Producer: Bassel Ghandour, Rupert Lloyd
Production: Bayt Al Shawareb
Coproduction: Noor Pictures, Immortal Entertainment
Cast: Jacir Eid, Hassan Mutlag, Hussein Salameh, Jack Fox, Marji Audeh
Sales: Fortissimo Films

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