Filmed over five years, FREEDOM FIELDS follows three women and their football team in post-revolution Libya, as the country descends into civil war and the utopian hopes of the Arab Spring begin to fade. Through the eyes of these accidental activists, we see the reality of a country in transition, where the personal stories of love and aspirations collide with History.
An intimate film about hope, struggle and sacrifice in a land where dreams seem a luxury. A love letter to sisterhood and the power of team.
Director Naziha Arebi is a Libyan/British artist and filmmaker who returned to Libya during the revolution to work and explore her father's homeland. Naziha works at the intersection of art and activism and is co-founder of film collective HuNa. Alongside her first feature FREEDOM FIELDS she is currently producing the documentary feature AFTER A REVOLUTION and has a fiction film in development. Naziha is a Hot Docs Blue Ice fellow and a Sundance Lab fellow, a WEF Global Shaper and part of The Lumiere d'Afrique collective. Her artwork has been published extensively in print and exhibited globally.
SDI Productions / HuNa Productions
SDI Productions Ltd is one of the leading companies for creative documentary in Scotland. Set up in 2007, SDI Productions is the feature production arm of the Scottish Documentary Institute. We are all about supporting new forms of storytelling through innovative combinations of visual and sound. We strive to give equal importance to content and form, and we look at Drama or Documentary as tools for storytelling, rather than genres. Our films have played at major film festivals, such as Sundance, Cannes, Hotdocs, Tribeca, Full Frame, IDFA, Cinéma du Reel, Vision du Réel, and Leipzig, and have picked up major awards and nominations.
HuNa Productions was co-founded by Huda Abuzeid and Naziha Arebi in 2012 and began life as a film production collective focused on storytelling in Libya. HuNa was formed in order to harness the power of filmmaking to amplify emerging voices and stories in post-conflict Libya. Being a female-led collective, HuNa is able to gain unique access into spaces not often seen on film in predominantly segregated societies. Today, HuNa Productions' vision is to improve and develop Libyan cinema and talent, share stories internationally and use creative content as a tool for stimulating dialogue and advocating change. In addition to producing films, HuNa has designed national advocacy campaigns, educational videos and continue to support new filmmakers with training and access to resources. Alongside FREEDOM FIELDS, HuNa currently has two fiction films in development and a further feature documentary in production.
Responses to the film
“Arebi’s shooting as DoP, with camera backup by Sufian Arara, is immersive, energetic and bold, even when she’s making an effort to keep her camera hidden, the visuals enhanced by a marvelously enveloping sound design by Giovanni Buccomino"
- Filmmaker Magazine
“Arebi brings a keen eye to the documentary, capturing the beauty of street life and the women's games with stunning cinematography. Whether you're a fan of soccer or not, Arebi draws the viewer into a world where (as the women chant before they play) "determination, will, strength" are words to live by”.
- Kiva Reardon, TIFF Programmer
“FREEDOM FIELDS shows how sport could unite and inspire people from diverse backgrounds to seek something bigger than themselves”.
- United News of India
“It’s hard to put into words how this film has made me feel. There are so many emotions. What I can say is that Freedom Fields, the lives of these incredibly brave and inspiring young women, and their world which Naziha and her team were able to capture, will change lives. It already has. It’s not so much a film as a movement”.
- Audience Member
“The camera is intimate, giving us the real impression of being let inside the lives of these women. We ride with them in the car, and pace anxiously on the sidelines as they play. Her aesthetic is poetic and artistic, finding beauty in the blur of streetlights, and poignancy in shots of little boys who play ball without a care”.
- Anya Wassenberg, Art and Culture Maven