✪ Film Premier at IPFF 2020 ✪
Description: Can an Israeli football club mixed of Jews, Christians, and Muslims overcome a 40-year championship drought and a difficult past by advancing further than any Israeli team in Europe’s most prestigious football tournament?
Director: Arielle Thomas Sabol
About the Film
In the middle of the Negev Desert lies the Israeli city of Be’er Sheva. Home to the football club HaPoel Be’er Sheva, the city has equal number of Muslim and Jewish residents and sits only 20 km south of the West Bank. Hapoel Be’er Sheva was plagued by a 40-year championship drought until a new owner, Alona Barkat, came in with a vision of tolerance and acceptance. With this vision, Alona, the first woman owner of an Israeli soccer team, brought the club their long-awaited championship.
PLAYING FOR PEACE follows the journey of the team as they prepare for the UEFA Champions League match against Besiktas Turkey, having advanced further than any other Israeli team in history. The film enters the lives of two star players — one Muslim, one Jewish — as their team, fans, and whole city prepare for this monumental match. More than just football, PLAYING FOR PEACE is a story of creating a team of champions with a culture of tolerance and acceptance. This team and fan base leave people questioning: if peace is possible on the pitch and in the stands, where else can it be possible?
Playing For Peace was directed and produced by Arielle Thomas Sabol. It is her directorial debut. It is premiering at the International Peace & Film Festival in Orlando, FL.