By: Kia Ambrose-Brown
Academy Award nominee Nefta Football Club, a funny and engaging and humorous short, deliver a few laughs, with a memorable ending.
Nefta Football Club is a live-action short film by Yves Piat and produced by Damien Megherbi and Justin Pechberty that was nominated at the 2020 Academy Award in Live Action Short Film category. This film has also won a series of Audience Awards including Clermont-Ferrand, Florida Film Festival and the Best Comedy award at Aspen Shortsfest. It’s set in the south of Tunisia, on the border with Algeria, about two brothers (Eltayef Dhaoui and Mohamed Ali Ayari) who are football fans fall on a donkey lost in the middle of the desert that is carrying drugs and the brothers end up stealing the drugs from the donkey’s pouch. Oddly, the animal wears headphones over its ears. The reason behind this was later revealed as these two men were looking for where their drug mule went.
Yves Piat created both a drama and a comedy within this short film. It was in fact inspired by what happened in his childhood. He says during an interview.
“First, it was a personal experience from my childhood. When I was 14, my friend and I would systematically sneak out to forbidden places with torchlights. One day, we found things that we thought to be drug material (twisted spoon, a camping stove and thousand of little plastic bags full of white powder). We decided to take all this on our motorcycle and dump it in the water without really thinking about what we were doing. Our decision may have cost someone’s life or something important. And the story of the donkey and the headphones is a real story too. I learned this story during my travels in The Maghreb, with smugglers I met. The smugglers usually use whistle sounds to have the donkeys cross the borders. In this story, we preferred to imagine something funnier, with real music.”
It was clearly presented that the main theme was football as it was spoken about throughout by the brothers and drug traffickers. Yves stated he wanted to highlight the theme of the game and its stakes which was successfully represented by both of the brothers. The eldest brother Mohammed saw an opportunity financially to try and start selling the drugs whereas this is suddenly been put to a stop by his younger brother Abdallah who just wants to play football.
Overall, Nefta Football Club is an entertaining short film that tells an engaging and humorous story that works well to deliver a few laughs that build-up towards a memorable ending which doesn’t disappoint either.
Check out the trailer below!