Saudi film Champions, a remake of the Spanish hit Campeones, is set to be released in cinemas across the GCC on March 10.
The 90-minute comedy has been adapted for its Arabic version by Oscar-winning producer Andres Vicente Gomez (Born a King), director Manuel Calvo and Saudi screenwriters Maram Taibah and Wael Al Saeed.
The film tells the story of Khaled, the assistant coach of a top Saudi football team who, after losing his temper, ends up in disciplinary court. After losing his prestigious job, he is forced to carry out an unexpected community service: coaching a non-professional team of players with intellectual disabilities.
The film stars Yassir Al Saggaf, the famous host of The Voice (MBC) talent show, alongside Fatima Al Banawi of Barakah Meets Barakah, as well as a cast of young people with intellectual disabilities, many of whom were recruited from Jeddah’s Help Centre. A crew of 90 professionals from Saudi Arabia and Spain filmed in various locations across Jeddah.
In an interview with The National last year, Vicente Gomez said Champions is a reminder that winning is not the most important thing in life and described the film as a "serious comedy".
"Champions touched the sensibility and the conscience of a large portion of the public that discovered the so-called special needs person in a different dimension, capable of showing us a different way to understand and how to treat them," he said.
The filmmakers wanted to raise awareness about people of determination in the kingdom, the way the Spanish film did.
Champions will be released in Vox Cinemas, which recently distributed Al Kameen (The Ambush), the highest-grossing Arabic-language movie in the UAE.