Khartoum Offside

Dir. by Marwa Zein, Sudan, Norway, Denmark & France; 2019, 75´ & 52´(in production)

World premiere: Berlin IFF 2019; Festivals: CPH:DOX, Visions du Reel, Hot Docs IDFF, Sheffield Doc Fest, Beldocs, Documentarist Istanbul, FCAT Spain – Best Documentary, 

Territories: World except of Scandinavia, Finland, Israel, Sudan & Egypt;  Exclusive subject: Festivals & Sales

“We – the women – are not allowed to make films or play football under Islamic rule” is the message in the opening credits of the film “Khartoum Offside”.

A group of young ladies in Khartoum are determined to play football professionally. They are prepared to defy the ban imposed by Sudan’s Islamic Military government. Their battle to get officially recognized as Sudan’s National Woman’s team is fearless, courageous and often laughable. Through the intimate portrait of these women over a number of years we follow their moments of hope and deception. There is a new spark of hope when the elections within the federation could mean real change of the entire system.

Category: Women, LGBTQ, Human Rights, Society, Sport, Africa, Arabic


“ They may be football fans living in a strictly patriarchal Muslim society, but what the protagonists are, above all, is young women, well aware of their sex and bodies, and the need to empower them and protect them.”Cineuropa, Vladan Petkovic

“Strong-willed, refreshingly liberated and ferociously independent, Zein’s footballers defy the mainstream perceptions of Sudanese women.”Middle East Eye, Joseph Fahim

Sudan cinema: Reviving a forgotten art – Report by Al Jazeera watch here.

Interview with Marwa Zein about her filmmaking approach: Andariya.


Marwa Zein is a Sudanese film director and producer. She was born in Saudi Arabia and lived in Egypt. Graduate at high cinema institute in Cairo. Now she’s between Sudan & Germany. She’s an Alumnus of Berlinale Talent, IDFA Academy & Durban Talent Campus. Khartoum Offside is her first feature documentary.

Director & Producer: Marwa Zein

Cinematographer: Marwa Zein

Screenwriting: Marwa Zein

Artistic Collaborator : Jihan El Tahri

Editors: Mohammed Emad Rizq

Sound Design: Sar Kaddouri

Sound Mix: Marcel Knuth

Color grading: Juhan Eklund

Cast: Sara Edward Jubara, Nedal Fadlallah, Fatma gaddal, Elham Balatone, Hala Zakaria

Music Composers: Tunde Jegede

  • Songs for Kit

  • Off Sides

  • Beautiful Things