My English Cousin

Dir. by Karim Sayad, Switzerland, Qatar; 2019, 82´

World premiere: Toronto IFF, European premiere – DOK Leipzig, Festival dei Popoli Gian Paolo Paoli Award, Thessaloniki IDFF, Full Frame Film Festival, Rencontres d´ Aflam, Gabes Tunisia, Le Grand Bivouac; Broadcasters: Al Jazeera Arabic & Documentary, EDU Rights: Alexander Street

Territories: World except of Switzerland & Morocco;  Exclusive subject: Festivals & Sales

2001, Fahed arrives on UK soil overflowing with aspirations and dreams…

2018, in the thrall of a mid-life crisis, he must now make a decision. Will he continue his humble lifestyle working 50-hours weeks between the take-away and the factory, or will he return to Algeria, a country he fled in the hope of making a better life for himself? Two decades later, after marrying, working two jobs to pay the bills, and picking up a distinct Northern English accent, Fahed decides he wants to go back to his place of birth.

Trapped between two countries, Fahed is also between two cultures: one he’s worked to assimilate into and one he nostalgically longs for but can’t, in reality, face.

Category: Portrait, Social issues, POV, Migration, Arabic


Karim Sayad delivers an intense observation of his antihero’s life, as the latter grapples with the dilemmas which torture his existence; an existence which is slowly losing all meaning.” – Cineuropa, Mariel del Don

“A thoughtful portrait of contemporary migrant life.”POV, Pat Mullen

“A migration story but from the perspective of someone wanting to go back”Variety, Interview with KarimSayad


Karim Sayad was born in Lausanne in 1984 to an Algerian father and a Swiss mother. After completing a MA in International Relations, he decided to become a documentary filmmaker. His first short, Babor Casanova, premiered in Locarno in 2016 and it won at DocLisboa, Festival Dei Popoli and in Clermont-Ferrand. Of Sheep and Men, his first feature documentary, premiered at TIFF in 2017 and was shown in numerous festivals. My English Cousin is his second feature documentary.

Director : Karim Sayad

Producer: Joëlle Bertossa

Cinematographer: Patrick Tresch

Screenwriting: Karim Sayad

Editors: Naïma Bachiri

Sound Editor: Clement Maléo

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