Wed Jun 21, 7:00 PM
Director: Matthew Bate
81 minutes

THE DEFENDERS is the story of Bahrain refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi and his supporters, including Craig Foster, former Socceroos captain and human rights activist.

When Australian resident Hakeem al-Araibi stepped off the plane in Thailand in 2018 to begin his honeymoon, he found himself surrounded by police with an Interpol arrest order accusing him of terrorist activity. What unfolds in the film is the gripping true story of an heroic whistle-blower who, after speaking out about his own torture, sets off a revenge plot involving three countries, two royal families and the world’s most powerful sporting body, FIFA. As Hakeem awaits extradition back to Bahrain where he will likely be killed, a rag-tag group of campaigners led by a retired Australian football captain turned television pundit (Foster), play out a nail-biting thriller, racing against the clock to save Hakeem’s life and the very soul of football itself.

The special Adelaide Film Festival Film Club event screening will take place on June 21 ahead of its release on Prime Video on June 23.

The screening will include a Q&A with special guests Hakeem al-Araibi, Craig Foster and Adelaide-based writer/director Matthew Bate, hosted by former Adelaide United player Bruce Djite.

THE DEFENDERS is directed by Matthew Bate and produced by Gal Greenspan of Sweetshop and Green.

This is an AFF Film Club event. All tickets to this screening of  THE DEFENDERS are General Admission with seating allocated upon arrival.

If you have any access requirements, please contact the team via [email protected] 

With thanks to Prime Video and Wallis Piccadilly.

Language English, Arabic
Subtitles English
Director Matthew Bate
Producer Gal Greenspan, Alice Burgin
Editor Bryan Mason