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EXCLUSIVE: Trailer and poster for TIFF title Lift Like A Girl


- Egyptian documentarian Mayye Zayed’s debut feature is set to world-premiere in the TIFF Docs section of the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival

EXCLUSIVE: Trailer and poster for TIFF title Lift Like A Girl
Lift Like a Girl by Mayee Zayed

On a noisy high-traffic street corner in Alexandria, a vacant roof-less lot is the training site of Egypt’s most elite champions, female weightlifters. There, 14-year-old Zebiba (“raisin” in Arabic), has been a member of former Olympic athlete Captain Ramadan’s weightlifting training “camp” for the past five years. She is following in the footsteps of Egypt’s most famous athletes of all time – including the first Arab, female, two-time Olympic medallist Abeer Abdel Rahman, and World champion and Olympic athlete Nahla Ramadan, Captain Ramadan’s daughter. The coach has bred champions for over 20 years, and it is now Zebiba’s turn. Will her young age help her and direct her focus on weightlifting, as the Captain believes?

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This is the story presented by Egyptian filmmaker Mayye Zayed in her debut feature documentary, Lift Like A Girl [+see also:
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, set to world-premiere in the TIFF Docs section of the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival. Before the premiere of her film, which TIFF Artistic Director (and Co-Head) Cameron Bailey called one of his “must see” films, Zayed stated: “After more than 6 years of working on this project, as both the director and producer, I feel that it's going to be finally born and that's exciting and scary at the same time. By telling Zebiba’s story, I hope that the film can shed some light on the community of female weightlifters in Alexandria and drive people to support them in every possible way.”

Regarding their collaboration, co-producers Anna Bolster and Anke Petersen of Jyoti Film explained: “Working with Mayye Zayed was a highlight in the 7 years Jyoti Film has been producing documentaries. There were many tricky obstacles, we “lifted like girls”. Mayye is an exceptional talent and we hope the film will not only touch the TIFF audiences emotionally, but also create the impact we hope for. With this film we want in particular to encourage women and tell them the truth: you are strong and capable of achieving your dreams!”

Lift Like A Girl is an Egyptian-German-Danish co-production produced by Mayye Zayed of Egypt’s Cléo Media, in association with Anke Petersen and Anna Bolster of German company Jyoti Film, Rufy’s Films, and in co-production with ZDF Das kleine Fernschspiel, with the support of The Arab Fund For Arts & Culture (AFAC), Hot Docs Blue Ice Docs Fund, the International Media Support (IMS), the Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute (DEDI), and the Getty Images Array grant.

Check out our exclusive trailer and poster below:

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