Eloy Domínguez Serén (2018)

With vitality, humor and unexpected situations, this film paints an unusual portrait of a group of young friends living in a refugee camp in the middle of the stony Saharan desert.

A minefield and the second largest military wall in the world separates this group of friends from their homeland that they have only heard about in their parent’s stories. They are called the Sahrawis and have been abandoned in this refugee camp in the middle of a stony desert ever since Morocco drove them out of Western Sahara forty years ago. Trapped somewhere in between life and death, Sidahmed, Zaara and Taher refuse to be bothered by it. They spend their days fixing cars that can’t really take them anywhere, fighting for political change without response and together they use the power of creativity and play to denounce the reality around them and expand beyond the borders of the camp.

Info & Credits

Directed by
Eloy Domínguez Serén
Produced by
David Herdies & Michael Krotkiewski
Co-produced by
Kari Anne Moe & Gudmundur Gunnarsson/Fuglene (NO), Heino Deckert/Ma.ja.de. (DE)
Cinematography by
Eloy Domínguez Serén
Edited by
Ana Pfaff, Eloy Domínguez Serén
With support from
Swedish Film Institute, Norwegian Film Institute, SVT, DR, Aftenposten, Fritt Ord

Awards and nominations

OpenECAM Prize, D’A Film Festival Barcelona, 2019

Best First Film & Young Jury Award, Cinéma du Réel, 2019

Tempo Documentary Award, Tempo Documentary Festival, 2019

Best Emerging Director, Porto/Post/Doc, 2018

Best Spanish Film & Best Spanish Director, Gijón IFF, 2018

MECAS Award for the best work-in-progress, Las Palmas IFF, 2018

Genève Award for the best pitch, Visions du Réel Forum, 2017

The Audience Engagement Award, Visions du Réel Forum, 2017

Selected at the Doc Station of Berlinale Talents 2017

Festivals in selection

Cinéma du Réel, Official Competition, 2019

Tempo Film Festival, Official Competition, 2019

Göteborg IFF, Dragon Award Nominee, 2019

IDFA, First Appearance Competition, 2018

Gijón International Film Festival, International Competiton & Best Spanish Film Award, 2018

Porto/Post/Doc, International Competition, 2018



“There have been dozens of refugee-camp documentaries down the decades, but never anything quite like Eloy Dominguez Seren’s disarmingly breezy Hamada” – Neil Young for The Hollywood Reporter

“With stunning cinematography, a catchy score and some charming personal stories, Eloy Dominguez Serén has managed to paint a unique portrait of a situation that has come to a complete standstill.” – Review on Cineuropa

“Hamada’s Eloy Dominguez Serén On Wit, Wisdom in Wilderness” – Director’s interview on Variety

“Infused with warm humour and longing” – Carmen Gray for Modern Times Review