Let’s Play Soldiers

Cannes Docs

Let’s Play Soldiers

Original title: يلا نلعب عسكرة

Directed by: Mariam Al-Dhubhani

Produced by: Mohammed Al-Jaberi (Meem Square Films LLC, Yemen)

Country of production: Yemen

Runtime: 90'

Expected release: September, 2024

Production stage: In production

1st feature: Yes

Looking for: Gap financing, strategic guidance, editing and narrative-build consultants, co-producers


A 16-year-old former child soldier, Nasser, returns home to a small village South of Yemen to care for his family and prevent his two younger siblings from dropping out of school and following the same path. The ongoing 8-year war had broken his older brother and father before him and forced Nasser to become the guardian of his younger siblings’ fate.

Director’s profile:

Mariam Al-Dhubhani is a Yemeni-Russian award-winning journalist, filmmaker, curator, and educator based in the MENA region. She first pursued her passion for media during the 2011 Arab uprisings and co-founded her first media production. She is a two-time TEDx speaker and one of the first directors to utilize virtual reality to highlight stories from Yemen. Mariam attempts to shed light on the dangers of stereotyping the region in the mainstream media and provides a counterviewpoint to showcase equality in humanity.

Producer’s profile:

Mohammed Al-Jaberi is a Yemeni producer and cinematographer who worked on award-winning short documentary films focusing on Yemen. His feature-length debut is a film showing the impact of the war in Yemen on children, produced in collaboration with DFI and AlJazeera. He received specialized training from international film experts including the French Cambodian director, Rithy Phan, and the Sundance consultant Bruni Burres. He participated in a number of international film industry events including in Beirut DC, HotDocs, Doha Film Institute, AJB DOC, Close up Initiative, MEDIMED, Jacob Burns Film Center, IDFA, and Cairo International Film Festival. He holds two degrees in international relations and development.