The Myth of Mahmoud

Cannes Docs

The Myth of Mahmoud

Original title: أسطورة محمود

Directed by: Mayar Hamdan, Shaima Al-Tamimi

Produced by: Shaima Al-Tamimi (Y2P, Qatar)

Country of production: Palestine, Qatar, USA, Yemen, Kenya, Lebanon

Runtime: 90' / 52' for TV

Expected release: February, 2027

Production stage: In-Production (55-60% shot)

Budget: $120,000 (35-30% in place)

1st feature: Yes

Looking for: Financing, Co-Production, Distributors, Buyers, Strategic Guidance


In this reflexive and creative documentary, Mayar picks up the camera to capture the intricate lives of her Palestinian family, who have resided in Doha for over 60 years. Against the backdrop of never-ending conflicts in their hometown, Gaza, the family’s Doha home reflects their turmoil. The focal point is Mayar’s mother, Amal, whose sense of displacement and grief are concealed beneath a veil of sarcasm.

Director’s profile:

Mayar Hamdan, a Palestinian multi-platform writer, director, and producer, brings a distinctive design sensibility to her work, exploring MENA-centered themes like migration, displacement, generational trauma, and female-centered stories through the lens of color theory. With a background in art & technology from CalArts, film training & development via the Doha Film Institute, game writing for multiple indie studios in Barcelona, and as a Lead Narrative Designer for Saudi game studio Lunacy, she now serves as a story consultant for multiple AAA games and as a writer for a Saudi Netflix series in Development. Her diverse portfolio includes writing, directing, and producing projects like ‘Beit Byoot’ (2019), available on Sundance TV, ‘Don’t Get Too Comfortable’ (2021), which premiered at the Venice International Film Festival, and Ibqi: A Visual EP, set to be released in 2024.

Producer’s profile:

Shaima Al-Tamimi, a Yemeni-East African visual storyteller based in Qatar, uses her lived experiences to address social issues focusing on migration, healing, and sociocultural dynamics. A 2020 Photography and Social Justice Fellow at the Magnum Foundation, she created ‘Don’t Get Too Comfortable’ (2021), which was nominated for the Orizzonti Award for Best Short Film at the Venice International Film Festival and showcased at over 35 festivals worldwide. Shaima is also on the board of YWT, an organization based in Yemen that focuses on providing opportunities in film mentorship and production to the youth of Yemen.