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The Independent Critic

Lyes Salem, Mohamed Ali Ayari, Eltayef Dhaoui, Hichem Mesbah
Yves Piat
17 Mins.

 "Nefta Football Club" Shortlisted for 2020 Oscars 

Yves Piat's live-action short film Nefta Football Club stars Munich's Lyes Salem in a story that is wacky, fun to watch, beautifully acted, and just about everything you want from a live-action short. The story involves two boys who find something rather unusual when they discover a headphone-wearing donkey in the desert on the border between Tunisia and Algeria. The soccer-loving boys don't quite know what to do with their unexpected discovery, though the eldest of the two seems just a little more aware of exactly what's going on. 

Nefta Football Club is an absolute delight, a quietly hilarious 17-minute motion picture where Adele's music is confused for that of Hadel and where laundry detergent doesn't seem to clean anything and soccer is pretty much the answer to everything. 

Piat's short film has been shortlisted for the 2020 Academy Awards in the live-action short category, appropriate recognition of the film's spot-on storytelling, Valentin Vignet's lively cinematography, and the tremendous ensemble cast. The film has picked up a slew of awards during its festival journey including wins at Aspen ShortsFest (Audience Award, Best Comedy), Black Sea Film Festival (Best Short Film), Sao Paulo International Short Film Festival (Audience Award), Florida Film Festival (Audience Award, Narrative Short), Coronado Island Film Festival (Audience Award), and a host of others. 

Piat's Nefta Football Club expertly weaves together comedy and drama to create a film with creative storytelling that leads you one direction and wraps you in its little fingers before revealing its hand. You'll love it from beginning to end. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic