Kash Kash

Director Lea Najjar’s hometown of Beirut is a place marked by conflicting traditions, a corrupt political elite, protests against the government and the aftermath of a disastrous explosion in 2020. But above the rooftops, the city’s residents have an unexpected way of connecting in the form of an age-old game of chance involving pigeons known as “kash hamam”. Every evening, the players release their flocks of pigeons from their cages and allow them to fly above the labyrinth of streets and circle over the houses, hoping to attract birds from neighbours’ flocks. If they succeed in luring a neighbour’s pigeon to land on their own roof, this enlarges the player’s own flock and is called a “kash”.
Taking its cue from the rhythm of the beating of wings, this sensitive debut documentary observes a city in upheaval. It is told from the perspective of three passionate pigeon fanciers and a young girl struggling to one day let her own birds fly.
by Lea Najjar Germany 2022 Arabic 90’ Colour Documentary Form | Winner of the First Steps Award 2022 (documentary)


Director Lea Najjar
Screenplay Lea Najjar, Alia Haju
Cinematography Jonas Schneider
Editing Tobias Wilhelmer
Sound Rayan Obeyd
Sound Design Frederic Hellmann
Music Samah Boulsmona, Farah Boulsmona & Kaddour
Assistant Director Alia Haju
Producers Matthias Drescher, Max Brunner
Executive Producer Matthias Drescher
Co-Production Südwestrundfunk Baden-Baden
Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg Ludwigsburg

Produced by

FFL Film- & Fernseh-Labor Ludwigsburg

http://www.ffl.de http://www.ffl.de

Additional information

Winner of the First Steps Award 2022 (documentary)

Lea Najjar

Born in Vienna, Austria in 1994, she grew up in Lebanon and already began working as a press photographer during her schooldays. She first studied at the American University of Beirut before taking up a degree in documentary directing at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. Kash Kash is her graduation film. It premiered at CPH:DOX 2022 in Copenhagen and has won prizes including the 2022 First Steps Award and the Golden Frog at the Camerimage film festival in Poland.


2014 Madama Butterfly; short film 2015 Sara the Dancer; short film 2016 Es werde Licht (Let There Be Light); short film 2017 Iris; image film 2018 Happy Hours; short film · 22 Carat Love; short film 2022 Kash Kash

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023