Directed by Greg Barker and Greg Barker
FEATURE DOCUMENTARY 77 Minutes World Premiere

One of Islam's most revered traditions, Koran recitation reaches its pinnacle at the world's preeminent recitation competition in Cairo, where Muslim children come from across the globe to perform in front of a panel of prominent judges. Contestants as young as seven are ranked against kids more than twice their age for both their comprehensive memorization of the 600-page text as well as their improvised melodies. A diverse spectrum of Muslims competes for top prize: Ten-year-old Senegalese entrant Djamil navigates the competition alone while his community anxiously awaits his results; Rifdha, from a small island in the Maldives, enters as one of the competition's few female participants; and Nabiollah, from rural Tajikistan, mesmerizes judges with his angelic voice in spite of not speaking Arabic.

Following these talented youngsters from their intense preparation regimes through the rigorous rounds of the tournament, director Greg Barker creates both an inspirational competition film and an engaging survey of the unique experiences of Muslim children throughout the world, using the cultural crossroads of the international competition to examine the issues facing of the next generation of Muslims.

Sports, Documentary
About the Director(s)
GREG BARKER is a former war correspondent who has worked in more than 50 countries. His films include the award-winning Ghosts of Rwanda and several other investigative films for PBS' Frontline. He directed and produced the award-winning documentary Sergio, which was shortlisted for the 2010 Oscar® and nominated for an Emmy.

Film Info
  • Section:
    World Documentary Competition
  • Year:
  • Length:
    77 minutes
  • Language:
    Arabic, Dhivehi, English, Tajik, Wolof, Buck
  • Country:
  • Premiere:
Cast & Credits
  • Co-Producer:
    Chetin Chabuk, Christopher Buchanan
  • Line Porducer:
    Diane Becker
  • Composer:
    Claude Chalhoub
  • Editor:
    Langdon F. Page
  • Director:
    Greg Barker
  • Producer:
    Julie Goldman, John Battsek, Greg Barker
  • Director of Photography:
    Frank-Peter Lehmann
  • Executive Producer:
    Shelia Nevins, Nancy Abraham

  • Print Origin
    Chet Chabuk
    Silverbridge Productions
    Santa Monica, CA 90404
    Phone: 310 315 8700
  • Submitter
    Nancy Abraham
    Senior Vice President, HBO Documentary Films
    New York, NY 10036
    Phone: 212 512 1149
  • Sales Contact
    Dan Selig
    HBO Worldwide Distribution
    New York, NY 10036
    Phone: 212.512.1266
  • Print Return
    Diane Becker
    Silverbridge Productions
    Santa Monica, CA 90404
    Phone: 310 315 8700