Director: Mahmoud Kaabour / Dubai, UAE / 2013 / 75m / Languages: Hindi, English, Bhojpuri, Bengali, Urdu / Subtitle: English
Selection: 2014 New Taipei City FF, DOK.F, Rainbow Art House Theater, Wide theatrical release, I Labor Organisation interregional event 2013 Dubai IFF
Champ of the Camp is the first feature-length documentary filmed in the controversial labour camps of the United Arab Emirates. The film follows a Bollywood style singing and trivia competition that searches across more than 70 camps throughout the country to find and crown the champ of all camps. Narrated (and sung) entirely in the voices of the labourers. The film displays intimate scenes of their daily routines and emotional reflections on their life as labourers in Dubai. Brought in by the millions to fuel the construction requirements of a booming Arab economy, these workers live eight men to a room in industrial-sized living facilities far removed from the glistening skyline of fantastical towers they build and from the luxurious lifestyle of the rest of the city. Champ of the Camp presents both a tribute and parody to Bollywood by presenting its most famous songs against the backdrop of a life of manual labour.