Ain el-Helweh is Lebanon's largest refugee camp, home to over 70,000 displaced Palestinians. In this personal study director Mahdi Fleifel combines his own footage with that of his father's from the 80s and 90s, to present an intimate portrait of the place where he was born.

After his family emigrated to Denmark Fleifel would return annually to the camp to visit family and friends who had stayed behind. In emulation of these summer trips the director returns to visit as an adult, challenging his teenage belief that 'going to Ain el-Helweh is better than going to Disney Land'. As when he was young, Fleifel is enamoured by the spirit of passion, volatility and camaraderie in the camp, yet he is forced to realise the harsher realities of entrapment and desperation his childhood friends face.

A bittersweet cinematic essay, A World Not Ours is a refreshing look at the friendships, laughter, hope and despair that comprise daily life for those living in exile in Lebanon's refugee camps.

What the audience said

'Moving, thought-provoking, very sad but also beautiful.'

'Very moving'


'Very good, would recommend it to anyone I know!'

'Very insightful and an interesting perspective on the situation'

'Really engaging. A fresh perspective on the topic and well-constructed'


Since its premiere at Toronto International Film Festival 2012 A World Not Ours has screened at over 100 festivals around the world and won dozens of awards, including the Berlinale 2013 Peace Film Award, Best International Feature in Edinburgh, the prestigious Grand Prix in Yamagata and the Grand Jury Prize in DOC NYC.

The team behind the film have recently launched a crowd-funding campaign to qualify the film for the Oscars in 2015. Click HERE to find out how you can donate.



Best International Film - Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013

Winner Peace Film Prize - Berlin International Film Festival 

Best Documentary - Guanajuato International Film Festival

Best World Cinema Award - Documentary Edge Festival 2013

Grand Prize & Audience Award - FIDADOC 2013