FUGEE HUSTLE

By Amin MATALQA

MOVIEBRATS PICTURES GMBH - as PROD

Drama - Development 2021

When a teenage bully (and table tennis jock) calls her dad a terrorist, a young Syrian refugee girl who lost her mother (and her left arm) in the Syria conflict, hires a former ping pong champ to train her for an upcoming table tennis tournament in which she intends to beat the bully at his own game

    • Year of production
    • 2021
    • Genres
    • Drama, Comedy
    • Countries
    • USA, GERMANY
    • Languages
    • ENGLISH, ARABIC
    • Budget
    • 5 - 10 M$
    • Duration
    • 100 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Amin MATALQA
    • Writer(s)
    • Amin MATALQA
    • Producer(s)
    • Alexander WEIMER (MOVIEBRATS PICTURES), Esther FRIEDRICH (MOVIEBRATS PICTURES)
    • Synopsis
    • Nour, a 13 year-old feisty Syrian refugee who lost her mother (and her arm) in the Syria conflict, now lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her father. When 16 year-old punk, Lucas Priest, calls her father a terrorist, she stalks him on her skateboard and discovers his gift for table tennis. Her a new mission in life: beat Lucas at his own game and win the $50,000 grand prize of the upcoming table tennis junior tournament.

      Enter the legend, Jerry Kamen, former table tennis world champ, now full time hustler of small time money games at local ping pong bars. Nour solicits Jerry’s coaching, hoping he would teach her his tricks. At first he refuses, but when Nour demonstrates her table tennis skills and ability to hustle, they form an alliance.

      Together, Nour and Jerry hustle suckers at ping pong bars over small time money games while she trains for the upcoming junior tournament at the table tennis club. Her grand obsession is to defeat Lucas at his own game, no matter what the price.

      Halfway into the story, we switch point of view to see the world according to Lucas. Here’s a kid who lost his father, a US Marine, in the Syrian conflict, and now all his hopes ride on winning this $50,000 prize to escape the life he’s stuck in under the control of his abusive step-father.

      The story takes unexpected twists and turns as we invest in the emotional journeys of both Nour and Lucas. As the tournament boils to the final match, we really don’t know who will win the grand prize. More importantly, this is a film about seeing past our hate and anger, past our differences, to gain empathy towards those we judge out of impulse. More than a ping pong hustle film, this is a story about the aftermath of war.
    • Partners & financing
    • ICM (repping US rights, packaging)