A film by Mayye Zayed
2020, 92 minutes
No. 334

On a busy, noisy high-traffic street corner in Alexandria, Egypt, a seemingly vacant corner lot surrounded by chain link fencing is the training site of Egypt’s most elite champions – female weightlifters. Zebiba (Arabic for “raisin”) has been training at the site for five years, since she was 9, following in the footsteps of Egypt’s most famous athletes of all time – including the first Arab, female,
two-time Olympic medalist weightlifter, Abeer Abdel Rahman, and World champion and Olympic athlete, Nahla Ramadan.

Nahla’s father, the visionary Captain Ramadan, has bred champions, female champions, from his makeshift corner–lot training site for over two decades – 4 Olympic, 9 World and 17 Pan African champions. Now it is Zebiba’s turn. But can Zebiba put aside her youthful instincts, and direct her focus to be the weightlifting champion the Captain is sure she is? Proving there is nothing that women can't do, the film observes the traditional gender dynamics that come into play with the male-dominated sport of weightlifting.

Official Selection, Toronto International Film Festival
Official Selection, Doc NYC
Official Selection, Cairo International Film Festival
Official Selection, DOK Leipzig

“An engaging documentary. With its crackling energy and warmth, this is certainly a crowd pleaser… Deceptively deep: covering sporting ambitions; gender roles and the motivating power of a certain kind of personality.” - Wendy Ide, Screen Daily

"It's an empowering film to show the obstacles women face to compete at the highest levels, especially in countries where they’re still dealing with gender and economic inequality. By assimilating the camera’s eye into the team and allowing the subjects to push the narrative forward as they train and contend with the complex bonds that bind them together, Zayyed serves up a human interest story of sincere heart and honesty." - Hanna Flint, Elle

"An intimate observational portrait of a young girl’s empowerment through the traditionally male sport of weightlifting. More than a sports documentary, 
Lift Like a Girl emerges as a portrait of a community, and the immense impact one passionate teacher and mentor can have on an entire generation." - 
Jude Dry, IndieWire

"Great documentaries are often created through amazing real life characters. Lift Like a Girl has one for the ages" POV

“Femininity is synonymous with strength in ‘Lift Like a Girl’” - Megan White, Awards Watch

"One of the best documentaries of the year, an essential testimony of female strength and an inspiring story about passion and perseverance"Ricardo Gallegos, La Estatuilla

“The ultimate female empowerment, proving young women can do anything.” - Malika Harris, Irish Film Critic