FIFA ARAB CUP 2021 OPENING CEREMONY
AL BAYT STADIUM, DOHA, QATAR
November 30th, 2021
Live and multimedia show
Project development: 8 months
OUT OF THE ORDINARY!
While the pandemic meant that travel and social contact were heavily restricted and filling a stadium to capacity was not something that could be taken for granted, the ambition to produce a grand and different opening ceremony remained strong.
In April 2021 we were contacted by Agence Publics Qatar and Katara Studios to form a working group whose goal would be to produce a ceremony that was out of the ordinary in terms of both form and content. This ceremony took place one year to the day before the 2022 World Cup.
Different in content: forphor Joha, the wise fool, a folklore hero of the oral tradition, accompanied by his faithful companion, the Donkey, meets two deepfakes – famous actors from the 1970s. Their adventures lead the audience to ponder the need to better live together, to accept each other and to be nourished by our differences, which, all too often, can be a source of conflict in the region.
The appearance of the celebrated singer Fairuz, also rejuvenated in the form of a deepfake, concludes this musical and quasi-theatrical epic that is at odds with the classic format of sports ceremonies.
To end the ceremony with the same wish for unity, the national anthems of the 23 countries are reinterpreted in an original composition that is all about emotion.
Different in form: the format of the ceremony was one of a kind in the realm of integrated sports ceremonies, comprising 32 minutes of entertainment between the end of the players’ warm-up and kick-off.
The ceremony made clever use of cutting-edge technology and content – deepfakes, TikTok, etc – that serve to update codes in order to connect with the younger generations.
With this ceremony that paves the way for the 2022 World Cup, Qatar has ramped up expectations to new heights.
Fédération Internationale de Football Association
Executive Producer, soundtrack and deep-fake characters
Ahmed Albaker, CEO and director
Hussein Fakhri, Executive producer
Mahmoud Hamaky, Producer
Maryam Al-Sahli, Film editor and postproduction supervisor
Agence Publics Qatar
Producer – Operations
Saif Albazirgan, CEO and project director
Jonathan Davis, Project manager
Valerie Ansems-Chalouhi, Operations manager
Aziz Louksah, Workforce Director
Sanil Chandran, HSSE director
Germana Cruz, Logistics director
Ali Nahle, Broadcast manager
Dimitris Gialginas, Technical coordinator
Joe Kharrat, Site Manager
Sarita Brid Montoya, Accreditation manager
Fabella Bel, Travel logistics manager
Khaoula Maddur, Catering manager
Sheefer Salim, Transportation manager
Les Petits Français
Show design, technical design, direction, artistic and content production
Martin Arnaud, Show designer and director
Marilyn Kuentz, Artistic and content producer
Guillaume Duflot, Senior production manager
Alain Gaillard, Technical director
Anne Larra, Live producer
Jean-Luc Favre, First assistant
Thaïs de Nanteuil, Logistics and production coordinator
Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra
Ismail Zafer Haznedaroglu
Yoan Corchia, Engineer
Light design and programming
Casting and dancers
Roger Titley’s Creatures
Puppet: the donkey
Anahid Gholami Saba
Master of ceremony
Georges Elias Chalouhi
Design and pyrotechnics productions
Grand Final Fireworks
Projection design and media servers
Light and rigging
Network and show control