—Prime Video announced today at the Prime Video Showcase: An Evening with our Australian Producers event, the Amazon Original feature documentary The Defenders will launch exclusively on Prime Video in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
Produced Sweetshop & Green, The Defenders is an incredible, nail-biting, race-against-time thriller. It tells the gripping true story of how Hakeem al-Araibi, a Bahraini footballer turned political refugee, was arrested while on his honeymoon in Thailand under an invalid Interpol warrant. Outraged at a fellow Australian player being imprisoned, former Socceroos captain Craig Foster becomes the unlikely leader of a team of human rights activists, social media warriors, and ordinary Australians who launch a campaign to #SaveHakeem. This is the true story of how a group of ordinary people battled against the odds to rescue a player’s life and try to save the very soul of football itself.
“This documentary aptly captures how the dedication of Craig Foster, through a hashtag, ignited a worldwide movement to save Hakeem. Following the success of Burning, Kick Like Tayla, and UNHEARD, Prime Video is proud to bring The Defenders to Prime Video in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. We hope it will spark important conversations around the world,” said Tyler Bern, head of content, Prime Video Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. “The team at Sweetshop & Green are incredible producing partners, and have an incredible back catalogue of scripted and factual content, so we were very excited to work with them on bringing this gripping and alarming story to our customers.”
Gal Greenspan, producer & co-managing director of Sweetshop & Green, said: “We are honoured that Hakeem has entrusted us with his story, which is a powerful example of what is both won and lost when individuals stand together to fight for justice. We are deeply thankful to Prime Video for helping us to bring this important story to life, as well as to all our other financial partners who made this film happen.”
Craig Foster AM, added: “Sport has a line that it won’t cross when money and politics become more important than principle or human life. Hakeem al-Araibi pushed football to be better and we made it respond.”
Hakeem al-Araibi said: “I was saved by the generosity of so many people who helped me. But corrupt governments around the world are free to keep chasing and torturing those who disagree with them. I hope this documentary helps to shine a light on these corrupt leaders. To help save the next person in need.”The Defenders is a Sweetshop & Green production supported by Prime Video. Producers are Gal Greenspan and Alice Burgin, and the director is Matthew Bate. Funding was provided by Screen Australia, VicScreen and South Australia Film Commission, with international sales managed by Autlook Film Sales