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Die Welt


A film by Alex Pistra

Abdallah, a young DVD salesman from Tunis, is dreaming of a better life in Europe, or Die Welt, as his father calls the other side of the Mediterranean. The director Alex Pitstra paints an engaging picture of daily life in post-revolutionary Tunisia in the debut film DIE WELT. Rotterdam Film Festival 2013, New Directors/New Films  

Genre(s): First Film

• Theme(s): Arab countries / Immigration/Emigration / Political / Revolution

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Die Welt

  • Karim Alexander (Alex) Pitstra


    Karim Alexander Pitstra, better known as Alex Pitstra, directed his first film at the age of fifteen, for a school project. Then when he studied Audio-visual Communication in Leeuwarden, he made the short film Mixtape in 2004, based on his own experiences as a DJ/producer in the music industry. He then followed a Film Studies MA-programme, (one of the disciplines of the Arts, Culture and Media Studies), at the University of Groningen, and made the short, absurdist film Solex in 2006. Pitstra directed two shorts for the 48 Hour Film Project and was cameraman for a number of films, including the fictional films Nicci (2011, Arjen Nolles), Sam (2011, Roeland Dijksterhuis, Pepijn Sonneveld) and Prooidieren (2008), Holland (2009) and Bebop (2011) by Thijs Gloger. He also did camera work and editing for projects of the Groningen based director Nathalie Beekman (Pavlov E-lab). Furthermore, he was commissioned to make countless films for clients like Rijkswaterstaat (the executive arm of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment) and the local council of Groningen.

    2012: Die Welt

Festival(s) & Award(s)

  • 2012: Doha Tribeca Film Festival (Qatar) | Arab Feature Narrative Competition
  • 2012: Human Screen Festival (Tunisia)
  • 2013: Rotterdam International Film Festival (Netherlands) | Bright Future
  • 2013: New Directors / New Films (USA) | Official Selection
  • 2013: International Film Festival Assen (Netherlands)
  • 2013: Berkshire International Film Festival (USA) Jury Prize in narrative category
  • 2013: Seattle International Film Festival (USA) | African Pictures
  • 2013: Rencontres Internationales des Cinémas Arabes (France)
  • 2013: Brussels Film Festival (Belgium) | Panorama
  • 2013: Edinburgh International Film Festival (UK) | World Perspectives
  • 2013: Est End Film Festival (UK) | Best Feature Competition
  • 2013: FilmFest München (Germany) | International Independents
  • 2013: Jerusalem International Film Festival (Israel)
  • 2013: New Zealand International Film Festival (New Zealand)
  • 2013: Oran Arab Film Festival (Algeria)
  • 2013: Ragtag Passport Series (USA)
  • 2013: Ars Independent International Film Festival (Poland) | Opening Film
  • 2013: Festival du Film Indépendant de Bordeaux (France) Lune d'Argent award
  • 2013: Chicago International Film Festival (USA) | World Cinema - Spotlight Africa
  • 2013: Festival du Nouveau Cinéma (Canada) | International Selection
  • 2013: Festival des Cinémas d’Afrique du Pays d’Apt (France)
  • 2013: Arab Camera Festival Rotterdam (Netherlands)
  • 2013: Cinéma Méditerranéen de Bruxelles (Belgium) | Panorama
  • 2014: Festival International du film d’environnement (France)
  • 2014: Rencontres Cinématographiques de Salon de Provence (France)
  • 2014: Durban International Film Festival (South Africa)
  • A compassionate, beautifully-lensed tale of broken dreams and thwarted desires
    Variety Arabia
  • Smart, funny and emotionally engaging
    Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter Read more
  • Blends fiction and nonfiction with seamless grace
    Nick Schager, Slant Magazine Read more


Die Welt is an audacious hybrid between fiction and documentary, showing contemporary Tunisia shortly after the Jasmine Revolution in 2011. In this insightful moral drama about a society in the vacuum between dictatorship and democracy, we follow the young DVD salesman Abdallah, who becomes increasingly frustrated by his inability to realize a fulfilling existence for himself. After meeting the Dutch tourist Anna, he starts dreaming of a better life in Europe, or Die Welt, as his father calls the promised land on the other side of the Mediterranean. Will Abdallah succeed--like his father did in the past--in getting to Europe with the help of a Dutch woman? Or will he have to find another way to escape his native country? And does he want to leave at all?  

Technical Specs

  • Runtimes: 80'
  • Color(s): Colors
  • Ratio: 1,85:1
  • Sound: Stereo
  • Country(ies) of production: Netherlands
  • Original Language(s): Arabic / Dutch / English
  • Subtitle(s) available: Arabic / Dutch / English
  • Format(s) available: Bluray / DCP / DVD

Artistic & Technical Crew

With: Abdelhamid Nawara, Mohsen Ben Hassen, Ilse Heus, Judith van der Meulen, Kamel Ben Khalfa, Rahma Ben Hassen
  • Screenplay: Alex Pitstra, Thijs Gloger, Abdallah Rezgui
  • Executive Producer: Moez Kamoun
  • Editor: Alex Pitstra, Thijs Gloger, René Duursma
  • Sound: Renger Koning
  • Cinematographer: Thijs Gloger

Company Credits

  • Produced by: Alex Pitstra Media film
  • Coproduced by: Schaftkip Films
  • In collaboration with: Sindbad Production