Captain Abu Raed (كابتن أبو رائد) is a 2007 Jordanian film directed and written by Amin Matalqa. It is the first feature film produced in Jordan in more than 50 years. The Royal Film Commission of Jordan endorsed Captain Abu Raed to be submitted to the 81st Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, the first ever submitted by Jordan. The film won awards at numerous film festivals including the Sundance Film Festival, Heartland Film Festival, and the Dubai International Film Festival. It was screened at the Jerusalem International Film Festival in 2008.
Many of the movie’s open scenes are set on the well-known Roman ruins high above Amman, on Jabal al-Qal’a. The “Making of Captain Abu Raed” on the Western release of the DVD points out that although the movie takes place entirely in Amman and the airport, the neighborhood surrounding Abu Raed’s home was shot in the neighboring old city of Salt.
Amin Matalqa (born 1976) is film director from Amman, Jordan, currently living in US.
He grew up in a family of pilots, and immigrated from Jordan to the US when he was 13. He received his undergraduate Business business from Ohio State University and had a successful career in IT before deciding to start filmmaking. Amin has an MFA in Directing from the American Film Institute (2007).
His first feature film Captain Abu Raed won the Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Audience Award in 2008 along with 27 international festival prizes, and became Jordan’s first Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language Film. In 2011, he directed the inspirational soccer drama The United for Walt Disney Studios. This was the first time that a major Hollywood studio produces a film for the Arab world. Amin’s third film, Strangely In Love, a Los Angeles-set comedy adaptation of Dostoevsky’s classic novella, White Nights, premiers at the Heartland Film Festival in Oct. 2014.