Yuri Ancarani • France-Italy • 2017
Qatari sheikhs are among the most affluent individuals on the planet. Basking in the riches of their small nation’s petrochemical boom, several convene in the desert for a sporting weekend with the most bizarre spectacles on display. One sheikh has chartered a private jet for his coterie of falcons, while another rolls up in a yellow Lamborghini with his pet cheetah.
Whisking the spectator into a surreal universe, The Challenge is quite a curious aesthetic object itself–attuned to its protagonists’ opulent lifestyles while seemingly agnostic to their profligate displays of wealth. Yuri Ancarani's second documentary premiered at SXSW - South by Southwest, IndieLisboa, Taipei, New Directors/New Films and the Locarno International Film Festival, where it won a Special Jury Prize.