A labor of love by students in the Bachelor of Communication and Digital Media. Atil is a documentary about the life of the Saharawi people living in the Tindouf refugee camps in Algeria. 

Atil is a documentary about the life of the Saharawi people living in the Tindouf refugee camps in Algeria. 

There are no limits in this place. After all, creativity and innovation give rise to ideas that change the world. This documentary follows the lives of five young Saharawis who show, day by day, that anything is possible. They are all shining examples of perseverance in the face of overwhelming challenges. 

The documentary takes its name from the atil plant, which grows in the harshest of deserts, resisting and proliferating despite difficult conditions and scarce resources. And just like the atil, the Saharawi community continues to fight for their very lives in the refugee camps. 

Atil is an extracurricular project produced, filmed and edited by six Bachelor in Communication and Digital Media students: Abidin Mohamed Hamudi, Susana Jáñez, Kartik Kotwani, Daniela Herrero, Blanca Villa and Benjamin Rodríguez. They had the support of IE University to help the project take shape. 

These students started the implementation and development of the project in 2018—their first year in Segovia. On April 29, they traveled to the refugee camps in Tindouf province; since then, they have been working consistently on this eye-opening documentary.

“We felt the need to share this story. We took courage and started the Atil project, bringing a different vision of entrepreneurship and the power of a community united for the same purpose”. 

— Abidin Mohamed Hamudi

Atil presents the story of three entrepreneurs who have revolutionized life in the Tindouf refugee camps: Tateh Lehbib, a 33-year-old Saharawi engineer who builds round houses using six thousand plastic bottles filled with sand, making the houses resistant to any weather condition; Hindu Mani, an entrepreneur who has opened the first Saharawi pizzeria, supporting women in business; and Mohamed Suleiman, an internationally-renowned artist who encourages society to invest their energy on something they are passionate about. 

The documentary ends with a conversation between two forward-looking students—Abidin and Safia Malainin Tgana—raising awareness of the importance of education in relation to professional futures, aspirations and motivations.

It has been four years of work and, despite obstacles such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the Atil project continues to grow. The documentary was presented for the first time on May 9, 2022, at IE Tower in front of an audience of students and professors.

To investigate more about the project, follow Atil on Instagram @atil.documental and stay up to date with any project-related updates and events.