Sweden, Denmark, UK


Zozo grows up in Beirut. In spite of the civil war he leads a normal life with family, friends and school. But one day tragedy strikes and Zozo is torn away from his family and is forced to make his own way through life. His only hope is to get himself to Sweden, for him an unknown country.

Josef Fares follows the successful comedies Jalla! Jalla! and Kops with Zozo, a significantly more dramatic and emotionally charged story, directed with Fares’ trademark sense of humor and visual flare.

Director's Statement

”Probably not until all this is over will I realize how important this film is to me. Zozo is the film that I’ve been dreaming of doing for such a long time now, that it almost feels like my first. I can’t really answer why I made it; it’s just always been in my head. It’s much more personal than anything I’ve done in the past, because it’s inspired by my own life.”

”I’ve always thought I’d have to wait a long time to make Zozo. When I was more experienced. So I made Cool Guys, Jalla! Jalla! and Kops and figured it would be a few more years. And then Anna (Anthony, producer) said to me; ’you know, you could miss the boat on this one… let’s just do it now’.”

”Because of the stakes involved for me personally, the process has been nerve-racking, from the writing to the casting, all the way through the editing. I had to look deep down and sometimes it was pretty rough. I don’t know what it was exactly, but probably because it had to do with alienation. I remember what it was like coming to Sweden and trying to find my way, like at school for instance.”

”I’ve never written a script entirely by myself before. This was a first. And because I had such a passion for the story it was incredibly fun and exciting. With Zozo, I put no limitations on myself whatsoever. I’ve tried to be very receptive. What I’ve liked, I’ve gone with. Like the chicken being able to talk, or Zozo on the balcony speaking with some sort of God. I could easily have allowed myself to think, ’wow, this is nuts’, but instead I just let loose and wrote whatever came to mind. It was very satisfying.”

Director's Biography

Josef Fares was born in 1977 in Lebanon. Ten years later he and his family came to Sweden and the town of Örebro. Josef started making films when he was 15 and sent them around to amateur film festivals. About 50 shorts and many awards later Josef entered film school in 1998.

His association with Memfis Film began with the pilot Cool Guys and was followed by the box office smash Jalla! Jalla!. After that Josef directed Kops which proved equally as popular with audiences with over 775,000 admissions in Sweden. Both films were distributed in over 20 countries.

FILMOGRAPHY (selected)

2005 ZOZO
2003 KOPS
2002 COME ON! (short)
2000 THE DICK (short)
1998 KAJSA & MUHAMMED (short)
1998 THE FILMMAKERS (short)
1998 BAD LUCK (short)
1997 THE ROBBERY (short)
1996 GANGSTAS'N'CASH (short)
1995 LUNATICS (short)

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Josef Fares

Written by: Josef Fares

Cinematography: Aril Wretblad

Cast: Imad Creidi (Zozo), Elias Gergi (Zozo's grandfather), Carmen Lebbos (Zozo's mother), Viktor Axelsson (Leo)

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2006