Neighbour Abdi

a film by

the Netherlands | 29' | 08/2022 | documentary

How can you understand a violent past? Somali-born Abdi reenacts his life, marked by war and criminality, with the help of his neighbour and filmmaker Douwe. Through playful reconstructions in a special effects studio, they embark on a candid and investigative journey through a painful history, focusing on the creative process throughout.

“Douwe Dijkstra continues to prove he is one of the best documentary makers in Europe today with his latest film Neighbour Abdi .”
Square Eyes - LF-OS-POS
“Douwe Dijkstra continues to prove he is one of the best documentary makers in Europe today with his latest film Neighbour Abdi .”
Square Eyes - LF-OS-POS

Douwe Dijkstra


Douwe Dijkstra (1984) is a filmmaker and visual artist from the Netherlands. He studied Illustration Design at the ArtEZ University of the Arts. His work is a mixture of video, animation and VFX, and can be described as both humorous and socially engaged. His projects range from short films and documentaries to video installations and theatre performances.


  • Buurman Abdi / Neighbour Abdi – 2022 – short documentary
  • Eine Sekunde in Fränkli – 2022 – short documentary
  • Green Screen Gringo – 2016 – short documentary
  • Voor Film / Supporting Film – 2015 – short documentary
  • Démontable – 2014 – short experimental
Square Eyes -


Director: Douwe Dijkstra
Screenplay: Abdiwahab Ali, Douwe Dijkstra
Producer: Valk Productions: Richard Valk
Co-producer Broadcast: EO
Cinematographer: Douwe Dijkstra
Sound Recording: Douwe Dijkstra
Sound Design: Rob Peters
Editor: Douwe Dijkstra
Composer: Rob Peters
Visual effects: Douwe Dijkstra
Cast (in order of importance): Abdiwahab Ali, Sharif Nuur, Ahmed Dualeh, Mohamed Teeri, Saed Dualeh, Mohammed Mohamud, Henk Kinket, Douwe Dijkstra


90+ selections, 20+ awards

Select highlights: 

  • Locarno Film Festival, Switzerland (3 – 13 August, 2022)
    Pardi di Domani – International Competition Won: Pardino d’argento SRG SSR
  • Telluride Film Festival, United States (2 – 5 September, 2022)
    Official Selection
  • Netherlands Film Festival, the Netherlands (21 – 30 September, 2022)
    Gouden Kalf Competition for Best Short Documentary & Forum van Regisseurs Won: Best Film at the Forum van Regisseurs
  • Film Fest Gent, Belgium (11 – 22 October, 2022)
    Short Film Competition Won: Best International Short
  • Montclair Film Festival, United States (21 – 30 October, 2022)
    Competition Won: Best Documentary Short
  • International Kurzfilmtage Winterthur, Switzerland (8 – 13 November, 2022)
    International Competition Won: Grand Prix for the International Competition & Oscar Qualifier
  • PÖFF Shorts, Estonia (15 – 23 November, 2022)
    International Live-Action Competition Won: Grand Prix of the Shorts Live-Action Competition & Oscar Qualifier
  • Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival, France (27 January – 4 February, 2022)
    Lab Competition Won: Special Effects Award By Adobe
  • Vilnius International Film Festival – Kino Pavasaris, Lithuania (17 – 26 March, 2023)
    Short Film Competition Won: Best International Short Film
  • Ann Arbor Film Festival, United States (21 – 26 March, 2023)
    Competition Won: Ken Burns Award for Best of the Festival
  • REGARD – Festival international du court métrage au Saguenay, Canada (22 – 26 March, 2023)
    Official Competition Won: Best Documentary Short Film Award
  • ZagrebDox – International Documentary Film Festival, Croatia (26 March – 2 April, 2023)
    International Competition Special Mention International Competition & Special Mention Best Short Film in Competition


Press materials

EPK: Click here

Stills, poster & director’s photo: Click here

English dialogue list: Click here

Downloadable trailer: Click here

Excerpts: Click here

Social media:  –  @douwedijkstrafilmmaker    @douwe_dijkstra