The Wonderful Kingdom of Papa Alaev

General Information

Israel, 2016 | Documentary 74 min.
Directed by: Tal Barda and Noam Pinchas 
Produced by: Christine Camdessus, Serge Gordey, Bruni Burres, Noam Pinchas, Tal Barda

Production Companies: Alegria Productions, The Wodnerful Kingdom Films


Meet Tajikistan's answer to the Jackson family. Nearly 80, Allo "Papa" Alaev rules his celebrated folk music clan with an iron tambourine. Beginning with his unilateral decision to emigrate to Israel, the gifted musician micro-manages nearly every aspect of their lives, both on stage and off. From every meal made in his kitchen to what instrument each member will play, the patriarch accepts nothing less than total commitment and obedience. Every child and grandchild lives in their single-family house in Tel Aviv. All but one, that is. His only daughter, Ada, chose her own way in life, a sin her father will not forgive. As generations clash over new musical directions, competing personal interests and Papa's advancing age, the family show must go on—but who will lead the band? Set to a blazing tribal soundtrack, drama and drumbeats sing out from every entertaining exchange in this grand family affair.

Awards & Festivals


Australia Jewish Film Festival, 2016
Kassel Doc International Film Festival, Germany, 2016
LA Israeli Film Festival, USA, 2016
Gold Coast International Film Festival, USA, 2016
DOC NYC, 2016
Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema, USA, 2016
Sao Paulo International Film Festival, Brazil, 2016
WOMEX, Spain, 2016
Flahertiana International Documentary Film Festival, 2016

Official Competition, Docaviv International Film Festival, Israel 2016

World Premiere, Official selection, Hot Docs International Film Festival, Canada 2016


Directors: Tal Barda and Noam Pinchas
Producers: Christine Camdessus, Serge Gordey, Bruni Burres, Noam Pinchas, Tal Barda

Production Companies: Alegria Productions, The Wodnerful Kingdom Films

Involved broadcasters and funds includes: Channel 8 Israel, ARTE (Grand Format) France/Germany, IKON, The Netherlands, CBC Documentary Channel, Canada, CNC-French National Center for Cinema and Animation, Rabinovitz Fund - Cinema Project,

With the support of: The Israeli ministry of Culture and Sports, Gesher Fund for Multi-cultural Cinema, The Israeli Lottery committee for Culture and Arts, The Tribeca film Fund
Screenplay: Tal Barda and Noam Pinchas
Cinematographer: Uri Ackerman
Sound: Asher Dahan
Editor: Yael Bitton
Sound Designer: Gil Toren, Yossi Apelbaum
Cast: Allo Alaev, Adina Alaev, Ada Alaev, Ariel Alaev, Malka Alaev, Amin Alaev, Alan Alaev, Zvika Alaev, Amir Alaev, Aviva Alaev, Amanda Alaev, Avraham Alaev
Graphic Design and Animation: Uri Ashkenazi
Grading: Tomer Bahat
Spoken Language: Hebrew, Russian, Tajik
Subtitles: English and Hebrew 



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 "Inspirational filmmaking of the first order.” - Peter Debruge, Variety 

“Astounding and thoroughly inspirational.” - Peter Debruge, Variety 

"A soulful salute to a distinctly 21st-century phenomenon that's also an old-fashioned fairy tale come true.” - Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter 

"Thru You Princess is pure positivity.” - Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter

 “It's almost impossible not to be charmed by guileless, good-hearted Princess Shaw herself and her real-life Cinderella story.” - Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter 

“Compelling and inspiring.” - Steve Pond, The Wrap 

“One of the Toronto Film Festival’s wildest true stories.” - Steve Pond, The Wrap 

“Inspiring. An essential tale for the digital age.” (A-) - Eric Kohn, Indiewire

 “Touching. Offers an upbeat alternative to gloomier looks at identity in the digital age." - Eric Kohn, Indiewire 

“A total delight.” - Kase Wickman,

 "Thru You Princess would have all the Facebook likes if it popped up on BuzzFeed tomorrow.” - Matt Patches,

 “[Princess] Shaw is such a vibrant, authentic character, you can't help but root for her.” - Matt Patches,

 “Will actually make you feel good about humanity—and the Internet.” - Brian Raftery, Yahoo! Movies 

“A reminder that the porous borders of the web can yield not only great art, but also even greater empathy.” - Brian Raftery, Yahoo! Movies 

"It's easy to ‘Like' Thru You Princess—but it's even easier to love it.” - Brian Raftery, Yahoo! Movies

**** "Brilliant documentary. Completely fascinating." - Dwight Brown, The Huffington Post 

"Radiating with vivacity and affection for its subjects... A wonderful, uncommon sensation." - Sam Fragoso, 

"[A] joyously uplifting documentary.” - Linda Barnard, The Toronto Star 

“It’s nothing short of a triumph.” - Jordan Hoffman, The Times of Israel 

“Intelligent, original and enthralling.” - Neta Alexander, Haaretz 

**** - The Guardian 

“A lovely portrait of artists coming together to make one another shine.” - Norman Wilner, NOW Magazine 

"[An] emotional, cross-continental rollercoaster ride.” - Michael-Oliver Harding, DAZED 

“Brings renewed optimism in the WWW.” - Michael-Oliver Harding, VICE 

“A thrilling new remix on 'A Star is Born.’” - Stephen Saito, Moveable Fest 

“[A] wonderful film.” - Stephen Saito, Moveable Fest

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