Sudan's debut at Cannes: Goodbye Julia premieres to standing ovation

Ahram Online , Sunday 21 May 2023

Goodbye Julia, the first Sudanese film at the Cannes Film Festival, premiered on Saturday and was warmly received by viewers who gave it a standing ovation.

Goodbye Julia
Cast and crew of Sudanese filmmaker Mohamed Kordofani s feature debut Goodbye Julia during the post-premiere Q A at the Cannes Film Festival, Saturday 20 May 2023


Mohamed Kordofani's debut drew praise from international filmmakers and critics who attended the screening at Cannes’ Théâtre Claude Debussy that included a lively post-premiere Q&A with the cast and crew.

Many reviews have praised the film worldwide; the Hollywood Reporter described it as a “nimble operatic drama” while Cineuropa’s review praised Kordofani for “a highly accomplished first feature film.” ScreenDaily saw the film as “a timeless tale of persecution and guilt set in pre-seceded Sudan.”

Written and directed by Kordofani, Goodbye Julia is participating as part of the ongoing Cannes 76th edition in Un Certain Regard section.

The MENA premiere will be held in Egypt as part of the sixth edition of the Gouna Film Festival (12 -20 October) at the Red Sea resort town of El Gouna.

Goodbye Julia is produced by Station Films’ Amjad Abu Alala, an acclaimed Sudanese filmmaker who directed Sudan's first-ever Academy Award submission, You Will Die at Twenty, in collaboration with Mohamed Al-Omda.

Goodbye Julia’s cast includes Eiman Yousif, Siran Riak, Nazar Goma and Ger Duany.

The film tells the story of Mona, a retired north Sudanese singer who after covering up a murder, tries to make amends by taking in the deceased’s south Sudanese widow, Julia, and her son, Daniel, into her home.

The Egyptian-US company Ambient Light has acquired North American sales rights for the film, partnering with CAA to find North American distribution.

Goodbye Julia was backed with different grants from various entities including MAD Solutions, Gouna Film Festival, International Emerging Film Talent Association, New Century, Malmö Arab Film Festival, Red Sea Fund, Paris Region, ARRI, and Film und Medienstiftung NRW.

Kordofani is a Sudanese filmmaker whose short films Nyerkuk, Kejers Prison and This is Sudan have won multiple prized in various festivals worldwide.

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