Oscar-winning actor Lupita Nyong’o is stepping into an executive producer role to support Sudan’s second-ever Academy Award international feature film submission, “Goodbye Julia.”
The timely film, directed by Sudanese filmmaker Mohamed Kordofani, takes place just before the 2011 secession of South Sudan and won the Un Certain Regard section’s Prix de Liberté (Freedom Prize) at Cannes.
“‘Goodbye Julia’ is a powerful representation of the conflict happening in Sudan right now, which affects millions of lives across Eastern Africa,” Nyong’o said in a statement. “Mohamed Kordofani and the filmmakers present the issues in a beautiful, deeply personal way. I’m honored to lend my voice to help bring this film’s message to the world.”
Nyong’o, who played played Nakia in Marvel’s “Black Panther” franchise, will next be seen starring in Paramount’s “A Quiet Place” horror franchise spinoff “A Quiet Place: Day One,” written and directed by Michael Sarnoski.
In her Variety review of “Goodbye Julia,” critic Jessica Kiang praised the film for being much more than “a primer for the class, ethnic and religious unrest that besets the troubled state” of Sudan, noting that “what actually transpires is far more engaging, in the vein of Asghar Farhadi, wherein a tight, high-concept moral core unravels into strands of widening, deepening social consequence.”
“Goodbye Julia” is produced by Amjad Abu Alala, director of “You Will Die at Twenty,” which won Venice Film Festival’s Lion of the Future award for best first feature in 2019.
The two central roles are played by Eiman Yousif and Sudanese supermodel Siran Riak, making her big-screen acting debut. The cast also includes Nazar Goma and U.S.-based South Sudanese actor Ger Duany, who is known for his performances in “The Nile Hilton Incident” and “The Good Lie.”
CAA and Cairo-based Ambient Light are handling sales of “Goodbye Julia” in the U.S. and Canada.