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Sudanese Film “Goodbye Julia” Begins Screening in 20 French Cities

The Sudanese film “Goodbye Julia” directed by Mohamed Kordofani launches commercially in French theaters, where it will be screened in 51 cinemas in more than twenty cities covering all regions of France, becoming the first Sudanese film to be commercially screened in France, in addition to being the first brand of Sudanese cinema at the Cannes Film Festival, which hosted its world premiere in the Un Certain Regard section, where it won the Freedom Prize.

ARP Sélection is distributing the film in France, where it will be released in the French capital and its suburbs, as well as theaters in: Marseille, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Nancy, Metz, Versailles, Lille, Rennes, Rouen, Lyon, Clermont-Ferrand, Nice, Nimes, Dijon, Creteil, Kemper and Belfort.

This comes in conjunction with the remarkable success achieved by the film in Egyptian theaters, with revenues reaching two million pounds in the first two weeks of screening, surpassing many huge Egyptian and American films, to record the highest revenues for an Arab film at the Egyptian box office ever, and the film continues in its third week through 10 screens, and will soon be launched in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

The film has gained new momentum in its journey to the Academy Award, with Oscar-winning Lopita Nyawongoh announcing her role in 12 Years a Slave (known for her roles in Us and the Black Panther series), joining the film as an executive producer, which is a direct support for the film representing Sudan at the 96th Academy Awards to compete for Best International Feature Film 2024.

Egyptian critic Mohamed Sayed Abdel Rahim, a member of the voting committee for the 2024 Golden Globe Awards, revealed that the film has been selected to compete for the Best Non-English Language Film award, whose shortlist will be announced in December.

At film festivals, Julia’s farewell raised his tally to 10 awards, most recently from the Cyprus International Film Festival, namely Best Director in a First Fiction Work, Best Actress in a First Feature Award, in addition to: the Roger Ebert Award at the Chicago International Film Festival, two Awards from the War on the Screen Festival in France (Audience Award and Journalism Award), 3 Awards at the Paysages de Cinéastes Festival (Junior Jury Prize, Audience Award, and Women’s Jury Prize), and Best African Film Award in Septimus International Awards Ceremony.

Goodbye Julia had his UK premiere at the London Film Festival, where he was highly acclaimed and all tickets for his shows sold out a month before the festival began. Prior to that, he participated in the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and the Melbourne International Film Festival.

Critically, the film won great praise, and wrote about the Egyptian critic Tarek El-Shenawy, “Director Mohamed Kordofani weaved his film deeply and creatively, gave the film one mood maintaining the margin of codified poetry that envelops events, and he also has the ability to codify the art of leading an actor, to excel everyone, including the child in performance,” while Stephen Satio wrote in The Moveable Fest “The film excelled in expressing a lot of things in a narrow space and with a few characters.”

Set in Khartoum just before the secession of the south, Mona, a northern woman who lives with her husband Akram, kills a southern man, then hires his wife Julia, who looks for him as a maid in her house and helps her seek guilt cleansing.

Directed and written by award-winning Mohamed Kordofani, the film stars stage actress and singer Iman Yusuf and famous model and former Miss South Sudan Siran Riak, and co-stars veteran actor Nizar Juma and Kir Duwaini, who has been selected by UNHCR as a Goodwill Ambassador for East Africa and the Horn of Africa, photographed by Pierre de Villiers, edited by Heba Osman, sound engineer Rana Eid and costume design by Mohamed Murr.

“Goodbye Julia” is produced by the famous Sudanese director Amjad Abu Alala, who represented Sudan in the Oscar nominations for Best Foreign Film in 2020 for the first time in history with the film You Will Die at Twenty, and is co-produced by Mohamed Al-Omda through the Sudanese production company Station Films, and MAD Solutions handles the international sales of the film.

Also co-producers are Bahou Bakhsh Wasfeldin Mahmoud (RED STAR/Egypt), Michael Gesellschaft DGS (Germany), Khaled Awad and Mohamed Kordofani (Klozium Studios/Sudan), Marc Ermer (Dolce Vita Films/France), Faisal Beltour (Cinewaves/Saudi Arabia), Ali Elaraby (Ambient Light/Egypt), Adham El-Sherif (CULT/Egypt) and Esraa El-Kokoli Hagstrom (Riverflower/Sweden).

Mohamed Kordofani is a Sudanese filmmaker, his short film Nirkuk won the Black Elephant Award for Best Sudanese Film in 2017, the NAS Network Award for Best Arab Film at the Carthage Film Days, the Jury Prize at the Oran International Arab Film Festival and the Arnon Bellavit Pellegrini Award at the Afro-Asia-Latin Film Festival International Film Festival in Milan. His short film Al-Kajar Prison was screened during the events of the Sudanese revolution in the sit-in square that housed thousands of protesters, and his documentary Tour of the Republic of Love was the first pro-revolution film to be broadcast on state television. In 2021, he founded Calcium Production Studios in Khartoum.

Source: Al-Taghyeer