Development Feature Narrative Film Projects
Sudan, Sweden \ Arabic \ 100 min
Director: Mohamed Kordofani
Producer: Amjad Abu Alala, Issraa Elkogali Häggström
In 2005 the government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) signed the Naivasha peace treaty, bringing to an end Africa’s longest civil war. A war that the Arab Islamist government once labeled as “holy Jihad” against the Christian infidels of the South. The war displaced 2 million southern citizens from their towns. Most of them moved to the capital Khartoum where they mostly worked in manual labor and minimum wage jobs. The agreement gave the southerners the right to self-determination after a six-year transitional period. The south later separated with a whopping 99% votes for independence.
The film begins in July 2005, just 6 months after the signing. When John Garang, the SPLM leader, is killed in a helicopter crash, a wave of violence and riots spark in the capital Khartoum. Many people die from both sides and tension builds. Meanwhile MONA, an upper middle class retired singer from the north, accidentally hits a Southern child with her car and drives away. When the child’s father chases her on his motorbike, she calls her husband AKRAM for help. She only tells him she’s being followed by a Southern man. As soon as she returns home, Akram shoots the chaser dead.
Mona, whose marriage is already struggling, keeps the child accident a secret from Akram. But burdened by guilt and depression, she covertly searches for the victim’s family to offer some compensation. After a brief search she finds his wife JULIA, a poor lady from the South. While Mona is relieved to know that the child, DANIEL, is still alive, she is unable to admit what really happened to Julia. Instead she offers her a job to work for her as a housemaid. Julia accepts the offer and moves in with her son to work for the Northern couple.
Mona treats Julia with kindness and registers her in a church affiliated school for illiterate adults. Despite the dishonestly Mona’s relationship with Julia grows into a friendship, especially as her marriage deteriorates even more. Julia also helps Mona reignites her passion for singing when she introduces her to the church choir. But when Julia meets JOSEPH, a radical separatist SPLM soldier, who is quite taken with her, things turn for the worse. Joseph, who is on a mission to influence the Southerners in Khartoum to vote for independence, uses his military ties to help Julia uncover what really happened to her husband. Mona finds herself forced to make hard decisions to keep everyone around her in the dark.
Director: Mohamad Kordofani
Mohamad Kordofani is a Sudanese filmmaker. His short film NYERKUK won the Black Elephant Award for best Sudanese Film in 2017, the NAAS Award for best Arab film at Carthage Film Festival (JCC), The Jury Award at Oran International Arab Film Festival and The Arnone-Belavite Peligrini Award at FCAAA in Milan. His short KEJERS PRISON was screened during the Sudanese revolution at the sit-in square in front of thousands of protesters and his documentary A TOUR IN LOVE REPUBLIC was the first pro-revolution film to be broadcasted on Sudan’s national TV.
Currently Kordofani is developing his first feature GOODBYE JULIA with Station Films Productions. He has previously collaborated with the company on YOU WILL DIE AT TWENTY in all the stages of the film including script development, production and post-production.
Producer: Amjad Abu Alala
Amjad Abu Alala is a Sudanese director and producer; YOU WILL DIE AT TWENTY, his first feature film, won the Lion of the Future” Luigi De Laurentiis” Award for Best Debut Film in Venice and many more awards. The film was the first submission for the Oscars from Sudan ever. He has also directed and produced many short films, including ORANGE AND COFFEE (2004), FEATHERS OF BIRDS (2007), TEENA (2009) and STUDIO (2012), besides producing films through his sudanese based company Station Films.
Swedish Producer: Issraa Elkogali Häggström
Issraa Elkogali Häggström is a producer with both film and theatre experience. She has a background in multimedia installations, film, photography and creative writing. The first Sudanese student at Sweden’s Royal Academy of Art in 2012, Issraa is also the director of the documentary short, IN SEARCH OF HIP HOP one Sudan Film Factory’s first produced films. After a handful of short documentary films including the collaborative film project THE TWO SUDANS Issraa developed the Ibsen Scholarship winning performance piece NORA’S CLOTH. The artwork with film at its center, looks at Khartoum women in the professional sector’s relationship to traditional fabrics holding religious or cultural significance. Issraa is currently writing a play optioned by the National Theatre of Sweden, Riksteatern. Her most recent film project is the award winning short fiction film A HANDFUL OF DATES (2020) where she negotiated the rights to adaption from the Tayeb Salih novel of the same name, executive produced, and wrote the screenplay. Issraa continues to work with project management, film festivals, and screenwriting out of her home in Stockholm, Sweden.