release date November 13 2023
GOODBYE JULIA wins Belfast Film Festival’s top award
Mohamed Kordofani’s debut Sudanese drama feature GOODBYE JULIA and laureate of the Cannes Film Festival's Un Certain Regard Freedom Prize took home the top prize for Best Film at the 2023 Belfast Film Festival's International Competition, which ran from November 2nd to the 11th.
The multiple-award-winning-film — which now has 11 awards under its belt and is Sudan's official submission for Best Foreign Feature at the 2024 Academy Awards — was recently released in 51 arthouse theaters across France, introducing French cinephiles to a vital new voice in global cinema.
GOODBYE JULIA is also three weeks into its journey of success in Egypt, recording the highest revenues for an Arab film at the Egyptian box office and amassing over EGP 2m within the first two weeks of its commercial release on October 25th. Additionally, the film is currently screening at 23 theaters across the country from an initial 12 in response to the public’s demand for more locations and screenings.
Most recently, Lupita Nyong'o — the Academy Award winner for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for 12 YEARS A SLAVE — who’s most known for her role as Nakia in Marvel’s BLACK PANTHER films, announced that she has joined the film’s team as the film’s executive producer in direct support of the film and its impactful story.
In other news, Egyptian critic Mohamed Sayed Abdel Rahim — who is a member of the 2024 Golden Globe Awards’ Voting Committee — revealed that the film has been selected to compete for the Best Non-English Language Film Award ahead of the shortlist’s announcement in December.
That aside, the widely praised and acclaimed title recently won Best Director and Best Leading Actress in a Debut Feature Film at the 18th Cyprus International Film Festival.
Before that, the film won the Roger Ebert Award at the 59th Chicago International Film Festival and the Best African Film at the Septimius Awards, where it was also in the running for Best African Actress, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Soundtrack.
Additionally, it was screened at the BFI London Film Festival and the Horizons Section of the 2023 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, where it enjoyed widespread popularity and packed screenings after its historic world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Freedom Prize.
GOODBYE JULIA follows the story of Mona — a northern Sudanese retired singer in a tense marriage — who is wracked by guilt after covering up a murder. In an attempt to make amends, she takes in the deceased’s Southern Sudanese widow, Julia, and her son, Daniel, into her home.
Unable to confess her transgressions to Julia, Mona decides to leave the past behind and adjust to a new status quo, unaware that the country’s turmoil may find its way into her home and put her face to face with her sins.
GOODBYE JULIA stars Eiman Yousif, Siran Riak — the former Ms. South Sudan — Nazar Goma, and Ger Duany; is written and directed by Kordofani; and produced by Station Films’ acclaimed Sudanese filmmaker Amjad Abu Alala — the director of Sudan’s first-ever submission to the Academy Awards YOU WILL DIE AT TWENTY — in collaboration with producer Mohamed Al-Omda, who co-produced Yemen’s Berlin International Film Festival selection THE BURDENED.
Kordofani is a Sudanese filmmaker whose short film NYERKUK won the Black Elephant Award for Best Sudanese Film, NAAS Award for Best Arab Film at the Carthage Film Festival, Jury Award at the Oran International Arab Film Festival, and Arnone-Belavite Pellegrini Award at the FCAAA in Milan.
His second 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 broadcast on Sudan's national TV.
His last film was THIS IS SUDAN, which was commissioned by Sudan’s former prime minister Abdallah Hamdok to promote Sudan's potential for investment.