release date June 02 2021
Short Film Al-Sit Reaps Two Awards at Toronto Arab Film Festival
Sudanese short film Al-Sit by director Suzannah Mirghani received two awards at the 2nd edition of Toronto Arab Film Festival, which went virtual this year. Bringing the total number of the international awards to six, the awards received at the festival are: the Audience Choice Award, and the Jury Award for Most Promising Filmmaker for the film’s director.
Toronto Arab Film Festival aims to fill a void that exists in film programming in Toronto, specifically a lack of films from the Arab regions, through screening works that shed the light on the Arab talents locally and internationally.

Previously, the film won the Grand Prix at the 51st edition of the Oscar-qualifying Tampere Film Festival, two awards at Malmo Arab Film Festival, Sweden and the Canal+/Cine+ Award, which was presented by the French channel Canal Plus Cinema within the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, where the film landed its international premiere. Most recently, the film had its world premiere at the latest edition of the Ajyal Film Festival in Qatar.

In a cotton-farming village in Sudan, 15-year-old Nafisa has a crush on Babiker, but her parents have arranged her marriage to Nadir, a young Sudanese businessman who lives abroad. Nafisa’s grandmother Al-Sit, the powerful village matriarch, has her own plans for Nafisa’s future. But can Nafisa choose for herself?

The film presents a sentimental story that revolves around Sudanese women; women who are in power and women who are vulnerable, shedding the light on both ends of the social chain and the changes imposed by the modernized world on the society.

Al-Sit is written and directed by Suzannah Mirghani, who co-produced it along with Eiman Mirghani, and stars Mihad Murtada, Rabeha Mohammed, Mohammed Magdi and Haram Basher. The film is distributed in the Arab world by MAD Solutions and has previously received a development workshop and a production grant from Doha Film Institute, as well as a design grant from VCUarts Qatar.

Suzannah Mirghani is a writer, researcher, and a passionate independent filmmaker with a special interest in highlighting stories from the Arab world. She is a Media Studies and Museum Studies graduate, and the author and editor of several academic books and articles. Being of multicultural Sudanese and Russian backgrounds, Suzannah is interested in stories that examine the complexity of identity. She has under her belt a number of short films that she wrote, directed and produced, including Hind’s Dream (2014), Caravan (2016), and Al-Sit (2020).