Goodbye Julia, the first-ever Sudanese feature to screen at the Cannes Film Festival, has been selected by Sudan to be its second-ever Academy Awards submission for best international feature film.
Earlier this year, the film, directed by Mohamed Kordofani, also won the Un Certain Regard’s freedom prize at Cannes.
Set just before the secession of South Sudan in 2011, Goodbye Julia follows Mona (Eiman Yousif), a well-off woman from the north, who seeks redemption after her husband shoots and kills a southern man. While in distraught, she hires the man’s wife Julia (Siran Riak) as her maid. The film depicts the complicated relationship and differences between Northern and Southern Sudanese communities.
Kordofani previously told The Hollywood Reporter that the film is “about the transformation of someone who realizes that they have been unknowingly racist and want to overcome this racism. A transformation of someone who first abides by social norms and traditions, who transforms into being a little bit liberated and open-minded and begins to question those traditions, which play into the institutional racism we have inherited, and things like oppression that women suffer in our society.”
Goodbye Julia is represented by CAA Media Finance in North America. It is produced by Amjad Abu Alala’s Station Films and co-produced by Ali Alarabi, CEO and founder of Ambient Light.
“I feel very grateful that the committee in Sudan reactivated and selected Goodbye Julia for the Oscars race despite the war,” Kordofani said in a statement after learning about the movie’s submission. “This only shows how resilient and hopeful people in Sudan can be. I feel immensely honored that my film is now on the list of Sudan’s submissions to the Academy, and I hope we can be visible to voters so that – maybe – we can be visible to the world and show it a different side of Sudan.”