Sudanese film Goodbye Julia scoops 10 awards from different festivals in November

Ahram Online 30 November 2023

Topping the already impressive number of awards, November proved particularly successful for Sudanese filmmaker Mohamed Kordofani’s film Goodbye Julia. The film scooped 10 awards at the festivals in Nicosia (Cyprus), Tarragona (Spain), Leeds (UK), Belfast (Ireland), among others.

Kordofani’s debut feature opened the month winning two awards at the 18th Cyprus International Film Festival (1-5 November) in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia: Best Director in a Debut Feature Film and Best Leading Actress.

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The Belfast Film Festival’s International Competition (2-11 November) awarded Goodbye Julia with the top prize for Best Film.

In Barcelona, Spain, the film won an Audience Award at the Mostra De Cinema Arab (2-12 November).

Goodbye Julia clinched another Audience Award for Best Fiction Feature from the Leeds International Film Festival (3-19) in the UK.

Meanwhile, the Muslim International Film Festival (11-12 November) in Toronto’s Meridian Arts Centre (Canada) awarded Kordofani’s film with the prestigious Muslim Excellence Award, while the film’s lead actress Eiman Yousif won Best Actress. 

Towards the end of November, Goodbye Julia returned to Spain, this time participating in the 13th Tarragona International Film Festival (22-26 November), where it snatched the festival’s Cineclub Jury Award for Best Film, Special Mention in Youth Jury Prize and the Audience Award; its fifth Audience Award.

he 10 awards garnered in November bolster the film’s total tally of almost 20 prestigious accolades since the premiere of Goodbye Julia at the Cannes Film Festival, where it was nominated for the Un Certain Regard Award, the Golden Camera Award, and the Freedom Prize.

The film is a drama that tells the story of Mona, a retired singer from northern Sudan trapped in an unhappy marriage. Mona is wracked with guilt after covering up a murder, and to make amends she takes in a widow named Julia, who hails from South Sudan, along with her son Daniel. 

Goodbye Julia stars Eiman Yousif, Siran Riak, Nazar Goma, and Ger Duany.

The film is also Sudan’s choice for the Oscar’s Foreign Language Film Award (2024), being the second Sudanese film to be submitted to the Oscars nomination committee. In 2021 Sudan chose the drama You Will Die at Twenty by Amjad Abu Alala as its first-ever Sudanese contender for the Academy Awards.