It is a story about two women who represent the complicated relationship and differences between Northern and Southern Sudanese communities.
Mohamed Kordofani’s debut Sudanese 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 2 to 11.
With a total of 11 awards now to its name, Goodbye Julia has been chosen as Sudan’s official submission for the Best Foreign Feature category at the 2024 Academy Awards.
The film’s remarkable journey continued as it achieved a milestone with EGP 1.02m ($0.033m) in box office revenues just one week after its historic Egyptian premiere on October 25.
Earlier this year, Sudanese filmmaker Mohamed Kordofani’s debut feature, Goodbye Julia, received the Cannes Film Festival‘s Un Certain Regard Freedom Prize.
Previously, the film earned the Roger Ebert Award at the 59th Chicago International Film Festival and was recognised as the Best African Film at the Septimius Awards. It was also a contender in multiple categories, including Best African Actress, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Soundtrack.
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.
The film features Eiman Yousif, Siran Riak, Nazar Goma, and Ger Duany. Written and directed by Mohamed Kordofani, Goodbye Julia is produced by Amjad Abu Alala of Station Films in collaboration with Mohamed Al-Omda. Worldwide sales and distribution are managed by MAD Solutions.
Co-producers of the film include Baho Bakhsh and Safei Eldin Mahmoud (Red Star Films), Michael Henrichs (Die Gesellschaft), Khaled Awad and Mohamed Kordofani (Klozium Studios), Marc Irmer (Dolce Vita), Faisal Baltyuor (Cinewaves Films), Ali El-Arabi (Ambient Light), Adham El-Sherif (CULT), and Issraa Elkogali Häggström (RiverFlower).
Goodbye Julia has been recognised with several awards and grants, including the MAD Ergo award at the CineGouna SpringBoard during the El Gouna Film Festival. It also received the Best Film Project in the Development Phase award, a certificate from the El Gouna Cinema Platform, and the New Century Prize. Furthermore, the film was honoured at the Malmö Arab Film Festival with the award for Best Project In Development and received support from the Red Sea Fund in Saudi Arabia and the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) in Beirut.