For the first time in history, Sudan might just score an Oscar. The African nation has made its first official Oscar’s submission. It is of course, the lauded film You Will Die At Twenty.
The award-winning film by Sudanese director Amjad Abu Alala was submitted for a nomination for the Best International Feature Film category for this year’s Academy Awards, the same category that won Nadine Labaki her first Oscar last year, with her film Capernaum.
“We’re so proud to announce that Sudan has entered the Academy Awards race for the first time with the selection of Amjad Abu Alala’s ‘You Will Die at Twenty’ as the country’s first Best International Feature Film submission for the 2021 Academy Awards,” reads a post on the film’s Instagram page.
You Will Die at Twenty is only the eighth feature film in the history of Sudanese cinema. The feature made its premiere at Venice Film Festival in 2019, going on to score the Luigi de Laurentiis Award. At El Gouna Film Festival, the film snagged the Golden star for Best Narratie Feature. Making its way to Tunis that same year, Alala snagged the Best Screenplay award at Carthage Film Festival, too.
“This marks a significant moment in the country’s cultural landscape and opens doors for a new wave of local filmmakers yearning to have their stories, voices and perspectives embraced by audiences back home and abroad,” read the film’s statement.
The film tells the story of a young boy whose life was predicted to end at the age of 20 by his village’s holy man. It goes on to track his journey after his father, who couldn’t stand the curse leaves the family home, leaving Muzamil’s mother, Sakina raising her son alone.