Academy Award-winning Kenyan actress, producer, and New York Times Bestselling author Lupita Nyong’o is stepping into an executive producer role, supporting Sudan’s second-ever International Feature Film Submission Goodbye Julia.
Directed by Sudanese filmmaker Mohamed Kordofani in his feature film debut, Goodbye Julia is about two women whose friendship represents the complicated relationship and differences between Northern and Southern Sudanese communities. The film takes place in Khartoum during the last years of Sudan as a united country; a region which once again broke out into conflict in 2023.
“Goodbye Julia is a powerful representation of the conflict happening in Sudan right now, which affects millions of lives across Eastern Africa. Mohamed Kordofani and the filmmakers present the issues in a beautiful, deeply personal way. I’m honored to lend my voice to help bring this film’s message to the world.”
The history-making Sudanese film recently wrapped an award-winning 2023 international festival run, picking up prestigious honors at Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard “Freedom Prize”) and Chicago Film Festival (Roger Ebert Award in the New Director’s Category); along with accolades from this year’s Cyprus International Film Festival, France’s Festival Paysages de Cinéastes, Barcelona’s War on Screen festival, and Amsterdam’s Septimius Award.
Goodbye Julia stars Eiman Yousif and Sudanese model Siran Riak, in her big screen acting debut; and also features South Sudanese actor and activist Ger Duany who is known for his work supporting refugees from the region.
Goodbye Julia is represented in North America by CAA Media Finance. The film is produced by Amjad Abu Alala, creator of Station Films, and Co-Produced by Ali Alarabi, the founder and CEO of Egyptian-American production company Ambient Light Films — whose mission is to elevate underrepresented voices from the Middle East and Africa. Amjad Abu Alala directed Sudan’s first ever Academy Awards submission You Will Die at Twenty in 2019, which Mohamed Kordofani worked on as well.
ABOUT LUPITA NYONG’O
Lupita Nyong’o is a Kenyan actress, producer, and New York Times Bestselling author. She made her feature debut in Steve McQueen’s Academy Award® winning film “12 Years a Slave.” For her portrayal as Patsey, Nyong’o received the Academy Award®, the Screen Actors Guild® Award, the Critics’ Choice Award, the Independent Spirit Award, and the NAACP Image Award.
Nyong’o will next be seen starring in Paramount’s “A Quiet Place” horror franchise spinoff “A Quiet Place: Day One,” written and directed by Michael Sarnoski. This prequel, and third installment of the film series spearheaded by John Krasinski, also stars Joseph Quinn, Alex Wolff, Djimon Hounsou and Denis O’Hare.
Nyong’o played Nakia in Marvel’s “Black Panther” franchise. The Oscar-nominated “Black Panther” broke numerous box office records when it premiered in 2018. The cast went on to win the SAG Award for Best Ensemble and her performance earned Nyong’o a nomination for an NAACP Image Award. In 2022, she reprised her role in the sequel “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” which garnered her an NAACP Image Award nomination. The film had the biggest November debut of all time in North America.
In Jordan Peele’s critically acclaimed horror film “Us,” Nyong’o appeared as both “Red” and “Adelaide,” which garnered her a Screen Actors Guild nomination, the NY Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress, and an NAACP Image Award. Other credits include “Little Monsters,’ “Queen of Katwe,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and Universal’s thriller “The 355.”
For her Broadway debut in Danai Gurira’s play, “Eclipsed,” Nyong’o earned a Tony® nomination. She returned to theater in 2021 when she played “Julieta” in The Public Theater’s bilingual (Spanish and English) audio adaptation of “Romeo y Julieta” for Tony®-nominated Director Saheem Ali.
In 2020, Nyong’o narrated her debut children’s book, Sulwe, for Netflix’s “Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices,” which earned her an Emmy Award. Sulwe, a New York Times #1 Best Seller, released by Simon & Schuster in 2019, explores colorism, the preferential treatment of those with lighter skin, which is an issue across the globe, and impacts children from a young age. Sulwe is being adapted into an animated musical feature for Netflix.
Nyong’o executive produces the family program, “Super Sema.” The animated series, which returned for a third season in 2023, centers Sema, Africa’s first kid superhero whose superpower is STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math). Nyong’o can also be heard narrating Discovery’s docu-series, “Serengeti,” which explores the dramatic day-to-day happenings of animals living in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. Her narration for this series has earned her two Emmy® award nominations.
Upcoming, Nyong’o will host a podcast centered on non-fiction cultural storytelling from the African diaspora.
ABOUT AMBIENT LIGHT FILMS
Founded in 2016 by Ali El Arabi (CEO, Producer and Director), Ambient Light is an international film production and distribution company based in Cairo and Los Angeles. Ambient Light is producing and co-producing scripted and unscripted films on four continents with the aim to give a voice to the people who are not heard, to empower artists from the MENA region, and to build bridges between the region and American and European markets.