Ambient Light Takes N. America Sales For Cannes film ‘Goodbye Julia’ – Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: Egyptian-U.S. company Ambient Light has acquired North American sales rights for Sudanese director Mohamed Kordofani’s Cannes Un Certain Regard title Goodbye Julia.

Egyptian producer and director Ali El Arabi’s Cairo and L.A.-based company Ambient Light is one of a number of co-producers on the film alongside lead producer Amjad Abu Alala, who works under the banner of Station Films.

El Arabi is best known internationally for his feature documentary Captains of Za’atari, about two Syrian boys growing up in a refugee camp in Jordan with dreams of becoming soccer stars, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2021.

The film was handled internationally by Dogwoof, which sold the film to Utopia for the U.S.

El Arabi explains that the lessons he learned through the U.S. distribution of Captains of Za’atari encouraged him to open a sister company in the U.S. which is now looking for distribution partners there for Goodbye Julia with the support of CAA.

“We learned a lot through that film… I think the time is ripe for us to represent and sell our own stories, and that’s what we are trying to do,” he says.

Teaming up with CAA, Ambient Light has been organizing private screenings and meetings for Goodbye Julia with theatrical distributors and top streaming platforms in the lead-up to its Cannes premiere.

“We have a lot of people who are keen to work with us and we’re now looking for the right partner,” he says.

Goodbye Julia is the first ever Sudanese film to play Cannes. It is set in the capital of Khartoum and revolves around the events leading up to the 2011 South Sudanese Independence referendum. Watch the trailer here.

Eiman Yousif plays a former singer from the north who tries to make amends for unwittingly causing the murder of a southern man by hiring his widow as a maid and paying for the education of her son, without revealing her connection to the crime.

Dubai-based, South Sudan-born top model Siran Riak makes her debut as the maid, with veteran Sudanese actor Nazar Goma and U.S-Sudanese actor and refugee advocate Ger Duany (The Good LieThe Nile Hilton Incident) in supporting roles.

The drama has gained resonance in recent weeks due to fierce fighting between rival military factions in Khartoum, even though it focused on a different moment in Sudan’s history.

Other co-production partners on the film include Red Star Films, Die Gesellschaft DGS, Klozium Studios, Dolce Vita Films, Cinewaves Films, CULT and RiverFlower, in co-production with MAD Solutions, Red Sea, and CANAL+ International.

Mad Solutions is handling worldwide sales outside of North America.

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