Lupita Nyong’o has joined Sudanese director Mohamed Kordofani’s feature debut, Goodbye Julia, as executive producer.
The first-ever Sudanese feature to screen at the Cannes Film Festival was also selected by the African country to be its second-ever Academy Awards submission for best international feature film.
“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 honoured to lend my voice to help bring this film’s message to the world,” Nyong’o said in a statement on Wednesday.
Goodbye Julia portrays two women whose friendship represents the complicated relationship and differences between the northern and southern Sudanese communities. The film stars Eiman Yousif and Sudanese model Siran Riak in her big-screen acting debut, and also features South Sudanese actor and activist Ger Duany.
Goodbye Julia takes place in Khartoum during the last years of Sudan as a united country. The region returned to a wider conflict in 2023.
At Cannes, the feature picked up the Un Certain Regard section’s Freedom Prize and additional awards at festivals in Chicago, Cyprus, France’s Festival Paysages de Cinéastes, Barcelona’s War on Screen festival and Amsterdam’s Septimius Award.
Nyong’o will next appear in Paramount’s A Quiet Place horror franchise spinoff A Quiet Place: Day One, and she also played Nakia in Marvel’s Black Panther movies.