African-European Co-Pro to open European film festival in South Africa

The celebratory 10th edition of the European Film Festival in South Africa, opens with the African–European film GOODBYE JULIA, set in Sudan, at Ster-Kinekor’s The Zone in Rosebank, Johannesburg on 12 October.

GOODBYE JULIA is a remarkable six-country coproduction between Sudan, Egypt, Germany, France, Sweden and Saudi-Arabia, and the first film from Sudan ever to be presented in the Un Certain Regard competition at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the prestigious Prix de la Liberté (Freedom Award).

The film tells the story of two women who represent the complicated relationship and differences between northern and southern Sudanese communities. The multi-layered narrative takes place in Khartoum during the last years of Sudan as a united country, shortly before the 2011 separation of South Sudan.

Supported by superb cinematography by South African Pierre de Villiers and a moving musical score by Sudanese musician Mazin Hamid recorded during ongoing clashes between the military and civil society in Khartoum, this is a powerful directorial debut by the largely self-taught filmmaker Mohamed Kordofani. Pierre de Villiers, will be in attendance at screenings of the film in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and will also present cinematography workshops at film schools in both cities during the festival.

After kicking off the festival on 12 October, GOODBYE JULIA will have subsequent screenings on 22 October at The Labia, Cape Town, and on 21 October at Ster-Kinekor Gateway, Durban.

African stories

Connecting the festival more closely to the contexts and the continent in which this festival takes place, GOODBYE JULIA is one of three African stories in this year’s festival. At the heart of the film MOTHER, directed by Bulgarian Zornitsa Sophia, is the unfolding of the narrative in Kenya, where a theatre director undergoes profound transformation during her experiences at a local orphanage in Kibera, often called one of the biggest slums in Africa. MOTHER is based on the true story of artist and cultural activist Elena Panyatova. NAYOLA, directed by José Miguel Ribeiro, is a thrilling animated story about three generations of women plagued by the long civil war in Angola. Based on a play by José Eduardo Agualusa and Mia Couto, NAYOLA is bold and thrilling storytelling alive with vivid eye-candy animation!

The European Film Festival runs from 12-22 October, with screenings in cinemas, as well as online. Visit for the film synopses, trailers and screening schedules.

The European Film Festival 2023 is a partnership project of the Delegation of the European Union to South Africa; the participating European embassies of Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine; and the cultural agencies of British Council, Camoes Institute of Portugal, Diplomatic Representation of Flanders, French Institute in South Africa, Goethe-Institut and Italian Cultural Institute. The festival is organised in cooperation with Cineuropa, supported by Ster Kinekor, The Labia and coordinated by Creative WorkZone.