The Somalian film has been making quite the rounds since its Cannes premiere and its latest AMAA wins is proof that it just might be the biggest film from the continent this year.
Here are five facts to know about the Somalian film:
1. It’s co-produced by France, Somalia, Germany and Finland companies
Making great pictures require huge bucks and that’s where collaborations come to the rescue.
With ‘The Gravedigger’s Wife’, an impressive collaboration from four film production from Somalia, France, Germany, and Finland, produced the multiple award-winning magic. Interestingly, it’s got titles in all official languages.
2. The film was inspired by a true-life story
According to director Khadar Ayderus Ahmed, the film was inspired by a sudden death in his family over a decade ago.
Before moving to Finland, Ahmed who was born in Somalia, said he became intrigued by the presence of gravediggers outside hospitals, always ready to dig a grave for the bereaved family in a couple of hours.
“At that moment, I wanted to write about this gravedigger character, I wanted to show people that they exist.” he said
The film follows the story of a gravedigger whose wife falls ill and dies of a kidney disease before he is able to raise money for her surgery.
3. The film is Somalia’s Oscars 94th Best International Feature Film submission
‘The Gravedigger’s Wife’ is more than just an award-winning film, it’s also history making as it is Somalia’s first-ever Oscar entry.
The film is set to compete with 92 other submissions for the Academy’s Best International Feature Film category.
Sadly, Nigeria withdrew from participating this year as Nigerian selection committee said no entry met the requirements.
4. The film won the prestigious Stallion of Yennenga Grand Prize for Best Film at the Pan African Film Festival
Asides debuting in Cannes and emerging one of the winners of the Amplify Voices Awards at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, ‘The Gravedigger’s Wife’ also won the $35,714 prize money and the golden stallion statue at the Pan African Film Festival.
5. Ahmed reportedly turned down an offer to feature famous non-Somalian cast
A star-studded cast is arguably every filmmaker’s delight. Well, that doesn’t include Ahmed who reportedly turned down the offer to cast famous and non-Somalian actors and opted for local actors.