For copyright reasons, this stream is available in Germany only.

Interview with director Amjad Abu Alala

  • 00:08 “You Will Die at Twenty” is the first Sudanese fiction film in decades. In what way does this add special symbolic significance to the film?
  • 01:48 It’s a coming-of-age film about a person who doesn’t believe he will ever come of age. What attracted you to this story?
  • 04:51 The film presents cinema as a window to a different reality and other possible ways of life. What do you think of the potential of cinema to open up new perspectives?
  • 08:43 The film creates a unique atmosphere, switching between realism and dream-like imagery. What’s the relation between these two dimensions? 
  • 11:05 A lot of attention is given to the different rituals governing life in the village of the protagonists. How did you approach creating that specific cultural texture?
  • 14:05 Which role does music play in your film?
  • 16:40 Sudan occupies a unique place at the intersection of Arabic and African cultures. How have those different influences shaped you and what do they mean for Sudanese cinema?
  • 18:45 Do you currently see a revitalization of Sudanese cinema, especially in light of the recent political changes?


You Will Die at Twenty (2019, 103 min., directed by Amjad Abu Alala)

In Arabic with English subtitles

The two screenings of recent works by Sudanese filmmakers Suhaib Gasmelbari and Amjad Abu Alala, originally scheduled as part of the Arabic Music Days, unfortunately cannot take place due to space restrictions in connection with the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, we are trying to make it possible to offer You Will Die at Twenty as a free online stream on this page. In his film, named Best Debut Feature at the 2019 Venice Film Festival, Amjad Abu Alala tells the story of Muzamil, a Sudanese boy whose fate seems to be strangely entangled with an ominous prophecy.

Amjad Abu Alala

Amjad Abu Alala is a Sudanese director and producer, born and currently residing in the United Arab Emirates. He studied media at Emirates University and has worked as a film and documentary director for Arab and international channels. As a producer and director, he has created numerous short films that have been screened at international festivals, including Coffee and Oranges (2004), Feathers of the Birds (2007), and Teena (2009), which is considered to mark the return of cinema in Sudan. His Studio (2012) was supervised during a workshop conducted by acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami. In 2013 he won the Best Arabic Play award from the Arab Authority for Apple Pies. He is currently head of the Programming Committee for the Sudan Independent Film Festival. His most recent film, You Will Die at Twenty, won the “Lion of the Future” at the 2019 Venice Biennale.