The documentary film, Beats of the Antonov, shot and directed by the Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka has won the People’s Choice Documentary Award at the 39th International Film Festival of Toronto in Canada.
On Sunday, the final day of the festival, the public in majority voted for the second Sudanese film ever screened at Toronto, to be awarded.
Kuka named his 65-minute documentary Beats of the Antonov as a play on words inspired by the sound of the Russian-made cargo planes that the Sudanese government uses to bomb villages in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile State.
Before he started the project, Kuka wanted to shoot a documentary about the trials of the people, who are living with constant danger and hunger during the new civil war in the southern part of Sudan. When he finished filming, he found that he had recorded a very different story about how the Nuba people -despite the aerial bombardments- can sing and dance their way out of these desperate times.
“Sudan eventually is going to become this great place, once we allow all these cultures to flourish and start celebrating them. And I really saw it in my film,” he told the press in Toronto after winning the award.
The Sudanese filmmaker hopes to show his film at other international festivals. The language of the film is Arabic, but he is certain that the people’s actions and their emotions in the documentary articulate the narrative. “The people in the film are the best promoters of Beats of the Antonov”.
Photo: Nuba women in South Kordofan (Hajooj Kaku)
For the trailer of the documentary, please click here.