Venice International Film Festival 2018: Two refugee Sudanese actors unable to attend premiere of their film

Indo-Asian News Service

August 30, 2018 10:01:40 IST

Venice: Two actors of a Sudanese love story won't be attending the movie's world premiere in Venice Critics' Week on 31 August, Friday, as they are stuck in Uganda awaiting word on their applications for refugee status.

A scene from aKasha. Facebook

A scene from aKasha. Facebook

Mohamed Chakado and Kamal Ramadan, who portray young conscripts on the run from the army in Hajooj Kuka's feature debut aKasha (The Roundup), arrived in Uganda earlier this year after fleeing their native Sudan.

They applied for refugee status in June, but their applications remain in limbo, and the two are unable to leave Uganda, according to variety.com.

Producer Steven Markovitz has petitioned the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on behalf of the actors but has yet to receive a response.

"We don't know how long it's going to take...so we don't have any timeline yet," he said.

Both actors are from the Nuba Mountains, the volatile Sudanese region where aKasha was filmed.

The film is a quirky love triangle between rebel soldier Adnan, his long-suffering lover Lina and his AK-47. Adnan meets reluctant rebel Absi while fleeing the army's annual roundup of truant soldiers.

Markovitz said it is "very disappointing" that the actors will not attend the world premiere at the Venice Film Festival sidebar, nor the North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

"In this time of closing borders, it's crucial that artistes' work helps to open up understanding of each other," the film's makers said.

Updated Date: Aug 30, 2018 18:06 PM