HAUGESUND, Norway — Actor Omar Abdi, who starred in the Ahmed-scripted short “Citizens,” and actress Yasmin Warsame, who made her name as a Canadian model, will topline romantic-tragedy “The Gravedigger,” the latest big screen project from Bufo, the Helsinki-based outfit behind Berlinale winner “The Other Side of Hope.”
The film follows a Djibouti gravedigger trying to re-unite his family in a time of strife.
Bufo founders Mark Lwoff and Misha Jaari will lead the charge on this international co-production, working alongside France’s Pyramide Productions and Germany’s Twenty Twenty Vision Filmproduktion.
Financing partners include Finland’s Church Media Foundation and The Finnish Film Foundation, France’s CNC, The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture and World Cinema Fund, and Germany’s FFHSH, along with co-production partners YLE and ZDF/Arte.
The Somali-language film will begin lensing in Djibouti this October, with an intended finish date of Spring 2020. Bufo’s boutique distribution arm B-Plan will handle the film’s domestic release later next year, while French and German distribution is still to be announced.
The project marks the feature debut of up-and-coming talent Khadar Ahmed, a Somalia-born director who has been living in Finland for the past twenty years. A seasoned screenwriter, Ahmed toured the festival circuit with his 2017 short “The Night Thief” and developed this feature at Cannes’ Cinéfondation.
“We here at Bufo love challenges and are never afraid to seize an opportunity, so when Khadar came to present the project to us, we were fascinated by it instantly,” said producer Lwoff.
“Khadar’s artistic vision is very clear, and thanks to his background he has the ability to tell a story from a part of the world that is not so well known to us. We hope to be able to produce a film that will stand out artistically, and also thanks to the film’s universal theme, present a story that can be identified no matter which part of the world you come from,” he added.