You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Bufo Sets Key Cast for Co-Production ‘The Gravedigger’ (EXCLUSIVE)

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.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Lorene Scafaria, Jennifer Lopez. Lorene Scafaria,

    'Hustlers' Director Lorene Scafaria: 'We Wanted to Treat It Like a Sports Movie'

    The star-studded cast of “Hustlers” didn’t just become strippers in the empowering female-helmed blockbuster — they also became athletes. When speaking to “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast, at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this month, “Hustlers” director Lorene Scafaria explained the extreme athleticism required of the movie’s leading actresses, who all had [...]

  • Jonathan Van NessLos Angeles Beautycon, Portrait

    Jonathan Van Ness Reveals HIV Diagnosis, Former Drug Addiction

    “Queer Eye’s” Jonathan Van Ness is getting vulnerable in his new memoir “Over the Top.” In a preview of his book with the New York Times, Van Ness opened up about his early struggles with sex and drug addiction as well as his experience with sexual assault, revealing that he was abused by an older [...]

  • 4127_D022_00003_RC(l-r.) Elizabeth McGovern stars as Lady

    Box Office: 'Downton Abbey' Dominating 'Ad Astra,' 'Rambo' With $31 Million Opening

    “Downton Abbey” is heading for a positively brilliant opening weekend after scoring $13.8 million in domestic ticket sales on Friday. If estimates hold, the feature film version of the popular British television show should take home approximately $31 million come Sunday, marking the biggest opening ever for distributor Focus Features and beating previous record holder [...]

  • Gully Boy to represent India in

    'Gully Boy' to Represent India In Oscars Race

    The Film Federation of India has chosen Zoya Akhtar’s “Gully Boy” as its entry in the Academy Awards’ international feature film category. The picture, a coming of age tale about an aspiring rapper in Mumbai’s Dharavi slum premiered at the Berlin film festival in February before opening to a wave of acclaim at home in [...]

  • Lucy-Lost

    Cartoon Forum: 30th Anniversary, Little Giants and New Generations

    TOULOUSE, France –  Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Cartoon Forum wrapped Sept. 19 having showcased the ever-growing strength of European animation. 85 projects were pitched from 24 countries at the co-production forum platform that played host to north of 1,000 investors, distributors and producers – a record number. Falling on French-speaking Belgium – Wallonie-Bruxelles – whose [...]

  • Renee Zellweger Rufus Wainwright Sam Smith

    Renée Zellweger: Judy Garland Was 'My Childhood Hero'

    Awards buzz is building around Renée Zellweger for her performance as Judy Garland, emerging as a frontrunner in the Oscar race for best actress. But for her, the real prize was paying tribute to Garland, of whom she’s been a lifelong fan. “Nobody was prettier, nobody sang prettier…the adventures she had, [she was] my childhood [...]

  • Topic Studios

    Layoffs Hit Topic Studios as TV Division Relocates to West Coast (EXCLUSIVE)

    A small round of layoffs has hit Topic Studios this week in the television division, insiders familiar with the company told Variety. One of the insiders said three executives at the New York-based producer and distributor are out: senior vice president of scripted programming and Viacom alum Lisa Leingang, vice president of development Mona Panchal [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content