CAA has signed Khadar Ayderus Ahmed, the up-and-coming director of “The Gravedigger’s Wife,” Somalia’s first ever official submission for the Oscars international feature film race.
“The Gravedigger’s Wife,” Ahmed’s feature debut,” world premiered at Cannes’ Critics’ Week and went on to win the Amplify Voices Award at Toronto. The film also played BFI London, Chicago and Palm Springs, as well as the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (Fespaco) where it scooped the top prize.
The movie recently played in Mogadishu at the National Theatre of Somalia, Ahmed’s native country. Orange Studio represents the film in international markets. It was produced by Finland’s Bufo, and co-produced by Germany’s Twenty Twenty Vision and France’s Pyramide Productions.
Set in the African town of Djibouti City, the drama portrays a poverty-stricken family and revolves around a gravedigger (Omar Abdi) on a desperate quest to fund an urgent kidney surgery for his beloved wife (Yasmin Warsame), who is dying. The movie was developed at the Cannes Cinéfondation Residence program.
In Variety‘s review of the film, critic Guy Lodge described Ahmed as “an assured, audience-minded storyteller to watch” and his film as “a moving, sometimes quietly biting study of a medically and financially troubled family in crisis.”
The 40 year-old director was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, and moved to Finland with his family at the age of 16. He previously directed critically acclaimed shorts including “The Killing of Cahceravga,” “Yovaras” and “Me ei vieteta joulua,” all of which he wrote and directed. The rising helmer is currently in post-production on “Zone B,” a Finnish television series he created and co-directed with Juho Kuosmanen (“Compartiment No. 6”) and Siiri Halko (“Nesting”).