Al-Sit

In a cotton-farming village in Sudan, 15-year-old Nafisa has a crush on Babiker, but her parents have arranged her marriage to Nadir, a young Sudanese businessman living abroad. Nafisa’s grandmother Al-Sit, the powerful village matriarch, has her own plans for Nafisa's future. But can Nafisa choose for herself?

  • Suzannah Mirghani
    Director
    Hind's Dream, Caravan
  • Suzannah Mirghani
    Writer
    Hind's Dream, Caravan
  • Suzannah Mirghani
    Producer
    Hind's Dream, Caravan
  • Eiman Mirghani
    Producer
  • Mihad Murtada
    Key Cast
    “Nafisa”
  • Rabiha Mohammed Mahmoud
    Key Cast
    “Al-Sit”
  • Mohammed Magdi
    Key Cast
    “Nadir”
  • Haram Bashir
    Key Cast
    “Nafisa's Mother”
  • Alsir Mahjoub
    Key Cast
    “Bilal”
  • Khalid Awad
    Director or Photography
  • Sara Awad
    Art Director
  • Abdelrahim Kattab
    Editors
  • Suzannah Mirghani
    Editors
  • Rodney Sharkey
    Associate Producer
    Hind's Dream
  • Julietta Mirghani
    Associate Producer
    Hind's Dream
  • Maysaa Almumin
    Associate Producer
    J'ai Le Cafard (Bint Werdan)
  • Project Type:
    Short
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    November 19, 2020
  • Country of Origin:
    Sudan
  • Country of Filming:
    Qatar, Sudan
  • Language:
    Arabic
  • Shooting Format:
    RED
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival
    Clermont-Ferrand
    France
    January 30, 2021
    International Premiere
    Canal+ / Cine+ Award
  • Ajyal Film Festival
    Doha
    Qatar
    November 19, 2020
    Home Premiere
  • Tampere Film Festival
    Tampere
    Finland
    March 13, 2021
    Grand Prix
  • Aspen Shortsfest
    Aspen
    United States
    April 6, 2021
    North American Premiere
    Official Selection
  • European Independent Film Festival
    Paris
    France
    April 11, 2021
    Excellence in Women's Filmmaking Award
  • San Francisco International Film Festival
    San Francisco
    United States
    April 9, 2021
    California Premiere
  • Seattle International Film Festival
    Seattle
    United States
    April 13, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Malmo Arab Film Festival
    Malmo
    Sweden
    April 10, 2021
    Sweden Premiere
    Special Mention
  • Busan International Short Film Festival
    Busan
    Korea, Republic of
    April 23, 2021
    Asia Premiere
    Jury Award
  • Huesca International Film Festival
    Huesca
    Spain
    June 9, 2021
    Spain Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Toronto Arab Film Festival
    Toronto
    Canada
    May 27, 2021
    Canada
    Audience Award
  • Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia
    Tokyo
    Japan
    June 11, 2021
    Japan Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) FilmAfrica
    New York
    United States
    May 28, 2021
    New York Premiere
    Official Selection
  • FCAT Tarifa-Tangier African Festival De Cine Africano
    Tarifa
    Spain
    May 28, 2021
    Spain Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Palm Springs Shortfest
    Palm Springs
    United States
    June 22, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Odense Film Festival
    Odense
    Denmark
    August 30, 2021
    Denmark Premiere
    Official Selection
  • La Guarimba Film Festival
    Calabria
    Italy
    August 10, 2021
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Suzannah Mirghani

Suzannah Mirghani is a writer, researcher, and independent filmmaker. She is a media studies and museum studies graduate and publishes creative and scholarly work on a variety of social issues. Being of multicultural Sudanese and Russian backgrounds, she is most interested in stories that examine the complexity of identity. Suzannah is the writer, director, and producer of AL-SIT (2020), which won the Grand Prix at the 2021 Tampere Film Festival (Academy Award qualifying) and the Canal+ Award at the 2021 Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival. Her previous shorts include Caravan (2016) and Hind’s Dream (2014).

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

This is a story from Sudan about women, both powerless and powerful. In many Sudanese villages, the matriarch is revered and respected and gains social power through experience and age. Young girls, on the other hand, are the most vulnerable. This film explores both ends of the social chain and how these roles might be changing in a modernizing world.

Everyone has their own selfish reason for why 15-year-old Nafisa’s arranged marriage should or should not happen, everyone apart from the bride-to-be. In Sudan, I met many young girls like Nafisa: teenagers living on the margins of their own lives, watching silently as others make important decisions on their behalf. Many girls do not stand up for themselves because they believe they have no option. In this film, I explore the possibility of a young girl making a statement against all odds. That is a seemingly simple statement: choosing who to love. This film gives voice to young girls like Nafisa.

Filmmaking in Sudan is finally beginning to flourish after decades of prohibition and neglect. Sudan is overflowing with talent, but there is little opportunity to show it. We made this film with a 99% Sudanese cast and crew (and 1% Lebanese). Many of the cast members (including Mihad Murtada who played Nafisa, and Mohammed Magdi who played Nadir) are first-time actors.