Suzannah Mirghani’s powerful coming-of-age drama AL-SIT touches on arranged marriage and women’s empowerment

Buzz, Film

This live action short is a triple Oscar-qualifier having won top awards, including the Grand Prix Award: Tampere Film Festival, the Best of Fest: LA Shorts and Best Short Film: Bronzelens Film Festival

Writer, Director and Producer Suzannah Mirghani’s Sudanese/Qatari production tries to break free from traditions that were once thought to be forever. This profound film received its international premiere at Clermont-Ferrand, establishing Mirghani as an important female voice in cinema. This female-led drama has been selected for over 100 film festivals, including 29 Oscar qualifiers!

AL-SIT shares the story of Nafisa, a teenage girl in a Sudanese village who – despite her crush on someone else – is facing an arranged marriage. Her grandmother, the powerful matriarch Al-Sit, has her own plans for Nafisa’s future. Can Nafisa choose for herself?
Suzannah Mirghani is a media studies and museum studies graduate. Mixed-race Sudanese and Russian, she is interested in stories about the complexity of identity. Her latest short is the experimental VIRTUAL VOICE (2021), which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival. Suzannah is working on her first feature COTTON QUEEN, a magical realist tale set in the cotton fields of Sudan.

AL-SIT was made 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.

AL-SIT has been winning the hearts of film festival jury members all over the world, having won over 20 high-profile film festival accolades, not forgetting multiple special mentions. Just some of these wins includeExcellence in Women’s Filmmaking Award: The European Independent Film Festival, Best International Film: DC Black Film Festival, Best Cinematography at Linz International Short Film Festival, and a Special Mention at Huesca International Film Festival.

The beautiful cinematography is by Khalid Awad. This stunning short film can soon be seen at, Carthage Film Festival, Arab Film Festival Arab American Museum,12°N61°W Film Festival, Fickin Film Festival,Aesthetica Film Festival, Leeds International Film Festival,CineOdyssey Film Festival,Cork International Film Festival, Arlington International Film Festival, Chicago Int Children’s Film Fest, Festival di Cinema Africano di Verona and New Orleans Film Festival.