EXCLUSIVE: Camille Jaquier and Mohamed Kordofani, a pair of fast-rising international filmmakers whose respective films Thunder and Goodbye Julia have both recently been submitted for International Feature Oscar consideration, have signed with Jewerl Ross at Silent R Management.
Representing Switzerland is Jaquier, whose first solo feature world premiered at TIFF last year. Pic is set in 1900 and stars Lilith Grasmug as Elisabeth, a 17-year-old girl on the cusp of taking vows to become a nun, whose life is set on another course following the sudden death of her older sister. She returns to her family after five years in the convent to help on their farm in a mountain village. The mysteries surrounding her sister’s death prompt her to fight for her right to self-determination and to rebel against the strict expectations of the village community.
Thunder scored a sustained standing ovation at its European premiere in San Sebastian and has received more than a dozen awards at various international festivals, including Women In Motion’s Emerging Talent Award, which was presented to Jaquier at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.
Also a first-time feature filmmaker is Sudan’s Kordofani, whose Khartoum-set drama Goodbye Julia made history this year as the first Sudanese film to play Cannes. Met with a standing ovation at its Un Certain Regard premiere and ultimately going on to claim the Freedom Prize, the film is set in a moment of turmoil for Sudan in the lead-up to the 2011 South Sudan Independence referendum, in which the suppressed, Black, mainly Christian population of the south voted to break away from the ruling Arab Muslim population of the north. The film explores the roots of the schism through the tale of Mona (Eiman Yousif), a singer from the north who tries to make amends for her role in the killing of a man from the south. She hopes to do so without revealing her connection to the crime, accomplishing that by hiring his widow (South Sudan-born top model Siran Riak, in her first big screen role) as her maid.
Since Cannes, the film has played in the Horizons section of Karlovy Vary. It’s set to make its MENA premiere at Egypt’s El Gouna Film Festival in October, ahead of a theatrical release in the country on October 25th, and has also been selected for the BFI London Film Festival.
Focused on championing the work of emerging artists since its 2006 founding by Ross, Silent R Management has, in the last 18 months, produced or financed three films by first-time directors. The first to have secured release was Hulu/Onyx Collective’s highly acclaimed drama Bruiser, starring Jalyn Hall, Trevante Rhodes and Shamier Anderson, which world premiered at TIFF last year. The company has also nurtured a reputation as a tastemaker as the representative of such creatives as Academy Award winner Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) and Matt Aldrich, one of the scribes behind Disney/Pixar’s Mexico-set Oscar winner Coco. Other notable filmmaker clients from around the world include Robin Campillo (BPM, France), Bora Kim (House of Hummingbird, South Korea), Yann Gonzales (Knife + Heart, France), JP Valkeapää (Dogs Don’t Wear Pants, Finland), and Fernanda Valadez (Identifying Features, Mexico), to name just a few.