“Beats of the Antonov” TIFF ’14 People’s Choice Award Winner

Posted On:09.16.2014
Posted by alsarah

Last year I took a trip to the refugee camps in Maban, South Sudan to work alongside sudanese filmmaker and Refugee Club founder, Hajooj Kuka. He was working on a documentary about the war in the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains of Sudan. He had initially thought the project would merely be about the desperate state of the refugees and the situation in the camps. However when he arrived he quickly discovered a 3 dimensional person instead of the stereotypical ‘victim’ he expected to find. He found a people determined to not merely survive but to live fully and protect their culture fiercely. He found music, rich complex and innovative. After his first trip we met up in Cairo and I saw some of the footage and decided to go back out there with him to get a closer look at the music and its role in this story of displacement.

Along with finding answers about the Blue Nile and the Nuba Mountains refugees, we found questions to be asked of all the Sudans, both north and south. What does it mean to be Sudanese? Why have we been in back to back civil wars since our independence? What is Sudanese music? who gets to decide all these things?

Beats of the Antonov saw its world premiere at TIFF ’14 and was selected as the winner for the prestigious People’s Choice Award.

Along with the documentary we are also planning on releasing an album of field recordings that I gathered while out there. I am currently also curating an EP of remixes by some of my favorite producers. More info on both will be coming soon, in the meantime enjoy some samples from the field recordings: