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You Will Die at Twenty

Spring Grants 2016

Amjad Abu Alala / Feature Narrative / Sudan, France, Egypt, Germany, Norway, Qatar / 2019 / 105 min / Colour / Original Language: Arabic / Interests: Coming of age, Drama, Adaptation, Youth, Women Issues


In a Sudanese village, a mother gives birth to Muzamel, a boy cursed by a Dervish prophecy that he will die at the age of 20. Muzamel grows up surrounded by looks of sympathy that make him feel dead before his time, until Suliman, a cinematographer who has worked in the city, returns to the village. Suliman’s old cinema projector opens a window onto a whole new world for Muzamel. His personality starts to change with Suliman’s presence, and slowly he comes to doubt the truth of the prophecy. His mother desperately attempts to prevent the prophecy from coming to pass. After many defeats, including losing his father, Muzamel begins to dig his own grave. When the day of his 20th birthday arrives, he is torn by doubt and left with the choice between death and a bus to the world he is eager to know about.


Amjad Abu Alala
Yousif Ibrahim, Amjad Abu Alala
Hossam Elouan, Arnaud Dommerc, Ingrid Lill Hogtun, Michael Henrichs
Production Company
Andolfi, DUOfilm AS, Die Gesellschaft DGS, Transit Films, Station Films Cinema Production

About the Director

Amjad Abu Alala is a Sudanese filmmaker who was born and raised in the UAE. He studied media at United Arab Emirates University. As a producer and director, Abu Alala has made numerous short films that have been shown at film festivals, including ‘Tina’ (2009), ‘Coffee and Orange’ (2004), and ‘Feathers of the Birds’ (2005), which is considered to mark the return of cinema in Sudan. His ‘Studio’ (2012) was supervised during a workshop conducted by Abbas Kiarostami. In 2013, Abu Alala won the Best Arabic Theatre Script Award from the Arab Authority for ‘Apple Pies’. Currently, Abu Alala is Head of the Programming Committee of the Sudan Independent Film Festival.

Awards and Festival History


"TIFF 2019, Contemporary World Cinema
Busan IFF 2019
IFFR 2020, Voices
Malmo Arab FF 2020
Alfilm Arab FF 2020 "


"Lion of the Future, Venice FF 2019, Venice Days (WP)
Golden Star for Narrative Film, El Gouna FF 2019
Best Scenario, Best First Film and the FIPSCI awards, JCC 2019
Best Feature Film, Amman IFF 2020 (1st edition)
Best Director, Malmo Arab FF 2020"


  • Main Contact

    Amjad Abu Alala

    Station Films

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