Writer-director Khadar Ahmed’s feature film The Gravedigger is set to shoot in Djibouti, East Africa, in Autumn. This is the debut feature for Ahmed, who has already gained wide recognition with his short films and as a screenwriter. The film will be a co-production between Finland, France and Germany, Mark Lwoff and Misha Jaari from Bufo leading the production.
The Gravedigger tells a story of a gravedigger and his family living in Djibouti, and the script has raised a lot of interest around the world already before the production. The script was one of the six finalists in the international Abu Dhabi Film Commission’s Shasha Grant screenwriting competition in 2011, and in 2015 Ahmed was selected to develop the script in Cannes Cinéfondation Recidence.
Having moved from Somalia to Finland as a 16-year-old, Ahmed (born 1981) has previously written, among others, the short film Citizens directed by Juho Kuosmanen (2008) and Unexpected Journey by Samuli Valkama (2017, written together with Valkama). His latest work as a director, the short film The Night Thief, (2017) has been screened at numerous film festivals around the world.
The Gravedigger is co-produced by French Pyramide Productions (Stéphane Parthenay and Robin Boespflug-Vonier) and German Twenty Twenty Vision Filmproduktion (Thanassis Karathanos). The film is financed by The Finnish Film Foundation, Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée (CNC), The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture and World Cinema Fund, and done in co-production with Yle and ZDF/Arte.