122: Free hajooj kuka
The Sudanese filmmaker hajooj kuka (who spells his name in lowercase) came to prominence in 2014 with his film “Beats of the Antonov” that won the People’s Choice Documentary Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. On September 17, 2020 he was sentenced to prison in Khartoum along with four other artists on dubious charges of disturbing the peace. Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers talks to hajooj’s longtime producer Steven Markovitz who’s helping to organize the campaign #ReleaseTheArtistsSudan with the support of the International Coalition of Filmmakers at Risk, the Academy of Motion Pictures (in which hajooj is a member) and others around the world.
For other resources, see Variety’s review of “Beats of the Antonov” and hear hajooj interviewed in 2018 on The Guardian’s Small Changes podcast.
Update: On Oct 1, hajooj and four other artists were released from prison. Six other artists remained imprisoned, as reported in Vice.