Beats of the Antonov

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Beats of the Antonov
Directed byHajooj Kuka
Produced byHajooj Kuka, Steven Markovitz
StarringSudanese Refugees
CinematographyHajooj Kuka
Edited byHajooj Kuka, Khalid Shamis
Release date
  • 5 September 2014 (2014-09-05) (TIFF)
Running time
68 minutes
South Africa

Beats of the Antonov is a documentary film released in 2014. A Sudanese-South African coproduction directed by Hajooj Kuka and produced by Hajooj Kuka and Steven Markovitz. The film documents the Sudan–SRF conflict in the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains regions, focusing in particular on the role of music in helping the affected communities to sustain themselves culturally and spiritually in the face of the ongoing conflict.[1]

This documentary that "put Sudan's name on the screen of world cinema",[2] was made over a period of two years with Director Hajooj Kuka residing among the People of the Nuba Mountains in Sudan.[3]

Beats of the Antonov Premise[edit]

The premise of Beats of the Antonov is that, the core reason for the civil war in Sudan is an identity issue. The central government in Sudan over the years has enforced an Arabic-Islamic identity on the other fifty-six major ethnic groups of Sudan. However, the reality is a diverse population with multi-cultural backgrounds. Through the documentary, Hajooj Kuka depicts the resilience of the people of the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains areas of Sudan through life-celebrating music and dance despite their daily strive for survival in a war-torn society.[4]


The film won the People's Choice Award for Best Documentary at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival[1] and was well-reviewed by Indiewire,[5] POV Magazine,[6] The Guardian,[7] Variety[8] and Africa is a Country[9] among others.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2014 Toronto International Film Festival People's Choice Award Beats of the Antonov Won
2015 Luxor African Film Festival, Egypt[10] Grand Nile Prize for Best Feature Documentary Beats of the Antonov Won
2015 Cordoba African Film Festival, Spain[11] The Best Documentary Award Beats of the Antonov Won
2015 Durban International Film Festival, South Africa[12] Best Documentary and the Artwatch Africa freedom of expression award Beats of the Antonov Won
2015 Festival de cinémas d'Afrique in Angers, France Best film both jury and public award Beats of the Antonov Won
2015 San Francisco International Film Festival[13] Golden Gates Awards Documentary Feature Beats of the Antonov Nominated
2016 FAME, la Gaîté lyrique's cinema and pop culture festival, France MUBI Prize Beats of the Antonov Won

Beats of the Antonov Festival List[edit]

Festival Date Type
Toronto International Film Festival 4–14 September 2014 World Premier
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam[14] 19–30 November 2014 European Premier
Festival des 3 Continents[15] 25 November – 2 December 2014 French Premier
Journées Cinématographiques de Carthage (JCC)[16] 29 November – 6 December 2014 North Africa Premier
Dubai International Film Festival[17] 10 – 17 December 2014 Middle East Premier
Goteborg Film Festival[18] 23 January – 2 February 2015 Swedish Premier
Festival panafricain du cinéma et de la télévision de Ouagadougou (FESPACO)[19] 28 February – 7 March 2015 African Premier
International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH)[20] 17 February – 8 March 2015 Swiss Premier
Luxor African Film Festival[21] 16 – 21 March 2015 Egypt Premier
Human Rights Watch Film Festival[22] 19 – 27 March 2015 UK Premier
Flatpack Film Festival[23] 19–29 March 2015 Birmingham Premier, UK
Festival de Cine Africano[24] 21 – 28 March 2015 Spain Premier
Panama International Film Festival[25] 9 – 15 April 2015 Latin American Premiere
San Francisco International Film Festival[26] 23 April – 7 May 2015 US Premiere
Maryland Film Festival 6–10 May 2015 East Coast U.S. Premiere
club transmediale[27] 30 January – 7 February 2016 German Premiere


  1. ^ a b TIFF ’14: Awards glory for "Beats of the Antonov". RealScreen, 14 September 2014.
  2. ^ Sudanese film maker brings reality of civil war to Toronto festival The East African. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  3. ^ TIFF: Beats Bags The Big Prize, Strictly Docs, 15 September 2014.
  4. ^ Beats of Antonov Archived 23 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine tiff.. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  5. ^ TIFF 2014 Review: Beats of the Antonov' Finds A New Perspective From Which To Explore The Civil War In Sudan Indiewire, 15 September 2014.
  6. ^ REVIEW: Beats of the Antonov TIFF Docs 2014: "Beats of the Antonov" shows the celebration of culture as the defiant assertion for diversity POV Magazine, 8 September 2014.
  7. ^ M usic of resistance in Sudan's rebel regions The Guardian 9 December 2014,
  8. ^ Film Review: ‘Beats of the Antonov’ Variety, 2 January 2015.
  9. ^ New film, "Beats of the Antonov," unlike anything I have ever seen Africa is a Country, 15 September 2014.
  10. ^ African Film Festival winners announced TNN. Retrieved 1 April 2015
  11. ^ De Clausura 12 FCAT Cordoba FCAT. Retrieved 1 April 2015
  12. ^ Network, Al Jazeera English. "Beats of the Antonov Wins Big at Durban International Film Festival". Modern Ghana. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  13. ^ Festival Prizes San Francisco Film Society. Retrieved 1 April 2015
  14. ^ Films & Events A-Z IDFA. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  15. ^ A Cortege of Springs: Stories, Visions and Thoughts from the Arab World Festival Des 3 Continents. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  16. ^ JCC Program Page JCC. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  17. ^ Documentary DIFF. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  18. ^ The Filmfestival 2015 GFF. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  19. ^ FESPACO 2015: the complete list of the movies in competition African Top Success. Retrieved 16 January 2015
  20. ^ 2015 Programme FIFDH. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  21. ^ Long Documentary, Luxor African Film Festival. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  22. ^ Film Event Details Barbican. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  23. ^ Beats of the AntonovFlatpack Film Festival. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  24. ^ All the Programme in Just One Click Festival de Cine Africano. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  25. ^ Beats of the Antonov, PIFF. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  26. ^ Film Guide, San Francisco Film Society. Retrieved 3 April 2015
  27. ^ Programme, CTM Festival. Retrieved 3 February 2015.

External links[edit]