Somali Omar Abdi, who plays the lead role in Finnish-Somali film The Gravedigger’s Wife, has been nominated for the best actor prize at Finland’s equivalent of the Oscars – the Jussi Gala.
He is the first African actor to get a nomination.
The film, directed by Finnish-Somali Khadar Ahmed, gained notoriety after it won the grand prize at the prestigious pan-African film festival Fespaco last year.
In the film, Abdi plays gravedigger Guled, whose job it is to wait outside hospital to bury the dead. The story focuses on his efforts to save his terminally ill wife.
It’s a virtuoso role, which he plays with tenderness and at times surprising humour – transmitting his fear, anxiety and desperation.
Abdi is up against two other actors and the winner will be announced on 6 May.
Canadian Yasmin Warsame also received a nomination for best actress. In all the film garnered nine nominations.