Khadar Ayderus Ahmed
Somalia - France - Finland - Cameroon - Côte d'Ivoire


A flavorful fusion of suspense, fantasy, action, comedy, and romance, Thundering Smoke follows the captivating story of Abshir, a teenage bus conductor who one night witnesses a brutal fight between a group of gangsters and a mysterious female assassin in her early 50s. Intrigued and fascinated, Abshir secretly follows the hitwoman, determined to find out who she is. Little does he know his curiosity will lead him down a dangerous path from which he cannot turn back.

2nd feature

Special Touch Studios (France)
Sébastien Onomo


Rabbit Films (Finland)
Minna Haapkylä

African Touch Studios (Cameroon, Ivory Coast)
Sébastien Onomo

Director’s statement

Having partly drawn inspiration from my own personal experiences with my first love, this story serves as a cathartic expression of the wild journey I embarked on as a teenager. Thundering Smoke is a bracing, intimate exploration of the emotional journey through the enchanting landscape of first love, capturing the essence of the magical and the significant moments that shape the course of a young heart. Despite Thundering Smoke being a cross-genre film, its universal narrative explores themes of friendship, grief, acceptance, loss, forgiveness, and hope. It is also a social commentary that reflects and sometimes questions the norms and attitudes that are prevalent in today’s world.


Khadar Ayderus Ahmed

Khadar Ayderus Ahmed is a Somali-Finnish screenwriter and director who has written short and feature-length films as well as a television series. The Gravedigger’s Wife (2021), Ahmed’s feature directorial debut, had its world premiere in competition in the Semaine de la Critique in Cannes. The film, which was Somalia’s first ever Academy Award submission, has been screened at more than 95 film festivals, and has won more than 25 prizes on four continents, among them the Amplify Voices Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Etalon d’or of Yennenga at Fespaco.

Sébastien Onomo

Sébastien Onomo is a French producer with a decade of experience. His work includes television films like Rudy Gobert (2023) and the documentary series African Empires (2021). He also produced Gang of the Caribbean (2016); Funan (2018), which won the Crystal Award in Annecy; Lost Souls of Syria (2023); The Forest of Miss Tang (2023), which was also screened in Annecy and is shortlisted for a 2024 César Award; The Siren (2023), which won the Best Music award at Annecy and was the opening film of the Panorama section of the Berlin International Film Festival. Onomo also co-produced Omen (2023), which won the New Voice prize in the Un Certain Regard section of the Festival de Cannes.

Total budget

€2 000 000

Financing secured

€10 000

Shooting period and locations

January 2025, Somalia—Kenya

Expected delivery


Other Projects in development