I Am Not a Witch

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    I Am Not a Witch

    Directed by

    • Rungano Nyoni

    United Kingdom, France

    2017

    92 min

    • English
    • Bemba
    • Nyanja

    Drama

    After a minor incident in her village, 9-year-old Shula is exiled to a travelling witch camp where she is told that if she tries to escape she will be transformed into a white goat. As she navigates through her new life, she must decide whether to accept her fate or risk the consequences of seeking freedom.

    Awards

    • Best First Film - Stockholm IFF
    • Best Film Award - Cyprus FDIF
    • The United Kingdom's Submission for the 91st Academy Awards

    Festivals

    Labels & Line Ups

    Credits

    Cast
    Henry Phiri
    Margaret Mulubwa
    Nancy Mulilo
    Screenplay
    Rungano Nyoni
    Cinematography
    David Gallego
    Editing
    George Cragg
    Yann Dedet
    Thibault Hague

    Director's Statement

    I am uninterested in showing the motives that people have in using children for witchcraft. I am also avoiding a modern day cautionary tale of people who are subjugated and victimized by their family or friends. I want to deliberately sidestep the politics or the potential earnestness and take it away from the puffery.

    Instead I am interested in telling a story from a child’s perspective so that we are forced to ask questions rather than provide answers. My aim is to provoke a feeling of empathy rather than one of sympathy. I want to explore characters that are going against the status quo, but secretly and desperately trying to belong to it.

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    Press

    Invigorating, intriguing and provocative debut.

    Jessica Kiang, Variety

    Rungano Nyoni

    Rungano Nyoni

    Zambia

    Rather than getting an actor to act the thing, it’s easier to get a non-professional who’s like the character.

    Rungano Nyoni is a director/screenwriter born in Lusaka, Zambia and also grew up Wales, UK. She graduated from Central St Martins School of the Arts with a Masters in Acting in 2009. Her first film, THE LIST, won a BAFTA Cymru in 2010. Her most recent film, MWANSA THE GREAT, was selected at over 100 international film festivals and has won over 20 prizes and picked up a BAFTA Nomination (2012). She often collaborates with her partner Gabriel Gauchet and in 2012 a film he directed and she wrote, THE MASS OF MEN, premiered at Locarno Film Festival winning the Golden Leopard Award. It has since garnered over 50 prizes and has been selected at over 100 film festivals. Rungano was recently selected to take part in the Cannes Cinefondation residency where she developed her debut feature film, a tragi-comedy, set in Zambia called SOLIDARITE. Her film I AM NOT A WITCH (2017) premiered at the Directors' Fortnight at the 70th Cannes Film Festival.

    Selected Filmography