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Vividly beautiful animation brings to life a story created by group of orphans in Swaziland, in this documentary hybrid executive produced by Thandie Newton.


Dir Aaron Kopp, Amanda Kopp
Prod Amanda Kopp, Aaron Kopp, Daniel Junge, Davis Coombe, Sakheni Dlamini
With Gcina Mhlophe
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Affecting and uplifting, this beautiful documentary and animated fiction hybrid tells the story of a young girl as imagined by a group of orphaned Swazi children. Executive produced by Thandie Newton and animated by artist Shofela Coker, five children from a self-sustaining agricultural orphanage in Swaziland, create a story under the guidance of South African children’s author Gcina Mhlophe. In this tale-within-a-tale, the orphans invent a character drawn from their own experience. Their character, Liyana, is a brave and strong girl who lives in a thatched hut with her mother, father and two brothers. Their story never shies away from pain and loss – her father often comes home drunk and is unfaithful to her mother. The tragedy is that he contracts HIV, passing it on to Liyana’s mother. True to their own lives, resilience is key to the narrative the children tell – a fairytale imbued with tenderness and courage.

Keith Shiri

Additional information

Suitable for ages 10+. With English subtitles.

Festival guests

These members of the filmmaking team are expected to attend the festival:

  • Aaron Kopp, Director; Amanda Kopp, Director; Shofela Coker, Art Director

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can't guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.

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