Rungano Nyoni wraps I Am Not A Witch
by Naman Ramachandran
- Award winning shorts filmmaker completes feature debut
Feature debutant Rungano Nyoni has wrapped a six-week shoot in and around Zambian capital Lusaka on I Am Not A Witch. The satire about beliefs in witchcraft follows nine-year-old girl Shula who is exiled to a witch camp and causes ripples amongst the residents. The cast is made up of non-professionals with nine-year-old Maggie Mulubwa playing Shula.
Emily Morgan produces for the UK’s Soda Pictures, Juliette Grandmont for France’s Clandestine Films and Titus Kreyenberg for Germany’s Unafilm. Executive producers include Eve Gabereau from Soda, Mary Burke from the British Film Institute (BFI), Hannah Thomas from Ffilm Cymru Wales, and Eva Yates and Daniel Battsek from Film4.
The film is financed by the BFI, Film4, Ffilm Cymru Wales, CNC’s Aide aux Cinémas du Monde, the Berlinale’s World Cinema Fund and HBF+Europe: Minority Co-production support. It was developed with the support of the BFI NET.WORK funding for new and emerging UK filmmakers, Ffilm Cymru Wales, and has also received from development support from Cannes Cinefondation Residency 2013, Moulin D’Ande Residency 2014, IFP No Borders Prize 2013, ARTE Prize 2014, Vision Sud Est Development Funding via Locarno Film Festival and HBF Development support. Soda Pictures will distribute in the UK. International sales are yet to be confirmed.
Morgan said, “It’s been exciting seeing Rungano deliver on her truly original script with such emotive visual flare and her unique blend of fantasy and realism, amidst a variety of captivating Zambian landscapes. Like in her short film work, she’s bringing the story to life with remarkable performances from a cast of carefully selected non-actors.”
Rungano Nyoni was born in Lusaka, Zambia and grew up in Wales, UK. Her short films have played at over 400 international film festivals including Cannes, Toronto, Rotterdam, BFI London Film Festival, Locarno and Tribeca. Her 2014 short Listen was selected at over 150 film festivals and won over 70 prizes including Best Short Narrative Prize at Tribeca Film Festival (2015) and a nomination for Best Short Film at the 2015 European Film Awards. Her 2011 short Mwansa the Great played more than a hundred international film festivals, winning some 20 prizes, and earned nominations for an African Academy Award and a BAFTA. Her 2012 short The Mass of Men played some 180 film festivals, winning over 70 awards, including the Golden Leopard at Locarno Film Festival.