Sat 11 Nov • 10:00 • Watershed
Director: Aaron Kopp, Amanda Kopp
Swaziland/Qatar/USA, 2017, 77 min, English subtitles, 12A
Liyana sets off on a dangerous quest into the wilderness to save her young twin brothers. She began her journey in the imaginations of five talented orphaned children in Swaziland. Collaborating with South African writer and playwright Gcina Mhlophe and Nigerian-born artist Shofela Coker, the children create a touching tale of perseverance through their fictional character, Liyana. Inspired by their darkest memories and brightest dreams, Liyana allows the children to confront past trauma through the transformative nature of storytelling. Facing painful memories, and drawing parallels between Liyana’s fate and their own stories, healing is found as the young storytellers shape and share Liyana’s mythic journey. The film sensitively balances fact and fantasy, drawing in audiences with visually arresting imagery. Executively produced by Thandie Newton, Liyana is gaining an international audience; it won Best Documentary at the LA Film Festival and had its European premiere at the BFI London Film Festival 2017.