Rungano Nyoni

Directors born in Zambia and willing to bear witness on this country are something of a rarity. This is nonetheless the case of Rungano Nyoni, a young woman whose native town is Lusaka although she did not stay there long. She was indeed still a little girl when she emigrated to Great Britain with her parents. It is in Wales that Rongano actually grew up and from Birmingham University that she graduated... only to study drama at the London University of Arts. But an actress she was not destined to be (she played in only three films), as she proved thereafter. More interested in directing and writing (doesn't Rungano mean 'story-telling'), she turned to film making from 2009 on. The five shorts that bear her signature were selected in many festivals throughout the world and were multi-awarded. Two of them were filmed in her native Zambia, which is also the setting of her excellent first feature 'I Am Not a Witch' (2017), where she narrates, in a half-quizzical half-poetic tone, the misadventures of a nine-year girl arbitrarily accused of being a witch. An internationally acclaimed work that reveals Nyoni's talent to a wide audience while at the same time bringing little known Zambia to the fore.