Liyana Red Carpet Premiere
Liyana premiered in New York City at the IFC Center on Tuesday, October 9th. The red carpet featured Emmy-winning actress and the film’s Executive Producer Thandie Newton. She joined co-directors Aaron and Amanda Kopp, animator Shofela Coker, and three of the film’s young protagonists and storytellers Phumlani Mahlangu, Nomcebo Tsabedze, and Zweli Msane.
Produced in association with Shine Global, the film features South African storyteller Gcina Mhlophe guiding the children at an orphanage in Swaziland through a collaborative storytelling process. Their titular fictional character, Liyana, is brought to life in gorgeous animated artwork from artist Shofela Coker. The children’s real and imagined worlds begin to converge, and they must choose what kind of story they will tell — in fiction and in their own lives.
The film has won over 26 festival awards and currently has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The New York Times says the film “breaks free of the heaviness that can weigh down an issue-based documentary” featuring “strikingly rendered animation from Shofela Coker” and ultimately “shows the optimism and self-awareness that can come from creativity.”
While RogerEgbert.com says “the film is guaranteed to be an uplifting one for viewers of all ages” saying that “amidst all the wondrous visuals, both real and imagined, in… Liyana, the most resonant of them all are the beautiful faces of its young storytellers”
Liyana will be screening at the Maysles Documentary Center in Harlem, NYC starting on October 10th before opening in LA and cities across the country. For a list of upcoming screenings or for information on how to bring the film to your theater visit www.liyanathemovie.com/screenings/