100% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes
This genre-defying film weaves an original animated hero’s journey with poetic documentary scenes to create an inspiring tale of perseverance.
“A joyous, affecting, and incredible piece of documentary filmmaking.”
–Chris Olson, UK Film Review
Under the guidance of acclaimed South African storyteller Gcina Mhlophe, five orphaned children from Swaziland collaborate to craft a collective fairytale drawn from their darkest memories and brightest dreams.
Their fictional character, Liyana, is brought to life in innovative animated artwork as she embarks on a perilous quest to rescue her young twin brothers. 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.
LIYANA is a tribute to creativity, the strength of the human spirit, and the healing power storytelling.
LIYANA has won more than 25 jury and audience awards and screened at more than 80 film festivals around the world.
"shows the optimism and self-awareness that can come from creativity."
"Two films in one, each unfolding with subtlety, sensitivity and strength. A wondrous accomplishment perched between the click of the light and the start of the dream"
"As tough as the subject matter may get at times, the film is guaranteed to be an uplifting one for viewers of all ages, with its emphasis placed on the joy of its subjects, whether it be in their everyday life or in the midst of their creative process."
"A spirited testament to the power of creativity - not only as a source of strength and joy, but as a way to access buried emotions."