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Trailer


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Trailer


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THE FILM


THE FILM


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ABOUT THE FILM

LIYANA is a genre-defying documentary that tells the story of five children in the Kingdom of Eswatini who turn past trauma into an original fable about a girl named Liyana who embarks on a perilous quest to save her young twin brothers. The film weaves her animated journey together with poetic documentary scenes to create an inspiring tale of perseverance and hope.

Executive produced by Emmy-winner Thandie Newton, and produced by Oscar-winner Daniel Junge, LIYANA features innovative animated artwork by Shofela Coker and an original score by Philip Miller. Critically acclaimed as exquisite, a staggering feature debut, and one of the year's very best, LIYANA has played at festivals around the world, including the British Film Institute's London Film Festival and MoMA's Doc Fortnight, and has won 35 jury and audience awards so far. The Sunday Times describes Aaron & Amanda Kopp's directorial debut as, part documentary, part animation, and pure magic.

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Blog


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PRESS


PRESS


PRESS


"A lyrical work that’s as bright and captivating as it is poignant."

– The Hollywood Reporter

 

"Gorgeous… unlike any documentary you've ever seen."

– Entertainment Weekly

 

“True Art”

“Shot through with equal parts trauma and hope”

– Los Angeles Times

“guaranteed to be an uplifting one for viewers of all ages” 

– RogerEbert.com

 

"Brilliant… The world desperately needs to see more stories like this."

– Shadow & Act

★★★★★

"A joyous, affecting, and incredible piece of documentary filmmaking.”

– UK Film Review

 

“Uplifting”

“Shows the optimism and self-awareness that can come from creativity.”

– The New York Times

 

"Masterful, authentic, & bold"

– World Pulse

 

“The overwhelming feeling you get from watching “Liyana” is one of hope.”

– Alliance of Women Film Journalists 

  

“Necessary, heroic, and powerfully healing”

– Paste Magazine

  

“A staggering feature debut.”

– Awards Circuit

 

★★★★★

 “A joyous celebration of storytelling & animation.”

– The Sprout

 

"The standout film for me this year."

– Huffington Post

  

“Made me stare at the screen in wide eyed wonder… An absolute must see”

– Unseen Films

 

“magical. pure cinema.”

– Hammer To Nail

 

“The plot is as thrilling as any classic adventure, unfolding with verve and suspense.”

– OPEEQO 

 

“A new female-led African myth”

– Women and Hollywood

 

“A universal tale so richly realized… Truly special and compelling to watch."

– Cinemacy

 

“A gorgeous tale of loss and light… 5 out of 5 stars”

– City Press

★★★★★

“It is a celebration of the creative act.”

– Critical Movie Critics

 

“A wondrous accomplishment.”

– Midwest Film Journal

★★★★★ 

“It's impossible not to fall in love.”

– Common Sense Media

 

“No one will leave a showing of Liyana with a heavy heart.”

– People’s World

 

“Defies your expectations of a documentary at every turn.”

– Film Dispenser

 

“Liyana Weaves a Stunning Folk Tale From Trauma”

– Nonfics

  

“If the rule is ‘show, don’t tell,’ then LIYANA is a success.”

  – LA Weekly

★★★★★

“easily one of the best films of the year.”

– Filmoria

 

"Part documentary, part animation, pure magic"

– Sunday Times


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