Zambian Film ‘I Am Not a Witch’ Debuts On Netflix
14 March 2019
The award-winning Zambian film “I Am Not a Witch” will be the country’s first film to debut on Netflix. It joins other African films, such as “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” on the international streaming service.
I Am Not a Witch, a Zambian film about an eight-year-old girl, played by Maggie Mulubwa, earned the Outstanding Debut award at the 2018 BAFTA’s and will now debut on Netflix.
Just like The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, the film was shot in a country with little infrastructure to support the project but the filmmakers decided to stay true to the story and its setting regardless of these challenges. Nyoni’s aesthetic as a self-taught cineaste began when she was first introduced to the concept of arthouse filmmaking by Michael Haneke in his film The Piano Teacher. For her feature debut, Nyoni envisioned a Wales-based project, given that she grew up there. Instead she found herself in Zambia, making a low-budget film that “ticks all the wrong boxes for first-time filmmakers, working with multiple nationalities, animals, amateurs and children in a country with little in the way of infrastructure,” reported the entertainment news site Deadline Hollywood.
This Zambian fairytale is unique, beguiling and just strange enough to be magical. The entire process took four years, but Nyoni’s efforts bore fruit with the film first garnering awards and now debuting on a platform that has a viewership in the millions.