13 year old Waly has not yet been circumcised. He is a laughing stock at work and the shame of the neighbourhood. Even the girl he has fallen for has rejected him. What can he do…that’s Waly’s problem!
El Hadj Gueye is from Touba, Senegal. Theatre is his passion and he founded Gëm Gëm Africa (Believe in Africa) Theatre Company in 2003, which has exhibited shows in cities across Senegal and in many festivals, including the Negro Arts Festival. Waly’s Problem is El Hadj’s first short film.
Nomalanga and her husband Sibusiso move into a new neighbourhood, and right across the street lives a mysterious widow whom everyone suspects of having killed her late husband. Intrigued and naive, Nomalanga decides to visit the widow and soon finds herself drawn to her mystery and charm.
Palesa Shongwe is an an independent filmmaker, scriptwriter and teacher. Her first film, Atrophy, won the Jury Award at the Oberhausen Short FF in Germany. She recently completed uNomalanga and the Witch, which won Best South African short at the Durban International Film Festival in 2015, before picking up the 2016 Baobab Award.
Hsan has been trying unsuccessfully for many months to find work. On his wife’s insistence, he seeks help from local politician Ammar, who tells him that he will get him a job under one condition: Hsan must paint his house purple, the colour of the ruling class party, adding a much needed splash of colour amid the uncertain times of the Tunisian Revolution!
Selim Gribaa is a Tunisian filmmaker and teacher of photography and video at the Higher Institute of Fine Arts in Tunisia. Selim started up his his own production company in 2012. The Purple House is his first short film.
A forbidden romance between two township teenagers, Kanyekanye (meaning together) tells the story of a town long divided by a line to mark territories belonging to the red and green camps. A young man from the green side falls in love with a girl from the red side of town. But can their love survive the colour divide?
Miklas Manneke graduated from the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance (AFDA) in 2013. His graduation film Kanyekanye was nominated for the Student Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Student Short Film and has gone on to win several festival awards, including the 2014 Baobab Award and the Audience Choice Awards at both the CinéSud Festival in France and the Chicago International Film Festival.
Eight year-old Sara lives with her mother, two brothers and her grandfather, Hashem. When Hashem suddenly dies, as women, Sara and her mother are forbidden to spend the night with him before his burial. Whilst her mother reluctantly complies, Sara defies tradition.
After studying in London, Tangier born Maryam Touzani moved back to Morocco and worked as a journalist, specialising in cinema. Soon, the necessity to express herself through her own films emerged. When They Slept won many awards at prestigious festivals around the world, including the 2013 Baobab Award. Her second short, Aya Goes to the Beach, was shortlisted for the 2016 Baobab Award.
This fantasy thriller tells the bewitching tale of an orphaned child with supernatural powers who is ‘adopted’ by a violent but empathetic tsotsi from the streets of Johannesburg. Made as part of the Focus Features Africa First programme, this sci-fi is a daring departure from conventional South African cinema.
Matthew Jankes studied film at the University of Cape Town and the South African School of Motion Picture Medium (AFDA), training in writing, directing and cinematography. In between making short films he directs, shoots and edits music videos. In 2010 he was part of the Africa First program helmed by Focus Features, which resulted in his first short Umkhongo (The Gift).
Mwansa the Great tells the story of an eight-year-old boy who aspires to be a hero and embarks on a journey to prove his greatness – with unexpected consequences. A gracefully shot film that is universal in its exploration of childhood and the power of the imagination.
Rungano Nyoni was born in Lusaka, Zambia and grew up in Wales. She made her first short film, Listen, in 2009 before Mwansa hit the festival circuit, winning many awards. Her first feature film, I Am Not A Witch, had its world premiere at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival and was critically acclaimed.