Zambian filmmaker Rungano Nyoni has achieved the seemingly impossible. Her first Directorial feature film ‘I am not a witch’, which she also wrote, made it’s debut at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival last year.
The film, which is a satire about a nine-year-old girl accused of witchcraft in Zambia, has gone on to play at every major film festival; and has won several awards, including a BAFTA for ‘Outstanding Debut’. The film has also won ‘Best Director’, ‘Best Feature Film’, ‘Best International Film’ and ‘Best Directorial Breakthrough’ awards.
But Rungano didn’t set out to be a filmmaker – she actually studied for a Masters degree in acting before deciding she preferred being behind the camera and not in front of it. Since making that decision, Rungano has written and directed 6 short films.
Rungano sat down with me at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) to talk about filmmaking and the challenges of being a black woman in the industry.