I Am Not a Witch

Rungano Nyoni

Shula is nine years old and lives in Zambia. One day, out of the blue, she is accused of witchcraft and ends up in a special camp for witches where women are tied to ribbons to prevent them from flying off, and tourists come to ‘watch the witches’. A bizarre, surreal story rich with gallows humour about witch hunts in Zambia.

Shula is a nine-year-old girl living on the streets. When she arrives at a village one day, she is accused of witchcraft because she was standing near a woman whose bucket fell off her head. After a short public tribunal, she is locked up in a special camp for witches, where she is tied to a ribbon to prevent her from flying away. She is put to work in the fields and forced to sing songs for tourists who come there to see the witches. A local civil servant sees potential in the girl and takes her under his wing. He brings her to court cases, where he has her point out the culprits, and arranges a television appearance.

Enchanting debut of filmmaker Rungano Nyoni, who was born in Zambia and grew up in Wales. Her film is based on real-life events in her native country. She was the first outsider in the world to spend time in one of the witch camps, observing up close how these outcast women live there.

I Am Not a Witch has been selected for the Students' Choice competition and is part of the Festival Favorites theme programme.

Students en CJP-holders pay € 5,- for the Students' Choice screenings.


Rungano Nyoni
Juliette Grandmont
Country of production
United Kingdom, France, Germany, Zambia
98 minutes
Spoken language
Bemba, English, Nyanja
Production company
Clandestine Films
World Sales
Dutch distributor
September Film Distribution