Liyana: Swaziland Animated Documentary

Liyana: Swaziland Animated Documentary

Liyana is an animated documentary told by 5 real life Swaziland kids. It is a hero’s journey- a tale of a brave, young girl that rescues her twin brothers from kidnappers. It is a story of transforming trauma into creativity and hope.

The animation was art directed by Kenneth Shofela Coker. The film premiered at the LA Film Festival on June 17 2017 and won the award for best documentary. It is currently touring the festival circuit in the US and internationally. Next stop- Durban


A Swazi girl embarks on a dangerous quest to rescue her young twin brothers. This animated African tale is born in the imaginations of five orphaned children in Swaziland who collaborate to tell a story of perseverance drawn from their darkest memories and brightest dreams. Their fictional character’s journey is interwoven with poetic and observational documentary scenes to create a genre-defying celebration of collective storytelling.

LIYANA is a film that gives our young storytellers the stage. We hope the audience will be enchanted by the children’s imaginations in the same way that we are. We believe this film will play a role in deconstructing stereotypes and challenging the prevalent, simplistic narrative of African orphans. LIYANA pays tribute to my childhood in the Kingdom of Swaziland. And at its heart, the film is a meditation on the transformative power of storytelling – an ode to the creative spirit.

Liyana: Behind the Scenes