Deeply moving...beautifully crafted...a lyrical work that’s as bright and captivating as it is poignant.
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LIYANA is a story born in the imaginations of five orphaned children in the Kingdom of Swaziland. The film follows the children as they collaborate to tell the original tale of Liyana, a fictional character whose early life bears remarkable similarities to their own. The children transform their darkest memories and brightest dreams into fuel for their fairy tale.

Liyana is brought to life in innovative animated artwork as she embarks on a dangerous quest to rescue her young twin brothers. The children’s real and imagined worlds begin to converge, and they must choose what kind of story they will tell - in fiction and in their own lives. This inspiring tale of perseverance is a tribute to creativity, the strength of the human spirit, and the healing power of storytelling.

“GORGEOUS. Unlike any documentary you’ve ever seen before." - Entertainment Weekly

“BRILLIANT. POWERFUL. The world desperately needs to see more stories like this.”- Shadow & Act

"MASTERFUL. Authentic & Bold." - World Pulse

“Part documentary, part animation, and PURE MAGIC" - Sunday Times South Africa

Played at

Glendale, 10.19.18 - 10.25.18
Rated NR
Runtime: 77 min
Language: English
FEATURED REVIEW: Matt Fagerholm, RogerEbert.com
Amidst all the wondrous visuals, both real and imagined, in Aaron and Amanda Kopp’s “Liyana,” the most resonant of them all are the beautiful faces of its young storytellers, gleaming with excitement at their evolving creation. Five children living at Likhaya Lemphi...