BUDDHA IN AFRICA :: A Nicole Schafer documentary

Buddha in Africa, Documentary


In a Chinese Buddhist orphanage in Africa, a Malawian teenager finds himself torn between his African roots and Chinese upbringing. Once the star performer with dreams of becoming a martial arts hero like Jet Li, Enock is now in his final year of school and has to make some tough decisions about his future. Will he return to his relatives in his home village or study abroad in Taiwan?

Set against China’s expanding influence on the continent, Buddha in Africa provides a unique insight into the forces of cultural soft power on the identity and imagination of an African boy and his school friends growing up between two cultures.  

Directed by South African writer/producer, Nicole Schafer, Buddha in Africa was praised by Variety as “a sensitive portrayal of a young man torn between the kung-fu dreams and Confucian doctrine of his Buddhist upbringing, and a Malawian culture whose powerful roots might ultimately be holding him back… A complicated portrait of what’s been described as the latest chapter in Africa’s long struggle against colonization.”


:: Screened at IDFA 2019, arguably the world’s top documentary festival, as part of their prestigious Best of Fests line-up
:: Winner of the 2019 Youth Jury/Media Bridge Award for Best Documentary Feature at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival
:: Won Best South African Documentary at the 2019 Durban International Film Festival
:: Screened at HotDocs 2019 - North America’s top documentary festival
:: Opening night film at Encounters South African International Documentary Festival 2019