LIYANA :: An Aaron & Amanda Kopp documentary



Legendary South African storyteller Gcina Mhlope guides five orphans in The Kingdom of eSwatini through the process of creating a story. They workshop a gripping tale about a young girl, Liyana, who embarks on a dangerous quest to rescue her twin brothers - a fairytale story of perseverance drawn from their darkest memories and brightest dreams.

While the storytelling process is captured in traditional documentary style by eSwatini-born director Aaron Kopp and his wife Amanda, the tale the children are telling is gorgeously animated by Nigerian Shofela Coker, creating a unique hybrid film that Entertainment Weekly called “Gorgeous. Unlike any documentary you’ve ever seen.”

As their real and imagined worlds begin to converge, the children must choose what kind of story they will tell — in fiction, and in their own lives.


:: 100% critics rating, Rotten Tomatoes
:: Gex Doc Award, Giffoni, 2018
:: Best Documentary, Los Angeles Film Festival, 2017
:: Grand Prize, New York International Children's Film Festival, 2017
:: Award for Artistic Bravery & Special Mention, Durban, 2017
:: Grand Nile Prize, Luxor, 2018
:: Special Mention, Zanzibar, 2018
:: Over 35 international awards