November 13, 2018, 7:30 P.M.

Interactive Media Building Screening Room, SCI 106, 3470 McClintock Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90007

Outside the Box [Office] and Film Movement invite you and a guest to a special screening of

I Am Not a Witch

Written and Directed by Rungano Nyoni
Produced by Juliette Grandmont and Emily Morgan

Followed by a Q&A with Rungano Nyoni

7:30 P.M. on Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

Interactive Media Building Screening Room, SCI 106,
3470 McClintock Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90007



WINNER: BAFTA, Outstanding Debut by British Writer, Director or Producer; Best Director, British Independent Film Award; Best Directorial Debut, Stockholm Film Festival; Best Film, Adelaide Film Festival; Jury Prize, Sarasota Film Festival; Grand Jury Prize, Oak Cliff Film Festival.

Official Selection:
Cannes Film Festival, Director’s Fortnight; Sundance Film Festival; AFI Fest; Palm Springs Int’l Film Festival.

Official Entry: 91st Academy Awards® Best Foreign Language Film – United Kingdom.

About I Am Not a Witch

When eight-year-old Shula turns up alone and unannounced in a rural Zambian village, the lo-cals are suspicious. A minor incident escalates to a full-blown witch trial, where she is found guilty and sentenced to life on a state-run witch camp. There, she is tethered to a long white ribbon and told that if she ever tries to run away, she will be transformed into a goat. As the days pass, Shula begins to settle into her new community, but a threat looms on the horizon. Soon she is forced to make a difficult decision – whether to resign herself to life on the camp, or take a risk for freedom.

Provided courtesy of Film Movement. Not rated. Running time: 93 minutes. In English and Nyanja, with English Subtitles.

Visit the Official Website: https://www.filmmovement.com/theatrical/film/i-am-not-a-witch


Director's Statement

I Am Not a Witch came about because of a huge spate of witch accusations that took place over a particularly dry summer in Zambia. What drew me in particular was that these accusations of witchcraft were almost always aimed at Women. Naturally this added to my curiosity. I soon saw this phenomena repeated throughout different parts of Africa. Eventually my research took me to Ghana. For over a month I stayed in one of the oldest Witch Camps in the world (over 200 years old) – the first foreigner to sleep there apparently.

It’s my stay at the ‘witch camp’ that informed the script. I observed the life at the camp, how they were organized, the routines and characters. For example the character of Tembo was inspired by the Keeper whose father and father’s father were charged to look after and oversee the witches’ welfare. A job that had been passed down his family for over 100 years. I observed how limited these women’s lives had become based on nothing more than hearsay. I also witnessed the hostility of the locals towards the women in the camp.

What was particularly shocking in Zambia is that it’s a country dominated by Bembas (my Maternal Tribe). The Bemba people are Matriarchal. We pride ourselves in the equality between Men and Women. Women were in the army and police long before many Western Countries admitted them. Women could divorce just as easily as Men. Women can own land and inherit just as a Man does. Even our names are gender neutral. It’s this apparent contradiction that held my curiosity.

-- Rungano Nyoni

About the Guest

RUNGANO NYONI (Writer, Director)

Rungano Nyoni participated in the Cannes Cinéfondation Residence programme in 2013 and was selected for the Nordic Factory where she co-directed and co-wrote the short Listen which was selected for over 150 film festivals and premiered in Directors Fort-night. It won over seventy awards including the Oscar qualifying Best Short Narrative Prize at Tribeca Film Festival (2015). Nyoni also directed the award winning and BAFTA nominated Mwansa The Great, as well as writing the Locarno Golden Leopard winner The Mass of Men. She graduated from Central St Martins with an MA in Acting.

About Outside the Box [Office]

Outside the Box [Office] is a weekly showcase for upcoming releases highlighting world cinema, documentary and independent film titles. Recognizing a need for greater diversity on campus, the series will draw from around the globe to present movies that may challenge, inspire or simply entertain.

To view the calendar of screenings, click here

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Check-In & Reservations

This screening is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid USC ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 7:15 P.M.

All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $12.00 at the USC Royal Street Entrance, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & Royal Street. We recommend the USC Royal Street Structure, at the far end of 34th Street. Limited street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago
Email: aago@cinema.usc.edu