Buddha in Africa


TIFF Bell Lightbox 3 Sat, Apr 27, 2019 6:00 PM
Scotiabank Theatre 8 Mon, Apr 29, 2019 1:00 PM
Scotiabank Theatre 3 Sun, May 5, 2019 10:15 AM
Film Info
Country Listing:South Africa
Premiere Status:World Premiere
Festival Info
Festival Year:2019
Language:Mandarand Chichewa
Accessibility:Full Subtitles
Program Category:International Spectrum
Film Subjects:Africa
Children & Youth
Religion & Spirituality
By Program - Sort:Closed Captions & Full Subtitles
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):Nicole Schafer
Producer(s):David Herdies
Nicole Schafer
Executive Producer(s):Don Edkins
Editor(s):Mary Stephen
Bernhard Winkler
Nicole Schafer
Catherine Meyburgh
Writer(s):Nicole Schafer
Cinematography:Nicole Schafer
Sound:Ted Krotkiewski


A Malawian boy raised in a Chinese Buddhist orphanage is torn between his African culture and Confucian values. As a child he was a star performer and poster boy for the orphanage's cultural activities. He travelled widely and harboured dreams of becoming a martial artist like Jet Li. But now, in his final year of school, Enock is leaving childish things behind and making difficult decisions about his future. Will he return to live with relatives in his village or study abroad? Enock and his classmates negotiate the pros and cons of cultural assimilation as they try to find middle ground between losing their mother tongue, but gaining educational and financial possibilities, feeling like outsiders within their own community yet attracting foreign interest. 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 as they try to make sense of an increasingly globalized world and the cost of opportunity that comes at the price of identity.