Fiche Film
Walls of Leila
Pays concerné : Afrique du Sud
Genre : drame
Type : fiction


Leila (d’ethnie indienne), est obligée de mettre un terme à son histoire d’amour avec Derek (Africain Americain). Sa famille (malaisienne) pointe du doigt la différence raciale et de religion. WALLS OF LEILA (« LES MURS DE LEILA », en anglais) est une histoire d’amour dans l’Afrique urbaine.

Fiction, Kenya/Afrique du Sud.

Réalisatrice : Amirah Tajdin

Productrice : Wafa Tajdin

1er Long métrage fiction
Tournage : Nairobi, Kenya


Leila, is forced to come to terms with an intricate racial tapestry of family and a new found romance. A love story in urban Africa.

the story in a nutshell…

it’s a love story set in Cape Town South Africa that chronicles the life of Leila, a young Cape Malay girl who falls in love with an American boy, Derek, who happens to be black. When the intricacies and prejudices of race and religion (which are still very prominent in post colonial Cape Town) throw Leila off balance, she finds herself forced to make difficult decisions as well as questioning her own degree of prejudice. She is ultimately caught between breaking the hearts of her family and/or her lover.
This feature film would be my take on exploring these intricacies.

Fiction, Feature, Kenya/South Africa.
Dir: Amirah Tajdin

Prod: Wafa Tajdin

First feature film

Locations: Cape Town, South Africa

Actors used in the above short are not finalized cast. This is just a rough sketch of my vision.

This project successfully raised its funding goal on May 12, 2012, at KICKSTARTER.

what making this film means to me…

Walls of Leila is a story inspired the diversity of my personal racial and cultural background courtesy of the women in my family who are, were and continue to be responsible for carving out my destiny. By making the courageous and rebellious decisions they did when it came to matters of the heart, defying cultural, social, racial and religious norms, they provided me with an assortment of stories Iʼve felt obliged to explore through characters like Leila and Derek, the filmʼs protagonists.

After living in South Africa over the past 5 years, I came across the stories and characters who inspired the weaving up of Leila and her family and of course the complicated love affair she embarks on. I drew from these people and my own personal experiences dealing with racial, cultural, religious, generational and cosmopolitan concerns both positive and negative, that just about every third culture individual finds themselves faced with. This is especially sensitive in a world where labels are all too important and breaking away from these labels is just as imperative. It was from this juncture that I felt it necessary to try and articulate this rather confusing disposition that both Leila and Derek find themselves privy to. Dispositions that an entire post apartheid generation finds all too familiar, yet manage to balance, blur and blend into their way of a South African lifestyle they are re-writing.

the team who believe in me…

These are the amazing people who are bringing Leila and Derek’s story to life and have been fundamental in propelling my creative process. We’re all a bunch of cross-culture kids trying to make movies and make sense of our kaleidoscope backgrounds.

Lead Producer:
Wafa Tajdin, sister and business partner. A passion for journalism and telling the stories that matter led Wafa onto the path of filmmaking specifically with respect to producing human-interest stories from angles that are innovative, interesting and relevant to Africa in particular. During a production stint in Dubai she worked on a short film, titled Malal, shot entirely in Kerala, India which went on to win first prize at the Dubai International Film Festival 2010.

Sara T. Gama, amazing friend and talented filmmaker. Sara was born to a Saudi father and an American mother, and grew up traveling between both her countries feeling somewhat of a cultural vagabond. She is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of American University’s Film and Media Arts program, and has a Post-Graduate Diploma in 16mm and 35mm Filmmaking from the London Film School. In the process of earning her degrees, Sara wrote, produced and directed nine short films, and filled many camera, sound and editing roles as well. As a result of her own upbringing, Sara feels a particular affinity for Amirah’s contemporary, cross-cultural love story.

Imraan Jeeva & Omar Khan, Cape Townian cinephile’s. They are producers and financial consultants based in South Africa who have made a documentary on inequality (co-produced with Usayd Younis from the UK) as well as one on Somali immigrants in Johannesburg. They have also been involved with two award-winning short films, « Passion Gap » and « Classified Love ».

Lindsay Lindenbaum, the latest addition to the team and all round sweet soul. Lindsay is a New York-based director and producer. She has a B.A in Film & Media Studies and Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and an MFA in Documentary Filmmaking from the School of Visual Arts. Over the past two years, Lindsay has directed two award-winning short films, « Necking » and « Look to the Cookie, » which have been accepted into a number of festivals including the Vail Film Festival and the Documentary Edge Festival in New Zealand. Lindsay has also spent extensive time in Cape Town and hopes her love affair with the city can come to life on the silver screen with this project.

if you’re interested…

email us please!
Director: amirah.27th(@)
Lead Producer: wafa.eighty4(@)
Producer: saragama.8486(@)
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