Fiche Film
LONG Métrage | 2019
Buddha in Africa
Pays concerné : Afrique du Sud
Durée : 90 minutes
Genre : société
Type : documentaire


L’histoire personnelle d’Enock Alu, un adolescent qui a grandi dans un orphelinat bouddhiste chinois au Malawi. Il est confronté à des défis, entre ses racines africaines et son éducation chinoise.

Un film de Nicole SCHAFER, avec Enock Alu

Productrice : Nicole Schafer

Réalisatrice : Nicole Schafer
Scénario : Nicole Schafer

Date de sortie initiale : 27 avril 2019

Best South African Documentary – Durban International Film Festival, 2019
Best International Documentary – Visioni dal Mondo International Documentary Festival, 2019
Audience Award – Encounters, 2019
Best Documentary – Knysna Film Festival, 2019
Winner – Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, 2019
Japan Prize – International Contest for Educational Media, 2019
Best Documentary – Universal Martial Arts Festival, 2020
Best Achievement in Directing a Documentary Feature – SAFTAs 14th Annual Awards, 2020
Best Documentary Feature – SAFTAs 14th Annual Awards, 2020
Sélectionné pour le Festival Vues d’Afrique 2021


A Malawian boy, raised in a Buddhist orphanage, struggles to retain his cultural identity.

The personal story of a teenager growing up in a Chinese Buddhist orphanage in Malawi and the challenges he faces between his African roots and Chinese upbringing.

In a Chinese Buddhist orphanage in Africa,the film follows Enock Alu, a Malawian teenager from a rural village growing up between the contrasting worlds of his traditional African culture and the strict discipline of the Confucian, Buddhist value system of the Chinese. Once the star performer with dreams of becoming a martial arts hero like Jet Li, Enock, in his final year at school, has to make some tough decisions about his future and finds himself torn between returning to his relatives in the village or going abroad to study in Taiwan. Against the backdrop of China’s global rise and influence in Africa, the film is a subtle exploration of the forces of cultural soft power on the identity and imagination of an African boy and his school friends growing up between two cultures.

A film by Nicole SCHAFE, With Enock Alu

Running time: 90 min 33 sec

Aspect Ratio: 2k/1920×1080 (16:9)

Frame Rate: 25

Resolution: 1920×1080

Sound: Dolby 5.1 or Stereo

Country: South Africa, Sweden, Malawi

Year: 2019

Languages: Chichewa, Chewa, Nyanja, Chinese (Mandarin) with English Subtitles (Burnt in)

Colour: HD

Screening copy: DCP SMPTE on NTFS Drive

Nicole Schafer / Thinking String Media

David Herdies / Momento Film

Executive Producer
Don Edkins

Directed by Nicole Schafer
Writer: Nicole Schafer
Cinematography:Nicole Schafer
Sound: Ted Krotkiewski
Sound Designer: Ted Krotkiewski
Editors: Mary Stephen // Bernhard Winkler // Nicole Schafer // Catherine Meyburgh
Production Coordinator: Rim Boujemaa

Sound studio
Momento Studio

International Sales

With support from
IDFA Bertha Fund

« Buddha in Africa » is now available on AfriDocs, a free online streaming platform across Africa.

« Buddha in Africa » is now available on Showmax

Festivals in selection

2019 AFRIFF – Africa International Film Festival – Afriff | Nov 2019 | Lagos, Nigeria
* Showing on11 Nov, at 12 Noon in the FILMHOUSE LANDMARK SCREEN 5

* Grand Prix award /// with the following motivation: « The director sensitively addresses topical and controversial subjects-religion, cultural conflict, and Chinese expansionism in Africa. It’s complicated ground for a filmmaker to tread, but this work shines with compassion and subtlety. »

2019 AfrikaEyeFest | Nov 2019 | Bristol, UK
* Selection

2019 UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival | Oct 2019 | Florence, Italy
* Selection

2019 Carthage Film Festival – JCC | October 2019 | Tunisia
* Selection

2019 Cambridge Film Festival | October 2019 | UK
* Selection

2019 IDFA | Amsterdam
* Selection

2019 Afrikanische Filmtage München Film Festival | October 2019 | Munich, Germany
* Opening Film: Thursday 10th October

2019 Knysna Film Festival
* Selection

2019 VIFF – Vancouver International Film Festival | October 2019
* Selection

2019 | 5th Visioni dal Mondo, Immagini dalla Realtà Documentary Festival | 12-15 Sept 2019 | Milan, Italy
* International Competition
* European Premiere
* Premio per il miglior documentario internazionale (Best International Documentary)

2019 Hilton Arts Festival | Sept 2019 | South Africa
*Screening: Sat 14th Sept 5:30 pm + Q&A
*Screening: Sun 15th Sept at 10:00 am

2019 | 40th Durban International Film Festival | July 2019 | South Africa
* Best South African Documentary
* Consideration for an Oscar nomination (the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences, USA).

2019 Encounters – 21st South African International Documentary Festival | 6-16 June 2019 | Johannesbur & Cape Town, South Africa
* Audience Choice Award

2019 Hot Docs – Canadian International Documentary Festival | June 2019 | Canada
* Official Competition
* World premiere

2011 | Durban International Film Festival | South Africa
* Pitched project: at the Durban FilmMart in 2011
* IDFA Most Promising Documentary Award
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