Rungano Nyoni was born in Lusaka Zambia, Rungano meaning "Story" or "Storyteller" in the Shona tribe. Coming from a theatre background she only started directing films in 2006. Her first film was called "Yande" ("My Great Happiness" in Bemba), a film she wrote and shot on black and white super 8mm that dealt with the fashion for African Women who westernised their appearance and mannerisms in order to conform to an "ideal". The narrative was taken from the writings of French philosopher, Michel de Montaigne, from his extract,'On the Cannibals'. She draws heavily from Docu-Drama style of Directing and is very actor driven in the way she approaches her filmmaking using a lot of devising and improvisational techniques in her films. Her influences include Shane Meadows, Danny Boyle, Coppolla and Isabelle Huppert. Her favourite films include Festen, The Fall and La Pianiste (the Piano Teacher).
Rungano Nyoni was born in Zambia and raised in Wales. She graduated from Central St Martins with an MA Acting. She has made a number of shorts including BAFTA Cymru winner "The List" and BAFTA nominee "Mwansa the Great", as well as written the Locarno Golden Leopard winner "The Mass of Men". She was selected for the Nordic Factory where she co-directed the short "Listen" which premiered in Directors' Fortnight and qualified for an Oscar. In 2013, Rungano participated in the Cannes Cinéfondation Residence programme.
I Am Not a Witch (2017) is her first feature drama ; selected at Directors Fortnight 2017, Cannes, France, World Premiere.
updated by Thierno I. Dia, Africiné Magazine