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White Shadow

Noaz Deshe
Tanzania, Germany, Italy 2013 / 115’
New Horizons Competition - Grand Prix & Audience Award

In Tanzania, Kenya and Congo albinos are considered a lucrative commodity and shamans pay fortunes for these Africans’ body parts and organs believing that amulets they fashion from their whitened bodies bring luck and prosperity. Alias is a young albino from a Tanzanian village sent by his mother to the city to find protection after witnessing the brutal murder of his albino father. After finding shelter with his uncle, he quickly becomes disenchanted with street life and moves to a hut on the city outskirts inhabited by a group of albino children. There, he learns there is no way to escape from his genetic heritage and only acceptance offers physical and spiritual balance. The director eschews using a single style – some scenes are shot with raw documentary precision while others shimmer with impressionistic tones while a dynamically roving camera, unexpected retrospections and unsettling voices seeping in from outside the frame heighten viewer anxiety.

Adam Horowski


Venice IFF 2013 - Luigi De Laurentiis Award for a Debut Film, Andrey Tarkovsky International Film Festival 2014 - Best Director

Noaz Deshe

He is an Israeli artist who lives and works in Berlin, best known for two documentary films, Boysgirls (2001) and Search Agent Zerox (2001). In 2009, he composed the music to Frontier Blues directed by Babaka Jalali and has written a graphic novel entitled In Case We Never Meet Again,  which is awaiting publication. White Shadow is his feature debut which received the prestigious Luigi De Laurentiis Award at the 2013 Venice Film Festival.


2001 Boysgirls (short doc.)

2001 Search Agent Zerox (doc.)

2013 Biały cień / White Shadow

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Cast & Crew

director Noaz Deshe
screenplay Noaz Deshe, James Masson
cinematography Armin Dierolf, Noaz Deshe
editing Noaz Deshe, Xavier Box, Robin Hill, Nico Leunen
music James Masson, Noaz Deshe
sound Elie Chansa
cast Hamisi Bazili, James Gayo, Glory Mbayuwayu, Salum Abdallah, Riziki Ally, Tito D. Ntanga, James P. Salala, John S. Mwakipunda, Nuru Mgazza, Pastor Bryson
producer Ginevra Elkann, Noaz Deshe, Francesco Melzi d’Eril
production Asmara Films, Mocajo Film, Shadoworks
sales Premium Films
language Suahili
colouration colour