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Nayola film image, director José Miguel Ribeiro


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North American Premiere

Angola, 1995: At the height of the civil war, Nayola scours combat zones and treks through perilous terrain in search of her husband, who has gone missing in battle. Sixteen years later, in the aftermath of the war, Nayola’s daughter Yara has grown up parentless. Now a politically conscious rap artist striving for social change, she circulates her own music illegally, in defiance of censorship. Wary of the police’s raids, her grandmother, Lelena, does her best to keep Yara hidden. One night, an encounter with a masked intruder pulls their family history—and the scars of war—into stark relief.

Featuring outstanding vocal performances from spoken word artist Elis Rita and rap artist Meduza, Nayola deftly incorporates a variety of stunning animation styles—ranging from realistic to impressionistic—to shift fluidly between dreams, reality, past, and present.

Like the striking and vivid graphic style of the animation, Nayola is bold and thrilling storytelling which combines its forceful message about the legacy of living through war with an almost mythic quality.”—Wendy Ide, Screen Daily


Elisângela Rita, Vitória Soares, Feliciana Délcia Guia, Marinela Furtado, José Adelino Barceló de Carvalho

Country of Origin





In Portuguese and Kimbundu with English subtitles

Film Contact
Content Warning

Violence; coarse language


Open to youth!

83 min
Animation Drama Human Rights & Social Justice

Book Tickets

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Original Music

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Art Director

José Miguel Ribeiro


José Miguel Ribeiro headshot, Nayola director

José Miguel Ribeiro

José Miguel Ribeiro graduated in Visual Arts at the Fine Art School in Lisbon and did further studies in drawing and animation. His film O Banquete da Rainha (1994) was awarded at the Cinanima International Animation Festival. He directed A Suspeita (2000), which won the Cartoon D’Or at the Cartoon Forum and more than 25 international awards. In 2004, he directed the series Home Things, where the protagonists are house objects: the mop, the toothbrush, the glasses, the vacuum cleaner, among others. The series was honoured with several international awards.