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White Shadow is a 2013 internationally co-produced drama film written, produced and directed by Noaz Deshe.[1][2] An international co-production between Germany, Italy and Tanzania, the film premiered in Critics’ Week selection at the 70th Venice International Film Festival on September 2, 2013. It won the Lion of the future award at the festival.[3][4]

White Shadow
White Shadow poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed byNoaz Deshe
Produced byNoaz Deshe
Ginevra Elkann
Babak Jalali
Matthias Luthardt
Francesco Melzi d'Eril
Alexander Wadouh
Written byNoaz Deshe
James Masson
StarringHamisi Bazili
James Gayo
Glory Mbayuwayu
Salum Abdallah
Music byJames Masson
Noaz Deshe
CinematographyNoaz Deshe
Armin Dierolf
Edited byNoaz Deshe
Xavier Box
Robin Hill
Nico Leunen
Asmara Films
Mocajo Film production
Release date
Running time
115 minutes

The film later premiered in-competition in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 17, 2014.[5][6] The film also screened at 2014 San Francisco International Film Festival on May 4, 2014.[7][8] Ryan Gosling along with Matteo Ceccarini and Eva Riccobono served as the executive producers of the film.[9][10]



Alias, a young Albino, is on the run from the local doctors, who are hunting Albinos to use their body parts for potions.


  • Hamisi Bazili as Alias
  • James Gayo as Kosmos
  • Glory Mbayuwayu as Antoinette
  • Salum Abdallah as Salum
  • Riziki Ally as Mother
  • John S. Mwakipunda as Anulla
  • Tito D. Ntanga as Father
  • James P. Salala as Adin


White Shadow received mostly positive reviews from critics. Guy Lodge of Variety, said in his review that "Noaz Deshe makes a staggering debut with this drama about the African albino multi trade."[11] Boyd van Hoeij in his review for The Hollywood Reporter said that "This harrowing account of a young albino's fight for survival in Tanzania is too long but nonetheless often gripping."[12] Jessica Kiang of Indiewire grade the film B+ and praised the film by saying that "We have to admit, it first took a lot of our patience, and then all of our nerve, to make it through to the end, but that simply makes it a film that is exactly as upsetting as its subject matter warrants."[13]


Year Award Category Recipient Result
2014 Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic Noaz Deshe Nominated
Venice Film Festival Lion of the future Noaz Deshe Won[3]
San Francisco International Film Festival New Directors Prize - Special mention Noaz Deshe Won
New Horizons Film Festival Grand Prix Noaz Deshe Won


  1. ^ "Noaz Deshe on his Film, White Shadow: A Fight for Survival in East Africa". Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  2. ^ "Sundance Interview with Noaz Deshe, director of White Shadow". Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "70th Venice Film Festival Award Winners: Gianfranco Rosi's SACRO GRA, Tye Sheridan for David Gordon Green's JOE & Gabe Klinger's DOUBLE PLAY Doc". Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  4. ^ "The 70th Venice Film Festival is a Historic Mess -- and Still a Thing of Beauty". Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  5. ^ "Sundance 2014: World Cinema Dramatic Competition". Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  6. ^ "Sundance trailer of the day: 'White Shadow' [video]". Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  7. ^ "12 Must-See Films and One We Defy You to Sit Through at the SFIFF". Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  8. ^ "Every San Franciscan's Guide to the San Francisco International Film Festival". Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  9. ^ "Venice 2013 Critic's Notebook: A Means of Escape — African Cinema on the Lido". Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  10. ^ "Matteo Ceccarini LATimes". 2013.
  11. ^ "Sundance Film Review: 'White Shadow'". Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  12. ^ "White Shadow: Sundance Review". Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  13. ^ "Sundance Review: Noaz Deshe's Disturbing, Distressing Venice Winner 'White Shadow'". Retrieved April 14, 2014.

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