Witch doctors in Tanzania offer thousands of dollars for albino body parts, believed to bring good fortune, prosperity and the ability to cure any illness. As a result, albinos, including children, have been murdered by gangs of men who hack off arms, legs or genitals. WHITE SHADOW, the filmmaking debut of Israeli artist-turned-filmmaker Noaz Deshe and executive produced by Ryan Gosling, is the story of Alias (impressively played by newcomer Hamisi Bazili), a young albino boy on the run. Following its triumphant festival play, which included a Sundance Grand Jury nomination and the Best Debut at the Venice Film Festival, the powerful drama will make its North American home entertainment debut on DVD and all leading digital channels on September 29, only from IndiePix Films®.
There is a saying in East Africa, “Albinos don’t die, they just disappear” and seventy-three such documented killings have occurred in the past several years as well as hundreds of unreported attacks since 2007. After witnessing his father’s murder, Alias’ mother sends him away to find refuge in the city and the young albino boy is brought to the care of his uncle, Kosmos, a truck driver struggling with a few small businesses. In the city, Alias is a quick learner, selling sunglasses, DVDs and mobile phones. He is fond of his uncle’s daughter, Antoinette, although his uncle disapproves. Unfortunately for Alias, however, the city becomes no different than the bush and wherever he travels the same chilling rules of survival apply.
After director Deshe accepted the Luigi De Laurentiis Award at the Venice Film Festival in 2013, WHITE SHADOW would go on to capture numerous awards and universal acclaim in 2014, including a Grand Jury Prize nomination at Sundance, the Grand Prix and Audience Award at the T-Mobile New Horizons International Film Festival in Poland; the New Director’s Prize at the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Cinevision Award at Munich, as well as Best Feature at the UK’s East End Film Festival and Best Director at South Africa’s Durban International Film.
Directed by Deshe with a screenplay by Deshe and James Mason and cinematography by Armin Dierholf, the cast of WHITE SHADOW includes Bazili as Alias, James Gayo (Kosmos), Glory Mbayuwayu (Antoinette) and Salum Abdallah (Salum).
Says Deshe, “While preparing to teach in Dar Es Salaam, I learned about the hunting of albinos in East Africa. I decided a film must be made: a real chronicle of a young person with a price on his head, a person who has to urgently become aware of his own condition against events that can end his life.” Of Deshe’s electrifying debut, executive producer Gosling said the film is a “transporting work of truly visceral filmmaking” and would go on to earn universal international praise. Called “ambitious” by Paste Magazine and “bruisingly told…undeniably effective” by Indiewire’s Playlist, WHITE SHADOW is a haunting film audiences won’t soon forget.