When Buddha Comes to Africa

Film phase: Post Production


A glimpse into the complex relationship between China and Africa through the story of a Malawian teenager growing up in a Chinese Buddhist orphanage and a Buddhist monk on a mission to save orphans and spread his faith in Africa.


whenbuddha_nicole_schaferNicole Schafer has lived in Malawi where she produced video features for Reuters pan-African magazine show Africa Journal. Born in South Africa, Nicole has an MFA degree from the University of Cape Town. Her thesis film, The Ballad of Rosalind Ballingall (2005), about the disappearance of a young woman into South Africa’s Knysna forest, was shown at the Frijbourg International Film Festival (2006). She has also worked in the areas of research and production for local and international film and television productions.


When Buddha Comes to Africa received the IDFA “Most Promising Documentary Award” at the Durban Film Mart Doc Circle Pitch in 2011. The project has received production funding from the IDFA Bertha Fund and Hot Docs Blue Ice Fund. The film was part of the Hot Docs Deal Maker program at the Hot Docs festival in 2013, and was selected to participate in the IDFA World View Summer School Script Development program in 2013.