Country: Portugal

Director: José Miguel Ribeiro

Animators: Elie Klimis, João Monteiro, João Silva, Johanna Bessiere, Lisandro Schurjin, Luis Vital, Patrick Raats 

Voicing: Elisângela Kadina Rita, Catarina André, Marinela Furtado Veloso, Feliciana Delcia Guia, Vitória Adelino Dias Soare

Genre: Animation / Adventure

90 minutes: Portuguese with English subtitles – 2022

About this Film

A painful secret, a reckless search, a combat song, a suspended love, and an initiatory journey.  

Past and present interlace in this animation set in Angola and featuring three generations of women plagued by the long civil war. Nayola (the daughter) goes in search of her missing husband at the height of the war and has not yet returned. Yara (the granddaughter) has become a rebellious teenager and subversive rap singer. Lelena (the grandmother) tries to contain her for fear of the police coming to arrest her. What next…?!

Rich and riveting visuals and a touch of magic-realism combine with a compelling narrative told entirely from a female point of view to great emotive effect.  Based on a play by acclaimed writers José Eduardo Agualusa and Mia Couto, Nayola is the third animation feature film directed by José Miguel Ribeiro.  Following its premiere at the world’s top animation festival in Annecy, NAYOLA subsequently won a number of awards including at the Guadalajara IFF, Manchester, Bucheon and São Paulo.


There’s something so rich, so saturated about the hues that you almost feel that you could taste them. And like its striking and vivid graphic style, Nayola is bold and thrilling storytelling.
Wendy Ide, Screen International

What struck me the most is the relationship between the past and the present, and how one’s actions ripple into future generations. 
Marlio, Letterboxd

Impeccably made, featuring inventive and beautiful animation. 
Rob Aldam, Backseat Mafia

Audiovisually, ‘Nayola’ is eye candy – the colour contrasts are so bright and beautifully coloured that you will be blown away at times.
Nick Majchrowicz, Cinemamagazine

A complex social portrait that shows the dark abysses of humanity as well as upholds the hope for a better future.
Petra Shrackmann, Outnow