Safiya The Movie

Huibert van Wijk 15'

Safiya (11) saw her parents split when she was young; her father’s frequent absence followed. Now part of a blended family, she strives to mend her bond with her biological father. We join aspiring actress Safiya through her daily life as she, with the support of her best friend and new stepsister, narrates her life story through concise fiction scenes. Will she succeed in finding a place for both father figures in her heart?

Nominated for ECFA Award at DOXS RUHR 2023 – Bochem, Germany
Award: Best documentary for children and youth
at II International Film Festival HERO, 2022 – Russia

Where to see in the Netherlands

Netherlands Film Festival Utrecht | educational program | 25.09.2023
Go Short Nijmegen Educational program | 4.2022
IDFA Junior | 11.2022
IDFA Kinderrechtendag  | 11.2021
Cinekid Festival Amsterdam (première) | 10.2021

Dutch Public Television broadcast at EOdocs | 12.12.21

Safiya the Movie and the seven other youth documentaries within the series “My Parents Are Divorced” can be seen here: Mijn ouders zijn gescheiden –


Where to see at International Film Festivals

DOXS RUHR Bochem, Germany | 25.10.2023
Nominated for the ECFA Award.

Safiya the Movie is a “film in film”. Director Huibert van Wijk accompanies eleven-year-old Safiya during the shooting of the film about her own story. Her parents divorced when she was one year old, and since then she has lived in a “bonus family.” The film shows how difficult it is for Safiya to live with her new family whilst also keeping in touch with her biological father. Playfully, it tells of misunderstandings and disappointments, but also of shared positive experiences.

Kids Kino International Film Festival in Poland | 2021
Hero, International Film Festival for Children and Youth in Russia | 2021

Impact statement

Numerous screenings of the film have taken place in both cinema and classroom settings for  students aged 9 to 12. Following the screenings, the young audiences had the opportunity to engage with a Spoken Word artist. During these sessions, the artist discussed the importance and value of using language to express emotions and personal experiences related to divorce.

Moreover, our collaboration with the Villa Pinedo Foundation marks a pivotal stride forward. By seamlessly integrating the documentary series into a dynamic educational program catering to students, teachers, youth workers, and local authorities, we embark on a transformative journey. These documentaries, rich with authentic narratives, serve as a potent catalyst, igniting conversations that delve into the experiences of children with divorced parents.

The power of these real-life stories lies not just in their emotional resonance, but also in their potential to reshape our society’s understanding of this often-overlooked aspect of family dynamics. By harnessing the films as poignant conversation starters, we aspire to spark a profound shift in how divorced parents and their children are perceived and supported.

In collaboration with Villa Pinedo, we arm our stakeholders with a comprehensive toolkit and a wealth of educational resources. This equips them to facilitate meaningful dialogues and provide invaluable guidance, ultimately empowering these children to navigate the complexities of their circumstances while preserving their innocence. This endeavor isn’t merely about creating awareness—it’s about catalyzing a positive, enduring change in our collective consciousness.

Contact us if you are a teacher and you want more information about a Spoken Word workshop in your class.
Or watch the film in the class, teachers can use this Lesson up educational material.


Director Huibert van Wijk

Years ago, amidst the crimson glow of my father’s darkroom, I developed a deep affection for film and resolved to embrace it as my medium. After a circuitous journey that included an urban sociology course, I eventually found my way to film school. The blend of my photography and sociology background still resonates in my work. Peering through the lens, I am drawn to exploring the threads that unite humanity. I seek to unravel the forces that bind us together and those that pull us apart. Moreover, I am intrigued by the question of our true selves when the identities we’ve crafted are tested. As a result, my creative focus consistently revolves around interpersonal dynamics, family, identity, and the spaces in between. I seek out characters who stand at personal crossroads, navigating the complexities of self in relation to others.


Director of Photography | Freek Zonderland
Edited by | Augustine Huijsser
Sound | Leleane Lindenaar
Research | Jill Mathon
Color grading | Laurent Fluttert
Editor  EOdocs | Janicke Bijlsma, Sharona Buijert
Commissioning editor |  Margit Balogh
Impact producer | Vera Born
Producer | Pieter Cerutti
Executive Producer | Willemijn Cerutti

With financial support from Dutch CoBO Fund.
Impactpartner | Villa Pinedo
Sales Agent | Dutch Core