by Maéva Ranaïvojaona, Georg Tiller
Country: Austria, France
Year: 2020
Duration: 79

A young woman works as a guard in an overcrowded prison in Madagascar. She passes the time daydreaming about her father, a murderer who abandoned her as a child after killing his own brother. In her imagination, her father becomes a mythical killer, wandering the countryside and rolling enchanted dice to decide the fate of his victims. Secretly, she yearns for the day he might turn up amongst the prisoners. When a new inmate arrives claiming to know her father, the young woman‘s fantasies begin to turn to nightmares.


film director

Maéva Ranaïvojaona

(Toulouse, France, 1983) is a French-Malagasy director, writer and producer. After studying at the National Fine Art Academy of Dijon and Bourges, she wrote and directed two short films, Domicile (2012) and Phasme (2016), presented in numerous festival, such as International Film Festival Rotterdam and Cannes Film Festival. Zaho Zay (2020), co-directed with Georg Tiller, is her first feature film.


Domicile (cm, 2012), Phasme (cm, 2016), Zaho Zay (The Dice Killer, coregia Georg Tiller, 2020).

Georg Tiller

(Vienna, Austria, 1982) works as director, writer and producer. He studied film and television with Harun Farocki at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and then directing and cinematography with Michael Haneke and Christian Berger at the Film Academy of Vienna and at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (dffb). He realized experimental films included in exhibitions in art galleries and museums (such as the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris). He is currently managing director of Subobscura Films in Austria.


Km 43.3 Der Transsylvanische Holzfall (km 43.3 Transylvanian Timber, doc, mm, 2007), Der Turm Des Ornithologen (The Tower of Birds, doc, cm, 2008), Vargtimmen – Nach Einer Szene Von Ingmar Bergman (Vargtimmen – after a scene by Ingmar Bergman, cm, 2011), Persona Beach (2011), Dmd Kiu Lidt (mm, 2014), White Coal (doc, 2015), Overnights Flies (2016), Zaho Zay (The Dice Killer, coregia Maéva Ranaïvojaona, 2020).


film director

“Games of chances are also an important part of the Malagasy culture. On top of that, ending up in jail in Madagascar seems to be mostly a matter of bad luck, since the justice system there does not work at all for people without means. Once could be stuck in jail for years before going to trial…More generally, film noir, especially Western noir, was an influence. We like to think of the film as a "Malagasy noir". When we were researching films that also featured dice as a trope, we were especially intrigued by Raoul Ruiz‘s little known short film Zig-Zag - Le jeu de l’oie.”


& Credits

DIRECTOR: Maéva Ranaïvojaona, Georg Tiller. SCREENPLAY: Maéva Ranaïvojaona, Georg Tiller. CINEMATOGRAPHY: Georg Tiller. FILM EDITING: Barbara Bossuet. MUSIC: André Fèvre. SOUND: André Fèvre. CAST: Eugene Raphaël Ranaïvojaona, Michelle Eva Ranaïvojaona, Nabiha Akkari, Jean Aimé, Yvonne Michelle Ravelojaona, Monsieur Roboson, Fulgence Ranaïvojaona, Marka Ravelojaona. PRODUCTION: Subobscura Films, Tomsa Films, Katrafay Films.

CONTACTS: Tomsa Films, Thomas Lambert thomas@tomsa-films.com