The purpose of the African Women in Cinema Blog is to provide a space to discuss diverse topics relating to African women in cinema--filmmakers, actors, producers, and all film professionals. The blog is a public forum of the Centre for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema.

Le Blog sur les femmes africaines dans le cinéma est un espace pour l'échange d'informations concernant les réalisatrices, comédiennes, productrices, critiques et toutes professionnelles dans ce domaine. Ceci sert de forum public du Centre pour l'étude et la recherche des femmes africaines dans le cinémas.

ABOUT THE BLOGGER

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Director/Directrice, Centre for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema | Centre pour l'étude et la recherche des femmes africaines dans le cinéma

30 May 2020

Silicon Valley African Film Festival (SVAFF) 2020 - REMINDER Submissions open

Silicon Valley African Film Festival (SVAFF) 2020 - REMINDER Submissions open 

11th Annual Silicon Valley African Film Festival (SVAFF)
Celebrating 11 years of Connecting Communities, Cultures and Continents!

Event dates:  8-11 October 2020
Call for entries: Deadline: 30 June 2020

Set in Silicon Valley, California, the high-tech capital of the world, SVAFF is a highly respected destination event that draws hundreds of out of state and international guests. Voted 2015 and 2019 Best of Silicon Valley, SVAFF is the only film festival in California that is exclusively focused on films made by African filmmakers. The festival has built a substantial following and has become an annual destination film event that draws out of state and international guests to Silicon Valley.

Aptly themed “Africa through the African lenses”, the mission of the Silicon Valley African Film Festival (SVAFF) is to promote an understanding and appreciation of Africa and Africans through moving images. In fulfillment of its mission, SVAFF:
1.) Curates a world-class festival of African films and provides our audience access to the richness, diversity and vitality of Africa’s creative expressions.
2.) Promotes cultural literacy by hosting post-screening dialogues so our audience can engage and interact with African filmmakers on issues of personal, local and global significance.
3.) Promotes ideas exchange and collaborations between American and African film industry and allied services practitioners.

27 May 2020

RECENT FILMS. Maliyamungu Muhande: Nine Days a Week

Maliyamungu Muhande
Congo (RDC)
Nine Days a Week
2020 - Documentary - 15min38

Synopsis
African American street photographer Louis Mendes began his career in 1953 Harlem as a door-to-door baby photographer. Taking street portraits across the city, through the civil rights movement, the drug epidemic, crime, and poverty, Mendes forged a living with his 1940s Speed Graphic press camera. Now a New York legend with 37 photographer apprentices, he reflects on a life of hard work, survival, and creativity.

Bio
Maliyamungu Muhande is a Congolese non-fiction filmmaker and Art Director based in New York whose work explores present realities to give insight into history. She approaches her work with a passion for filling the gap between making a difference and creativity. She is currently completing her Graduate Certificate in Documentary at the School of Media Studies at The New School in New York City.

Image: Screen capture


25 May 2020

Tanzanian Women in Cinema, Visual Media and Screen Culture

Tanzanian Women
in Cinema, Visual Media
and Screen Culture

Scholar Mona Ngusekela Mwakalinga asserts that women have always been part of the film industry and have played an important role in the image-making process in Tanzania.

A case in point: the cinema advocacy of Flora Mmbugu-Schelling. Like African filmmakers in general, Flora Mmbugu-Schelling's approach to African cinema is multiple, where she takes on not only filmmaking, but also the advocacy role that is an essential part of the process. In 1986, she created the company, Shoga Womyn Films, whose aim was to develop an awareness of African cinema, its aesthetics, as well as the representation of African images and culture in film, especially as it relates to women. The objectives of Shoga Womyn Films as stated in its brochure are; to produce and distribute African films and films made by women or about women from all over the world; to show for the purpose of entertainment or education African films or films by women or about women; to operate a literary and film club with the intention of conducting discourse on films and pertinent matters concerning African cinema. Her filmography includes: Kumekucha (From Sun Up) 1987, These Hands, 1992, Shida and Matazito, 1993. She was active as a filmmaker during the late 1980s to the mid-1990s, and while her cinema-related activities in the country have been less visible in the decades since, other women have taken the torch.

Beatrix Mugishagwe is the founding chairperson of the Tanzanian Association of Independent Producers and co-founder of the Tanzanian Screenwriters Forum. Her documentary project Unsung Heroines puts a spotlight on women and leadership throughout the African continent. She had this to say about why she undertook the project:

People on the continent of Africa today continue to survive because of women: if there are no women who till the land for food, fetch water, collect firewood, bear children, run the market stalls, the continent would have long perished given its history.Yet when you look in the top decision-making positions of governments, companies and the likes throughout the African continent women hardly feature therein. Is it a wonder then that a young African girl looks around for a role model and all she sees are men and if women then non-African? 

Seko Shamte Tingitana, film producer, writer and director, is co-founder and head of programming of East Africa Television. In 2008 she created Alkemist Media in order to address the lack of relevant and high-quality content on local Tanzanian television stations and the underrepresentation of Tanzania and Tanzanians on international screens. (Source: alkemistmedia.com)

Like many other African women cineastes located within transnational positionalities, their filmmaking practices are diasporic and "glocal" demonstrating, a blurred frontier between birthland and ancestral/parental homeland.

Tanzanian-American Ekwa Msangi belongs to a growing cohort of American/African first-gen filmmakers born or raised outside of the parents’ homeland telling stories about their hybrid experiences, dual identities, relationship with their birth/adopted home and their parents homeland. She is, in fact, part of a cohort of “third culture individuals”. She was born in Kenyan to Tanzanian parents and is now based in the United States. She finds that her Tanzanian-ness becomes evident in the details of her story while her "American-ness" is revealed by her aesthetic choices relating to acting and the camera.

Similarly, filmmaker Eliaichi Kimaro, a first-generation American of a Tanzanian father and Korean mother, tells a personal history tracing her Tanzanian roots in A Lot Like You. Upon retirement, her father returns to Tanzania; she follows him with her camera discovering a side of the family she knew little about.

As I have noted often in discussions regarding African women and film festival practices, an important function of the event is its capacity to showcase on a local, continental and international level, the works of African women, and to serve as a networking space to professionalize their experiences as stakeholders on the global film festival landscape. 

The Women’s Panorama, a feature of the Zanzibar International Film Festival, ZIFF, is designed expressly for the women of Zanzibar. The event includes film screenings with discussions and debates around the themes addressed in the films. The objective of the Women’s Panorama is to establish the visibility of women in cinema, media and the arts in a positive light, as well as a means of education and self-expression. In 2017, ZIFF created the Adiaha Award for Best African Female Documentary Filmmaker, a new special jury award category open specifically to women documentary filmmakers from Africa. Hence, the festival’s commitment to women’s empowerment in cinema is demonstrated with tangible actions.

Similarly, African Women Arts & Film Festival (AWAFFEST), launched in 2018 is a platform to appreciate arts and stories of African women; to celebrate female film practitioners; and to empower aspiring artists. AWAFFEST is held in March to celebrate the International Women’s Month.

Mona Ngusekela Mwakalinga, whose doctoral studies examined the political economy of the film industry in Tanzania, stands alongside an increasingly visible cohort of African woman scholars in cinema, indicative of the growing number of women who are contributing to African cinematic knowledge production. In addition to her above assertion in the introduction regarding women's historical role in Tanzanian cinema culture, her findings show that Tanzania, like Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya, is positioning itself to play a role in the video film phenomenon that is sweeping the continent.

Report by Beti Ellerson

Articles related to Tanzanian women and cinema at the African Women in Cinema Blog

African Women Arts & Film Festival - AWAFFEST - 29-31 March 2019 - Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Tanzanian-American Ekwa Msangi: storytelling, filmmaking through the lens of multiple identities

LAFF 2015 - Neema Reed : Our Story | "Notre histoire"

Women’s Panorama Soko, Entertainment and Women Empowerment Programme - Zanzibar International Film Festival ZIFF

Eliaichi Kimaro: Tracing her Tanzanian roots in "A Lot Like You"

Women's Panorama 2011 at the Zanzibar International Film Festival

A Conversation with M Beatrix Mugishagwe

Florence Ayisi's Soccer Queens

24 May 2020

Namibian Women in Cinema, Visual Media and Screen Culture

Namibian Women in Cinema
Visual Media and Screen Culture

Namibian women in cinema culture, not unlike other African countries, are comprised of practitioners who live in Namibia, as well as in the various diasporic locations--both on the continent and beyond. Among the women who are working to tell, produce, promote and exhibit African stories are South African-based Bridget Pickering, veteran producer with strong ties to Southern African film production, Marinda Stein, the vice chairperson of the Filmmakers Association of Namibia, German-based Naomi Beukes-Meyer, telling stories from Berlin via the webisode series, The Centre, and the late Oshosheni Hiveluah, co-founder of the Windhoek-Harare-based company, Digitalafros.

In 2012 in cooperation with Sister Namibia, a women's rights awareness raising NGO, the German-founded AfricAvenir, organized the Women Filmmakers Get-together Breakfast featuring the works of Zimbabwean filmmaker/writer Tsitsi Dangarembga. Moreover, prominent Namibian women in the diverse sectors of society are invited to the question-and-answer discussions after the screenings of the AfricAvenir film series.

In 2014, AfriAvenir collaborated with the Franco Namibia Cultural Centre (FNNC) to sponsor bi-monthly film screenings. The goal of the initiative was to promote public awareness in Namibia about Namibian film heritage. In line with the objective of gender parity, “Women in Namibian Film” was a feature of the May event which included: Uno's World by Bridget Pickering, 100 Bucks by Oshosheni Hiveluah, and Tjiraa by Krischka Stoffels.

In 2013, RedHot Film Productions launched a Web Series on Namibian Women. The series, produced and directed by Marinda Stein, is a celebration of Namibian women, who are highlighted through a series of short interviews. The diverse women "share their stories of triumph, courage, hope, faith, love and journeys of light." 'The Women of Our World Series' profiled 13 women, including :  Johanna Benson, Paralympic Medalist; Antoinette de Chavonnes Vrugt, wife, mother, chef and author of "My Hungry Heart"; Lize Ehlers, performer, poet, actress and mother; Lizette Feris, the Child Right's Offier for the Media Institute of the welfare organization; Oshosheni Hiveluah, filmmaker, poet, daughter and sister; Marie Jeanne Ndimbira, advocate for quality competency based education, co-founder of the Physically Active Youth program; Dr. Helena Ndume, winner of the United Nations Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize for her sight-restoring work in Namibia.


Desiree Kahikopo, an alumna of the Talents Durban 2018, won best newcomer director of best film script and audience choice award at the Namibian Theatre and Film Awards 2019 for her debut film White Line.

Report by Beti Ellerson

Following are articles published in the African Women in Cinema Blog:

In Memory of Namibian filmmaker Oshosheni Hiveluah

FESPACO 2015 – Marinda Stein: “Coming Home” | "le retour" and Women of the World Series

International Images International Film Festival for Women (IIFF) 2014 report by Oshosheni Hiveluah
https://africanwomenincinema.blogspot.com/2014/09/international-images-international-film.html

Naomi Beukes-Meyer (Germany-Namibia) launches crowdfunding for the 2nd Episode of THE CENTRE Web Series

AfricAvenir and the FNCC present Namibian Women in Film

Naomi Beukes-Meyer: a Namibian woman telling stories from Berlin

Women Matter at "African Perspectives", AfricAvenir Namibia Film Series 2012

Oshosheni Hiveluah: A Portrait

23 May 2020

Interview - Mary-Noël Niba : JANE & MARY, the comedy series | la série comique

Mary-Noël Niba
on the comedy series | sur la série comique
JANE & MARY

Interview by/par Beti Ellerson
May | Mai 2020
Version française & English translation

English
Mary-Noël Niba of Cameroonian origin, studied cinema at ESRA (Paris), at the University of Valenciennes (DEUG Plastic Arts option Audiovisual), then at the University of Aix Marseille (Master in Science and techniques of Sound and Image Professions). Recruited at CRTV (National Radio and Television) in 1992, she began her career as a producer of news programs (television news and information magazines - "Migrations", "Thermomètre" and "Recto Verso"). Mary-Noël is currently in charge of Public Relations at the Cameroonian Embassy in Paris, at the same time an independent filmmaker, communications consultant and executive producer of Luman Communications, a film production and distribution company, whose head office is based in Yaoundé, Cameroon. She has made several documentary films among others, including Partir?, Bamenda City, Le dos de la veuve, Yannick ou le Pied de l’Espoir, and the feature fiction Claire ou l’enfant de l’amour and the radio fictions l’Héritier de Mellan and Zéro Ballon--many of which have received distinctions. She produced and co-directed the series "Jane and Mary", which is the subject of this interview.
©Mary-Noël Niba

Français
Mary-Noël Niba, d’origine Camerounaise, a été formée en cinéma à l’ESRA  (Paris), à l’Université de Valenciennes (DEUG Arts Plastiques option Audiovisuel), puis à l’Université d’Aix Marseille (Maîtrise en Science et techniques des Métiers du son et de l’Image). Recrutée à la  CRTV (Radio et Télévision nationale) en 1992, elle commence sa carrière comme réalisatrice des émissions d’information (journaux télévisés et magazines d’infos : « Migrations », «Thermomètre» et «Recto Verso»). Mary-Noël s’occupe actuellement des Relations publiques à l’Ambassade du Cameroun à Paris, tout en étant Cinéaste indépendante et Productrice Déléguée de Luman Communications, une société de production et de distribution de films, et de conseil en communication, dont le siège social est basé à Yaoundé  au Cameroun. Mary-Noël Niba, est l’auteur des plusieurs films documentaires entre autres, dont « Partir ? », « Bamenda City », « le dos de la veuve », «Yannick ou le Pied de l’Espoir»,  d’un long métrage de fiction « Claire ou l’enfant de l’amour » et des fictions radiophoniques « l’Héritier de Mellan et « Zéro Ballon ». Des distinctions en ont été glanées. Elle produit et co-réalise la série « Jane et Mary », ce qui est le sujet de cette interview.

INTERVIEW: MARY-NOËL NIBA & BETI ELLERSON

English
You recently co-produced the series “Jane and Mary” that I discovered on the Internet. And of course I want to know more about its origins ! Where did the idea for this series come from?

One day William Landry Adeche, the main director of this series, sent me a short film he had just completed. It was the story of two sisters who were both in love with the same guy. The tone of the treatment was light-hearted and there was a fairly subtle humor. So I suggested that we do a series that will present the daily life of Cameroonians through an atypical family. So Luman Communications decided to produce this comedy series. It’s about the very busy life of two sisters, punctuated with good-natured rivalry, in a world of job searching and a quest for social success in the urban environment.

We want to present the diverse situations in a given community in the capital, Yaoundé, of an atypical Cameroonian family (minus the daily presence of the father or mother) that the sisters experience in their everyday life--indeed African, which are full of the rhythms of interactions with neighbors.

William Landry Adeche liked the idea of the series, having grown up, as many of his generation, with the French sitcom "Un gars une fille", or the U.S. sitcoms such as the "Cosby Show", "Arnold and Willy," "Fresh Prince of Bel-air”, to name a few.

We felt the need to work within a more subtle style, rather than in the sometimes-vulgar burlesque comedy, which is not yet really explored by audiovisual production in Cameroon. The series targets all age groups and is also enjoyable to watch together as a family.

Français
Tu viens de coréaliser la série « Jane et Mary » que j’ai découverte sur l’internet. Et bien sûr je veux savoir plus sur ses origines ! D’où vient l’idée de cette série ?

Un jour William Landry Adeche, le principal réalisateur de cette série, m’a envoyée un court métrage qu’il venait de réaliser. C’était l’histoire de deux sœurs qui étaient toutes les deux amoureuses d’un même garçon. Le ton du traitement était léger et il y’avait un humour assez subtil. Je lui ai donc proposé que nous fassions une série qui présentera le quotidien des camerounais à travers une famille atypique. LUMAN Communications a donc décidé de produire cette série comique. C’est la vie assez animée des deux sœurs, rythmée d’antagonisme bon enfant, dans un univers de recherche d’emploi, pour une quête de réussite sociale dans le milieu urbain.

Nous voulons présenter à travers leur quotidien, les différentes situations de vie d’une famille atypique camerounaise (pas de père, ni de mère au quotidien), voire africaine, rythmé par la présence des voisins dans un quartier donné de la capitale Yaoundé.

L’idée de la série a plu à William Landry Adeche qui a eu son enfance bercé, comme ceux de son âge, par le sitcom français « Un gars une fille», ou les sitcoms américains «  Cosby show », Arnold et Willy, « Fresh prince of bel air » pour ne citer que ceux-là.

Il y’avait le besoin de travailler dans ce style subtil, loin de la comédie burlesque parfois vulgaire, qui n’est pas encore vraiment exploré par la production audiovisuelle au Cameroun. La série cible toutes les tranches d’âge et se regarde bien en famille.

***

English
So what is the series “Jane and Mary” about?

"Jane and Mary" depicts the daily life of the two sisters, Mary, 19 years old, and Jane, 21, who live in Yaoundé with their uncle Fred, a wealthy businessman. Though they have contrasting personalities, they are very close. From one episode to the next, they manage to get out of the not-always-obvious situations, at home and with the neighbors--who are an integral part of their daily lives. The neighbor, Miss Summer, who has two children, Christian and Small, has no qualms about meddling in their lives.

Hence, the series relates experiences that almost everyone has on a regular basis and which end up being no big deal. The light tone and easy-going mood of the sisters gives the perception that a solution is always possible. The idea is to highlight those situations that we joke about, though are not very funny, or the everyday occurrences that we laugh off, but that we really want to find a way out of.

The use of a cheerful and comical tone is to downplay dramatic situations. The denunciation of certain everyday problems in fact draws attention to these realities, which, because of their frequency, become almost ordinary. For instance, the episode “l’église d’à côté” (the church next door) offers a glimpse of the everyday nuisances that the neighboring community endure because of one particular activity of the new church, which broadcasts deafening music from its loudspeakers. So what do you do, if not make Jane an upholder of the law?

Each episode of the 6-minute comedy series tells a new story and from time to time, presents a mini plot twist. The stories are very simple and the intrigue is not very complex, which adds an aspect of wholesomeness. Each viewer could feel as if she or he is part of the story being told, because it underscores of the details of our daily lives.

The story takes place in the different areas of the home of the two main characters, but sometimes in the surrounding environment, the neighborhood hangouts.

Français
Et l’histoire de Jane et Mary ?

La série « Jane et Mary » met en scène le quotidien à Yaoundé, de deux sœurs, Mary (19 ans) et Jane (21 ans), aux caractères opposés mais très proches l’une de l’autre, qui vivent à Yaoundé chez leur oncle Fred, un homme d’affaires aisé. D’un épisode à l’autre, nous vivrons comment elles arrivent à se sortir des situations pas toujours évidentes, aussi bien dans leur foyer qu’avec les voisins, qui font partie intégrante de leur quotidien. La voisine, miss Summer, avec ses deux enfants, Christian et Small, n’hésite pas à s’immiscer dans leur vie.

La série pose ainsi des problèmes qui sont vécus par presque tout le monde au quotidien et qui finissent par être anodins. Sur un ton léger et à travers les humeurs toujours à la détente des deux sœurs, on perçoit un semblant de solution. L’idée est de mettre sous les feux des projecteurs ces situations dont on rit sans vraiment s'en amuser, ou dont on se moque au quotidien, mais dont on souhaite en sortir.

Le ton enjoué et comique est pour dédramatiser les situations. Il y’a comme une dénonciation de certains problèmes du quotidien afin d’attirer l’attention sur ces faits qui parce que trop fréquents deviennent presque anodins.

Prenons l’exemple de l’épisode « l’église d’à côté » qui raconte les nuisances que subissent les populations de la part des nouvelles églises dites « réveillées », par les hauts parleurs qui diffusent des musiques assourdissantes à longueur de journée, dans le quotidien des camerounais. Comment en sortir si ce n’est en rendant Jane justicière ?

Chaque épisode de cette série comédie, d’une durée de 6 mn, racontera une situation nouvelle et présentera de temps en autre une mini intrigue à rebondissement. L’originalité de cette shortcom se situe dans le fait que les histoires racontées sont toutes simples et l’intrigue peu complexe. Chaque téléspectateur pourrait avoir l’impression de faire partie intégrante de l’histoire racontée, car c’est une mise en exergue des détails de notre quotidien.

L’histoire se passe dans les différentes pièces de vie de la maison d’habitation des deux personnages principaux, mais aussi de temps en temps dans les espaces environnants, lieux de rencontre avec les voisins.
***

English
What have been the viewers’ reactions to the series?

Those who are abroad have been delighted to have a series that actually recounts in a realistic way, the experiences that they know about their country. They are generally impressed by the quality of the series, but surprised that the country-based support is not strong. In my opinion, the reason is not because of the novelty of the genre, since the Cameroonian public is accustomed to seeing wacky African shows. Like anything new, participation is always timid. However, news is spreading, we have a new partnership with the English channel Twisted Mirror TV, that was pleasantly surprised by the style of our series and is interested in broadcasting it. Moreover, "Jane and Mary" has just had its first selection at FESTICO 2020 (International Festival of Comedy) in Yaoundé, and has also been selected to represent the African series in Dublin next December, as part of the Africa 2020 program. So the TV viewers will discover it little by little. So there is hope!

Français
Quelles sont les réponses des spectateurs ?

Ceux qui sont à l’étranger et qui ont vu ont été heureux d’avoir une série qui raconte proprement et ne déforme pas la réalité de ce qu’ils savent de leur pays. Ils sont généralement impressionnés par la qualité de la série, mais surpris que l’adhésion des nationaux ne soit pas forte. Ce qui s’explique à mon avis pas la nouveauté du genre, pour ce public habitué à voir des séries africaines loufoques. Comme toute chose nouvelle, l’adhésion est toujours timide. Mais avec l’actualité de notre tout nouveau partenariat avec la chaine anglaise Twisted Mirror TV, qui a été agréablement surpris par le style de notre série et souhaite la diffuser. « Jane et Mary » vient d’avoir sa première sélection au FESTICO (Festival International des Images Comiques) 2020 à Yaoundé, et est également retenu pour représenter la série africaine à la soirée des séries à Dublin, en décembre prochain, dans le cadre du programme Africa 2020. Les téléspectateurs le découvriront petit à petit. Il y’a donc espoir !

***

English
For now is the series only distributed online? And how do you envision the future for the series?

The series was intended for TV, but at the moment, nothing prevents it from also being on the Web, especially since it meets all the criteria for this kind of structure, and is consumed easily and quickly. Since the broadcasters to whom we proposed it have been taking their time to respond, we decided to put the series on our Lumancommunications channel on YouTube for a while, in order to publicize it. We are still looking for buyers. The series already has several episodes ready to broadcast, and several ready to be shot. For the rest, we are still looking for funding to continue filming. We started with a Season 1 of 50 episodes. We want to continue as much as possible because there are countless stories to tell.

Français
Pour l’instant, est-ce que la série est diffusée uniquement sur Internet ? Et comment envisages-tu la suite ?

La série était prévue pour la télé, mais aujourd’hui, rien ne l’empêche d’être également sur le web, d’autant plus que ça répond aux critères et se consomme facilement et rapidement. Les diffuseurs à qui nous l’avons proposés prenant leur temps, nous avons décidé de mettre la série sur notre chaîne Lumancommunications sur YouTube pendant quelques temps, afin de la faire connaître. Nous sommes toujours dans la recherche des acheteurs. La série a déjà plusieurs épisodes prêts à diffuser, et plusieurs prêts à être tournés. Pour la suite, nous recherchons toujours les financements pour continuer à tourner. Nous avons commencé par une Saison 1 de 50 épisodes. Nous souhaitons continuer tant que c’est possible car les histoires à raconter sont innombrables.  

***

English
Do you think that the web series platform has potential?

I think so, since we are creating more and more programming that is closer to the reality of consumption via social networks. Today, the telephone is what few people can do without no matter where they are. In addition, presently with the forced confinement due to the coronavirus health crisis, this aspect of things is extended even further. You have to be really present on the Web!

Français
Crois-tu que cette plateforme de web série a du potentiel ?

Je pense que oui, puisqu’on en crée de plus en plus pour se coller à la réalité de la consommation à travers les réseaux sociaux. Aujourd’hui, le téléphone est ce dont peu de personnes peuvent se passer où qu’ils se trouvent ; en plus, aujourd’hui avec le confinement forcé dû à la crise sanitaire du coronavirus, cet aspect des choses est renforcé. Il faut être vraiment présent sur la toile !


22 May 2020

Burundian Women in Cinema, Visual Media and Screen Culture

Burundian Women in Cinema, Visual Media and Screen Culture

Since the 1990s there has been a current of cinema-related activities by Burundi women. Sham-Jeanne Hakizimana, who headed the television programs at the National Radio and Television of Burundi, produced the documentary film, Une Burundaise aujourd'hui in 1991. Similarly, Diane Kanéza, who completed her studies in Communication Sciences and Audiovisual Design, joined the National Television of Burundi as director and TV presenter in 2006. In addition she is professor of courses in documentary and fiction production in the department of Communication Sciences and Audiovisual Design at the Université Lumière de Bujumbura. Diane Kanéza is also president of the Film and Audiovisual Professionals of Burundi Collective, a post she has held since 2018.

Women’s presence is especially visible in various organizational positions at FESTICAB, Festival International du Cinéma et de l'Audio-Visuel du Burundi, currently helmed by Francine Munyana. The dominance of women in the festival organization administration--as director of communication, festival programmer, communications manager, public relations manager, communications director--attest to their growing visibility in the film industry. Several of the past and present festival cultural workers include, Ancilla Nigaba, Rachel Opota, Mireille Niyonsaba, Nadège Simbizi, Francine Munyana, Inez Ineza, Ancilla Nigaba, Ginette Karirekinyana, Issola Iradukunda, Glicyne Ntirampeba, Larissa Ndayiragije--some of whom are also filmmakers. Moreover, Burundian filmmaker and director Floriane Kaneza, based in Rwanda since 2015, is the director of the Rwandan Mashariki African Film Festival. She began her career as a actress for the theatre, cinema and television--in TV series for the Burundi National Radio and TV. She trained in film production and directing at Itulive Media and Communications in 2012 and in 2013, along with other partners, created Itulive Actors' Agency, where she served as director. As evident from the above, the leadership practices of women in organizational structures follow a long trend throughout the history of African cinema organization.

Annie Bernice Nikuze put the spotlight on Burundian women artists in her 2017 documentary “La femme Burundaise dans l’art”, at the same time promoting art and culture in Burundi, the film showcases the important role that women perform within these sectors of society. Moreover, the film attests to the enduring place of African women in society in general, in the arts, and, in cinema.

Report by Beti Ellerson

Following are articles published in the African Women in Cinema Blog

Tresor, Tissé, Mireille Niyonsaba, doc., Burundi

Mon identité...None tubipfe ! | My identity, Diane Kaneza, doc., (Burundi)

Floriane Kaneza, director of the Mashariki African Film Festival (Rwanda)