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.

19 November 2014

Call for applications: IWMF International Women's Media Foundation Africa Great Lakes Reporting Initiative

Call for applications: IWMF International Women's Media Foundation Africa Great Lakes Reporting Initiative
the Africa Great Lakes Reporting Initiative

Washington, DC – The International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) is proud to announce a $5 million grant from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation to expand its reporting initiatives in Africa’s Great Lakes region. The African Great Lakes Reporting Initiative will provide training and support for in-country women journalists, as well as opportunities for international correspondents to work in regions of East and Central Africa that receive limited coverage abroad. These efforts will include essential security training to help journalists stay safe in the field.
“Women are vital to international development, so it is critical that their voices are well represented in the global conversation. The IWMF’s unique programs are designed to include women's perspectives in international news reporting. We need more of those perspectives brought to Africa’s Great Lakes region, a part of the world that has so much potential and yet faces so many challenges to development,” explained Howard G. Buffett.
In addition to continuing its work in the Democratic Republic of Congo [link to Congo pages], in 2015 the IWMF will lead groups of women journalists to the Central African Republic, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda to report on the intersections between conservation and conflict, agriculture and food security, democracy and governance. Over the next four years, the IWMF plans to work with more than 350 journalists to reshape the media narrative about the region.
To address growing safety concerns for journalists, the IWMF will expand its security training to benefit both international reporters and hundreds of journalists living and working in the African Great Lakes region by conducting hostile environments training for all of its program participants. In addition, the IWMF will launch its journalism security app, Reporta™, to facilitate the implementation of security protocols and to gather information about incidents of violence and threats against journalists around the world.
“Media organizations, even those with an interest in Africa's underreported stories, are hard-pressed to find the resources to pursue them. With the generous support of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, we will build a network of journalists around the world devoted to producing outstanding news coverage in and about Africa.” said Elisa Lees Muñoz, Executive Director of the IWMF.
To learn more about the African Great Lakes Reporting Initiative and how to submit an application, please go to and follow the IWMF on Twitter and Facebook.
Please direct all media inquiries and interview requests to IWMF Communications Strategist Anna Schiller,, +1 202 567 2613.
Founded in 1990 by a group of prominent U.S. women journalists, the International Women’s Media Foundation is a Washington-based organization dedicated to strengthening the role of women journalists worldwide. The IWMF believes the news media worldwide are not truly free and representative without the equal voice of women. The IWMF celebrates the courage of women journalists who overcome threats and oppression to speak out on global issues. The IWMF’s programs empower women journalists with the training, support and network to become leaders in the news industry.
Established in 1999, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation (HGBF) is a private family foundation working to improve the standard of living and quality of life for the world’s most impoverished and marginalized populations. The Foundation looks for opportunities where funding is the catalytic capital that seeds sustainable, transformational change. 

15 November 2014

“Women and Youth: Vectors of peace, agents of development” | Femmes et jeunes en Francophonie: vecteurs de paix, acteurs de développement" - DAKAR 2014

“Women and Youth: Vectors of peace, agents of development” film screenings and debates during the Francophone Summit | Femmes et jeunes en Francophonie : vecteurs de paix, acteurs de développement". Semaine Francophone de La Critique Cinématographique - DAKAR 2014

Monday 24 to Sunday, November 30, 2014 |  
du lundi 24 au dimanche 30 novembre 2014

English translation | Français ci-après - Photo : Ousmane Ndiaye Dago

“Women and Youth: Vectors of peace, agents of development” - XV Francophone Summit 

A week of screenings of Francophone films (accompanied by debates), in Dakar (Senegal), in conjunction with the fifteenth Francophonie Summit (29-30 November) which brings together the Heads of State and Government of the OIF.

In several venues around the Senegalese capital, film screenings will be followed by a discussion with a film critic and possibly the directors/actors. The programming reflects the diversity of the Francophone cinema of the South, and the theme of the summit, “Women and Youth: Vectors of peace, agents of development”. Some fifteen films will be screened—long and short fiction and documentary— by filmmakers from the Francophone countries of the South.

Admission is free and open in order that all may fully benefit.

* Dates
Monday, 24 November to Sunday, 30 November 2014, in parallel with the XVth Francophonie Summit, Dakar.

* Sponsors
Filmmaker Safi Faye (Senegal).
Chief Editor Andrée Davanture (France), posthumously

Organised by
The Senegalese Association of Film Critics (ASCC- L'Association Sénégalaise de la Critique Cinématographique, Dakar) - The Association Vanuit het Zuiden / Depuis Le Sud / From the South (Amsterdam)
The African Guild of Directors & Producers (La Guilde africaine des Réalisateurs et Producteurs, Paris)

In collaboration with
The African Federation of Film Critics (FACC, La Fédération Africaine de la Critique Cinématographique)

Funded by
The General Delegation of the 15th Francophone Summit in Dakar (Commission of accompaniments and labeling projects).

Femmes et jeunes en Francophonie: Semaine Francophone de La Critique Cinématographique
DAKAR 2014 - XVème Sommet de la Francophonie

Il s'agit d'une semaine de projections de films francophones (accompagnées de débats), à Dakar (Sénégal), en marge du XVe Sommet de la Francophonie (29-30 novembre) où se réunissent les Chefs d'État et de gouvernement de l'OIF.

Chaque film sera suivi d'un débat avec un critique de cinéma et éventuellement les réalisateurs /acteurs, dans plusieurs lieux de la capitale sénégalaise. La programmation est le reflet de la diversité du cinéma francophone du sud surtout (en raison d'un budget modeste) et du thème du sommet, "Femmes et jeunes en Francophonie : vecteurs de paix, acteurs de développement". Nous montrons une quinzaine de longs et courts métrages de fiction /documentaire, de réalisateurs / réalisatrices de pays francophones du Sud.

L'entrée est libre et gratuite afin que tout public puisse y bénéficier pleinement.

* Dates
Du lundi 24 au dimanche 30 novembre 2014, en marge du XVème sommet de la Francophonie, Dakar.

* Marraines
La réalisatrice Safi Faye (Sénégal).
La Chef Monteuse Andrée Davanture (France), à titre posthume

Organisée par
L'Association Sénégalaise de la Critique Cinématographique (ASCC, Dakar),
L'Association Vanuit het Zuiden / Depuis Le Sud / From the South (Amsterdam)
La Guilde africaine des Réalisateurs et Producteurs (Paris)

En collaboration avec
La Fédération Africaine de la Critique Cinématographique (FACC)

Financée par
La Délégation Générale du 15e SOMMET DE LA FRANCOPHONIE à Dakar (Commission projets d'accompagnements et labellisations).

Source: Africultures 

14 November 2014

World Premiere: “The Flying Stars” by Ngardy Conteh George (Sierra Leone-Canada) and Allan Tong – 14 November 2014

World premiere of The Flying Stars by Ngardy Conteh George and Allan Tong at the Rencontres Internationales du documentaire de Montréal | Montreal International Film Festival. Screenings: 14 November and 16 November.


The Flying Stars is about amputee soccer in post-war Sierra Leone. Team captain Bornor Kargbo and midfielder Momahamed “Census” Jalloh are amputees who play organized soccer in Sierra Leone to cope with the horrors of war they suffered a decade ago. As they dream of playing internationally, they wrestle with nightmares that haunt their daily lives and threaten the very families they are trying to feed. Can Bornor and Census overcome their postwar trauma and score a victory for their children off the soccer pitch?

The Filmmakers

Ngardy Conteh George: Co-director/editor/producer
As a Sierra Leonean-Canadian, Ngardy always wants to tell stories of the African Diaspora. As a director she has achieved this with Soldiers for the Streets, a short documentary for the NFB, broadcast on CBC Television and Literature Alive, a documentary series featuring Caribbean- Canadian authors broadcast on Bravo!. She is also an accomplished video editor working on various documentaries and television shows including I Want to Be a Desi 2 (documentary short, Dir. Allan Tong), Something Beautiful (half-hour documentary on development in Kenya), Cypher for AUX TV, Arts & Minds for Bravo!, The Rhyming Chef Barbuda, Food & Drink TV and The Marilyn Denis Show for CTV. She is a former scholarship athlete and graduate of the University of New Orleans.

Allan Tong: co-director/writer/producer
Allan is a Toronto filmmaker who wrote and directed the comedy shorts Little Mao and I Want To Be a Desi, which Bravo aired after enjoying award-winning festival runs. His short drama, Grange Avenue (2008) also played festivals and was broadcast on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Previously, Allan apprenticed as a documentary director and producer at the National Film Board of Canada. He has served as an office manager, post-production manager and associate producer at documentary production companies. His articles about cinema regularly appear in the IFP’s Filmmaker magazine, and he has programmed for several film festivals. Presently, Allan is writing scripted television drama after recently completing the WGC-Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program. 


11 November 2014

Juliet Asante: Mobilefliks across Africa

Juliet Asante is the CEO of Eagle Productions and visionary of Mobilefliks, which has 100,000 subscribers in Ghana, making headway in Nigeria and has recently signed with 30 countries.

Her upcoming film Silver Rain, which will be completed in 2015, will be shot in two African countries and set in five. Juliet Asante describes the film as an African story, about which Africans in sub-Saharan Africa can identify—love and politics: African girl falls in love with African guy, a mixture of African experiences. Plans are for its release in all platforms: theatrical, VOD, television.

10 November 2014

Flaherty NYC Special Screening: A Thousand Suns with Mati Diop, 17 November 2014

Still from A Thousand Suns by Mati Diop
Flaherty NYC Special Screening: A Thousand Suns with Franco-Senegalese filmmaker Mati Diop, 17 November 2014

Press Release

The Flaherty is excited to announce that Paris-based filmmaker and actor Mati Diop will be joining us for a program of her work followed by a moderated discussion on Monday, November 17, 7pm at *Anthology Film Archives*. The Flaherty is one of the country's oldest film arts organizations, celebrating our 60th Anniversary this year. We are pleased to host Mati for the fourth night of our screening series, *Systems and Layers*.

The program will include Atlantiques which “recounts the odyssey of Senegalese friends who attempt a life-threatening boat crossing” and Mille Soleils (A Thousand Suns) Diop’s beautiful, haunting portrait of Magaye Niang, the lead actor of the 1973 film Touki-Bouki. One of the most important films of African cinema, Touki-Bouki was directed by the filmmaker’s uncle Djibril Diop Mambéty. Set in Dakar and Alaska, A Thousand Suns portrays Niang as a “sad-eyed cattle herder who embodied the seminal role in Touki-Bouki forty years ago…[and]…is now filled with longing for the vanished past and a future that was never meant to be.” (Andréa Picard)

07 November 2014

Gender Terrains in African Cinema (2014) by Ugandan scholar Dominica Dipio

Gender Terrains in African Cinema
by Sr. Dr. Dominica Dipio
Unisa Press, 2014

Dominica Dipio describes the trajectory of the book Gender Terrains in African Cinema as an evolution through three continents, Africa, Europe and the Americas. She fell in love with African cinema around 2000, while studying in Rome. As a field of study, African cinema was relatively new on the continent at the time. She attended various film festivals in Europe in order to view films during which she met filmmakers and interacted with them, and as a Fulbright scholar in the United States she was able to concretize her research. She describes her journey in this way: "it started in Africa, it developed in Europe, and it was fine tuned in the USA." 

Book description:

Attaining its identity in the 1960s, African cinema is characteristically a post-colonial art form. The first group of filmmakers and critics saw themselves, together with the political elite, as responsible for building their new nations. They came up with a series of statements which underline what cinema should be in their contexts: an instrument for educating, decolonizing the mind, and developing critical participatory viewership. To some extent, cinema continues the role of the griot (an African tribal storyteller), with a difference. Interest in this subject has led author Dominica Dipio to analyze how cinema and the filmmaker are located within the predominantly patriarchal hegemonic structure, as she addresses issues related to gender and, in particular, the representation of women in African communities. The films selected for analysis are all directed by male filmmakers that are considered representative of African filmmaking. These films span from the 1970s to the 2000s, with a comprehensive analysis of how gender relations are reflected - in the portrayal of the girl child, the young woman, the more mature woman, as well as the grandmother - vis-a-vis their male counterparts. (Series: African Humanities)

IDFA: "The Female Gaze" investigates the role of women in documentary – 19-30 November 2014 (Amsterdam)

International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam: "The Female Gaze"
investigates the role of women in documentary
19-30 November 2014

Senegalese Safi Faye will be among the women filmmakers in the Female Gaze program organised by IDFA International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam

During the upcoming festival, IDFA will present a themed program on the role of women in documentary called The Female Gaze. The Female Gaze program will consist of a survey, a film program and discussions with the directors present.

Fifteen leading international female directors, including Pirjo Honkasalo, Barbara Kopple and Kim Longinotto, have put together a program of old and new documentaries by themselves and other female directors, renowned and less well-known.

In addition, IDFA will be investigating the share female directors have had of the festival’s own selections during the past ten years, and attention will be devoted to the question of how women are represented in documentaries and of whether a ‘female gaze’ can be said to exist within the documentary genre. 

On Saturday, 22 November, IDFA will organise a debate on the role of women for the documentary industry. 

The Female Gaze at IDFA

In recent decades, a great deal of research has been undertaken into how images of women are produced in the media. This research has focussed principally on the role of women in advertising, on television and in fiction films. This prompted IDFA to devote special attention this year to women in documentary.  The central question is whether women are (also) under-represented compared to men both in front of and behind the camera in the documentary. Does the glass ceiling exist in the documentary industry? How are women represented in documentaries, and does something like ‘the female gaze’ exist in documentaries?

IDFA asked fifteen leading female directors  from different countries to present three documentaries: one directed by themselves, one directed by a woman who has inspired them, and one by an up-and-coming female talent. The documentaries selected were made by three generations of female directors. The directors who made a selection for IDFA and will be attending the festival are: Phie Ambo (Denmark); Rakhshan Bani-Etamad (Iran); Safi Faye (Senegal/France) Rachel Grady & Heidi Ewing (US); Chris Hegedus (US); Pirjo Honkasalo (Finland); Nishtha Jain (India); Barbara Kopple (US); Kim Longinotto (UK); Mercedes Moncada (Mexico); Ileana Stanculescu (Romania); Jessica Yu (US) and Jasmila Zbanic (Bosnia).

Heddy Honigmann, who this year compiles her Top 10 for IDFA, has also been asked to select three films for The Female Gaze. 
A total of 28 documentaries will be screened: classics including Portrait of Jason (1967) by Shirley Clarke and The House is Black (1962) by Forough Farrokhzad as well as films by emerging talents such as How to Pick Berries (2010) by Elina Talvensaari and Waiting for August by Teodora Ana Mihai. The latest films from a number of directors will also be shown, such as Misconception by Jessica Yu; Love is All: 100 Years of Love & Courtship by Kim Longinotto and Good Things Await by Phie Ambo.

After the screenings, the issues arising will be discussed in the various Q&As with the directors present: is there in fact a female gaze and to what extent has this gaze changed over the generations? Are films made by women different from those made by men, and are films made by women in the third world different from films made by women in the West? 

Alongside the film program and the discussions following the screenings, IDFA will also be looking at the share female directors have had of the festival’s own selection over the past ten years. On Saturday 22 November, IDFA will be organising a debate for the documentary industry, in which the question of whether this is an emancipated sector which employs as many women as men in creative, crucial decision-making roles will be raised.