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.


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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

18 May 2019

Mati Diop’s "Atlantique" – In the foam of the "Atlantic” | Dans l'écume de l "Atlantique" analysis/analyse by/par Falila Gbadamassi (Africine)

Mati Diop’s "Atlantique" – In the foam of the "Atlantic" | Dans l'écume de l' "Atlantique" analysis/analyse by/par Falila Gbadamassi (Africine)

In collaboration with, translated from French by Beti Ellerson and published on the African Women in Cinema Blog.


French-Senegalese filmmaker Mati Diop contemplates the emigration of young Africans—through the angle of fantasy. Atlantique gives homage to the memory of a generation lost in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Atlantique is in competition for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. A first for an afrodescendant woman.

In the suburbs of Dakar, the Senegalese capital, Ada (Mame Bineta Sané) loves Sulaiman (Ibrahima Traore). And though Souleiman loves Ada, she will soon marry another. Nonetheless, they continue their clandestine rendezvous in a nightclub adjoining the sea, but on this night, Suleiman does not show up. He has taken to the sea with his friends, at the end of a devastating workday. Looming smugly on the site is the building that the young workers are erecting—though they still have not received their pay. As Suleiman points out, despite their hard work, they have become indebted men, who return late at night to evade their numerous creditors.

For her first feature film, Mati Diop is an advocate of the unemployed youth, a youth for which emigration to Europe by sea becomes the only option. Filmed from all angles, this dangerous Atlantic Ocean is a full-fledged character of the film: the director posed her camera, in the wafts of dust of Dakar, a city teeming with life and on which hovers the shadow of death, caused by a tumultuous sea. The filmmaker also reflects on the daily life of the young women and men: the young women seeking to build a future through marriage, or content to wait for the young men, who, in spite of themselves, choose the sea, in the hopes of opening other horizons, even if it means to die doing so.

Atlantique is inhabited by the strength of the originality of its scenario. Mati Diop treats the issue of clandestine immigration from a mystical viewpoint, summoning the jinn (the spirits of the Muslim imaginary) to address one of the reasons for this perilous risk-taking: the lack of perspective for many young Senegalese even when they have a job. Tangentially, the film denounces those who exploit them, rather than simply paying them the equivalent of the fruits of their labor.

In the meantime, Ada is waiting for Suleiman, who seems to have returned to the capital. However, she is not the only one to pursue him. The police, embodied in particular by the dashing inspector Issa (Amadou Mbow), is also on his tracks because of a mysterious fire that broke out in Ada’s bridal chamber.

In addition to the police investigation interrogation, Mati Diop asks her own questions. What happens to the souls of all those who perished in this great blue vastness that they sometimes saw from their room? What are their final hopes? By presenting their thoughts and their relationships with the living, the filmmaker delivers her own response, plunging the viewer into a magical haze: thanks, among other things, to the repetition of images that return to the sea. Her elder and compatriot, the poet Birago Diop, did he not already say that the dead were not dead? ... In Atlantique, they are in the foam of the sea.

Dans l'écume de l' "Atlantique"
Un film de Mati Diop analyse par Falila Gbadamassi
publié le 17/05/2019.

La cinéaste franco-sénégalaise Mati Diop traite de l'émigration des jeunes Africains sous l'angle du fantastique. Atlantique salue la mémoire d'une génération perdue dans les vagues de l'océan Atlantique. Le film vaut à sa réalisatrice de devenir une pionnière du cinéma africain : elle est la première femme du continent à être en compétition pour la Palme d'Or. Lire l'intégralité de l'article @

17 May 2019

Mati Diop : Atlantique (Cannes 2019)

Mati Diop : Atlantique (Cannes 2019)

English:  Synopsis and trailer below

Français: Synopsis et bande annonce ci-après

Image : Reuters

Translation from French of an France 24 interview by Louise Dupont at Cannes 2019

"The question of exile is a mirror between Africa and the West. And being mixed-race, it is the central channel for my concerns."

"I wanted to give voice to the actors of this migration phenomenon, which is represented by others in a destructive, despised, mutilated way."

"I am here at Cannes because of the struggles of many women who worked for parity between women and men."

"I have a mad love for my country, Senegal. It is a place that inspires me immensely--photographically and cinematographically."

Translation from French of an RFI interview by Elisabeth Lequeret at Cannes 2019

"The film was born from the realisation that it was through fantasy that I wanted to tell a certain story of the disappeared at sea. And this particular fantasy is inherent in the reality which I observed and which I interpreted as such at that moment. And it was a period when I also began to consider the ocean differently, where the notion of the ocean as a tomb came to me. It's something that is part of the imagination of a certain black-Creole-Caribbean history. And there was a certain intuition. An intuition that emerged when in Dakar in 2009 and feeling the mysterious and disturbing links between the slave trade, colonisation and illegal immigration."

"This film is also a return to my African origins. And to write and invent the character of Ada, it is also a way of living the African adolescence that I did not experience."

"I love the love stories of cinema and when I started to write this love story, I realised that I did not have the reference of a black mythical couple such as "Romeo and Juliet", and I found that completely insane and it gave me even more of a desire to write this story and see it in the cinema."

English Trailer

Along the Atlantic coast, a soon-to-be-inaugurated futuristic tower looms over a suburb of Dakar. Ada, 17, is in love with Souleimane, a young construction worker. But she has been promised to another man. One night, Souleimane and his co-workers disappear at sea. Soon after, they come back to haunt their old neighbourhood by taking possession of the girlfriends they left behind. Some of the workers have come claiming revenge and threaten to burn the tower down if the developer does not pay their wages. But Souleiman has come back for Ada, so they can be together one last time.

Français bande annonce 

Dans une banlieue populaire de Dakar, les ouvriers du chantier d’une tour futuriste, sans salaire depuis des mois, décident de quitter le pays par l’océan pour un avenir meilleur. Parmi eux se trouve Souleiman, l’amant d’Ada, promise à un autre. Quelques jours après le départ des garçons, un incendie dévaste la fête de mariage de la jeune femme et de mystérieuses fièvres s'emparent des filles du quartier. Ada est loin de se douter que Souleiman est revenu.


Mati Diop’s "Atlantique" – In the foam of the "Atlantic” | Dans l'écume de l' "Atlantique" analysis/analyse by/par Falila Gbadamassi (Africine)

13 May 2019

Cannes 2019 : African Women at Cannes | La présence africaine au féminin

Cannes 2019 :
African Women at Cannes
La présence africaine au féminin


Jury Longs-metrages | Features
Maïmouna N’Diaye: Franco-guinéenne actrice et réalisatrice | French-Guinean actress and filmmaker

Jury Caméra d'Or
Alice Diop: Franco-sénégalaise réalisatrice |
Franco-Senegalese filmmaker

Semaine de la critique
Djia Mambu: Belgo-congolaise journaliste et critic du cinéma | Belgian-Congolese journalist at film critic


Competition Longs-métrages | Features
Mati Diop (France|Senegal) Atlantique, 2019. 104 min.

Un certain regard
Mounia Meddour (Algérie|Algeria) Papicha, 2019. 106 min.

Monia Chokri (Canada-Tunisia) La Femme de mon frère, 2019. 117 min

Maryam Touzani (Maroc|Morocco) Adam, 2019. 98 min.


Competition - Shorts | Courts métrages 
Nada Riyadh (Egypte) Fakh, 2019. 20 min.

Comité de séléction | Selection Committee :
Clémentine Dramani-Issifou : Franco-Beninoise chercheuse et curatrice indépendante de films | French-Beninese researcher and independent film curator )

Séance Spéciale - Longs métrages | Features
Hafsia Herzi (Tunisia-Algeria-France) Tu mérites un amour (You Deserve a Lover), 2019. 102 min.


Comité de séléction | Selection Committee :
Claire Diao : Franco-Burkinabé journaliste et critic du cinéma | French-Burkinabé journalist and film critic


IEFTA in partnership with the Marché du Film 
IEFTA en partenariat avec le Marché du film
Marwa ZeinSudanese director-producer, is among the seven young filmmakers attending the festival | La cinéaste-productrice soudanaise fait partie des sept jeunes cinéastes assistants au festival.

IEFTA (International Emerging Film Talent Association) once again partners with the renowned Marché du Film at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival to offer seven young filmmakers the opportunity to attend the festival, participate in career-changing Industry Workshops, develop their projects, build their networks and raise their ambitions.

L’IEFTA (International Emerging Film Talent Association) s'associe à nouveau au célèbre Marché du Film lors du 72ème Festival de Cannes pour offrir à sept jeunes réalisateurs la possibilité de assister au festival, de participer à des ateliers de réorientation professionnel, de développer leurs projets, de  construire leurs réseaux et réaliser leurs ambitions.

02 May 2019

Akissi Delta: TV Series - Ma Grande Famille (Côte d'Ivoire)

Akissi Delta:  TV Series - Ma Grande Famille (Côte d'Ivoire)

Ma Grande Famille, produced by Akissa Delta, returned in 2016 with the new name after a long pause of the record-breaking Ma Famille. Launched in 2002 it was broadcast every Sunday evening.

Since 15 January 2019, the new Ivoirian channel A+Ivoire, broadcasts the first season of the TV series.

27 April 2019

African Women in Film, the Moving Image, and Screen Culture by Beti Ellerson (Oxford Research Encyclopedias - African History - Women's History) April 2019

African Women in Film, the Moving Image, and Screen Culture by Beti Ellerson (Oxford Research Encyclopedias - African History - Women's History) April 2019

Subject: African Diaspora, Historiography and Methods , Image of Africa, Women’s HistoryOnline Publication Date: Apr 2019 DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190277734.013.496


While African women in film have distinct histories and trajectories, at the same time they have common goals and objectives. Hence, “African women in film” is a concept, an idea, with a shared story and path. While there has always been the hope of creating national cinemas, even the very notion of African cinema(s) in the plural has been pan-African since its early history. And women have taken part in the formation of an African cinema infrastructure from the beginning. The emergence of an “African women in cinema movement” developed from this larger picture. The boundaries of women’s work extend to the global African diaspora. Language, geography, and colonial legacies add to the complexity of African cinema history. Women have drawn from the richness that this multiplicity offers, contributing on local, national, continental, and global levels as practitioners, activists, cultural producers, and stakeholders.

Keywords: African women in cinema studies, intersectionality, moving image, screen culture, transnational, African women’s history

25 April 2019

The first two of Zimbabwean #MeToo stories produced by WFOZ: "Picture My Life Story" 1 and 2 from ICAPA on Vimeo

The first two of Zimbabwean #MeToo stories produced by WFOZ: Picture My Life Story 1 and 2 from ICAPA on Vimeo 

These Zimbabwean #MeToo stories break the silence of all forms of violence against women, allowing the survivor's stories to be told. Inspired by the Breaking the Silence project of the Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa (ICAPA): The project seeks to give space to survivors of any form of violence and for whatever reason to speak out through different forms of art. The project's aim is to BREAK THE SILENCE SO AS TO BREAK THE CYCLE.

Formed in 1996, Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe's general objective is to increase the participation of women in the film industry in the country.

Picture My Life Story 1 from ICAPA

Picture My Life Story 2 from ICAPA

NETFLIX: Mama K’s Team 4, animated series/série animée by/de Malenga Mulendema (Zambia)

NETFLIX: Mama K’s Team 4, animated series/série animée by/de Malenga Mulendema 

Netflix to release its first African animated series. Mama K’s Team 4, produced by Cape Town-based Triggerfish Animation Studios and leading London-based kids’ entertainment specialist CAKE.

Mama K’s Team 4 tells the story of four teen girls living in the neo-futuristic African city of Lusaka, Zambia who are recruited by a retired secret agent still committed to saving the world. 

Mama K’s Team 4 is created by Zambian writer Malenga Mulendema and designed by Cameroonian artist Malcolm Wope. It draws visual inspiration from retro-’90s R&B and hip hop girl groups.


Netflix a annoncé la sortie de Mama K’s Team 4, sa première série animée africaine, produit par les studios d’animation Triggerfish d’animation du Cap et le spécialiste américain du divertissement pour enfants basé à Londres, CAKE.

Mama K’s Team 4 raconte l’histoire de quatre adolescentes vivant dans la ville néo-futuriste africaine de Lusaka, en Zambie, qui sont recrutées par un agent secret à la retraite toujours déterminé à sauver le monde. 

La série a été créée par l’écrivaine zambienne Malenga Mulendema et conçue par l'artiste camerounais Malcolm Wope, s'inspire visuellement des groupes de R & B et de hip-hop rétro-années 90.