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.

20 July 2018

Mariama Khan, filmmaker, poet, cultural activist, scholar: Reflections on cinema culture in The Gambia

Mariama Khan,
filmmaker, poet, cultural activist, scholar:
Reflections on cinema culture in The Gambia

Mariama Khan, Gambian with Senegalese root, is a filmmaker, cultural activist, scholar and professor, currently teaching African History and African Civilizations at Lehman College in New York. Her present research focus includes The Gambia-Senegal border relations, culture, cross-border transport and trade and religious movements in Senegambia. She is founder of the Documentary Film Initiative-The Gambia and the Makane Kane Center for the Creative Arts projects, which are currently on hold. She talks about her experiences with the moving image, cinema culture in The Gambia, and her role as cultural activist and scholar.

Interview by Beti Ellerson

Mariama, please talk a bit about yourself, your background.

My name is Mariama Khan. I am a Gambian from Brikama New Town in the Kombo Central Region and the Western Division of The Gambia. I was born to a Senegalese father and a Gambian mother. I am a great lover of film, poetry, music, nature and public service. I’ve previously worked with the government of The Gambia for about ten years in junior, middle and senior-level positions. I’m a documentary filmmaker and a poet. I’m currently on the faculty of Lehman College, CUNY, at the Department of Africana Studies. I teach African History and African Civilizations, respectively.

What were your experiences with cinema, the moving image when growing up in The Gambia?

When I was growing up in The Gambia, most of the films I watched were through two primary channels: Senegalese national TV- RTS and home videos. I religiously watched films, movies or soap operas - like Dallas, Dynasty, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, The Cosby Show (all dubbed in French) and Mademoiselle, among a few others shown on RTS at that time. My sister Haddy also made me watch Wollof-language children’s comedy and films on RTS in the evenings. It was also common for me and my other siblings to watch Wollof-language films on RTS. Sometimes, we watched the dubbed non-Senegalese French-language films with our father, who spoke fluent French and our second mother, who also speaks French. After The Gambia established its own television station, we watched films through The Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS). On occasions, too, I watched home videos of films like Problem Child, Sarafina, etc., with my best friend in High School, Rebecca Gomez, at my cousin Lamin Camara (L-boy)’s family home. So, my experiences of “cinema” or productions of the moving image involved socializing with family, friends and neighbors. It also involved taking part in group entertainment, sharing and building relationships.  My film-related experiences also inspired my interests in filmmaking and the moving image. 

The Gambia does not have a visible screen/cinema culture on the continental and international level. Please describe the local scene and your place within it.

When I was young, Brikama had a popular cinema, which was run by one of my father’s best friends in the town. At that time, going to the cinema was popular in the community. However, when the cinema stopped functioning at a time of considerable economic depression and political dilemma in The Gambia, people who had television sets in their homes watched Senegalese TV or other accessible stations. Video clubs were also popular. But males mostly frequented such clubs in those days. There has always been some form of “cinema culture” in the country. It was less bubbly like the culture Nollywood has helped push into the Gambian film sector. That film culture was primarily centred around consuming exported cinema productions from the West, Asia (specifically, India and China) and later South America. However, with the establishment of The Gambia Television and the local boom of Nollywood films, we see a “new’ cinema culture gradually unfurling in the country. We now have a growing number of Gambian film producers with considerable talent. Prince Boubacar Aminata Sankanou, who is a man of many talents, is making great contributions towards the development of a truly Gambian cinema culture. Sankanou and other new generation Gambian filmmakers are a great inspiration and they deserve every support from the government. 

I like to think that if I do have any position in the current cinema environment in The Gambia, then that position might be located on the slim fringes of The Gambian film sector. So far, I’ve only produced a few films in the country. This limited number of productions makes my contribution in the sector very modest and less significant compared to the numbers of new drama, feature or documentary films produced by my other compatriots. Most of these new producers have now established a niche as full-time Gambian filmmakers in the country. So, maybe, my place in the current local scene has been overtaken by the new promising productions that are available online and through other means. With that realization, my task as a filmmaker is to refocus and re-initiate my filmmaking career following its long hiatus, which resulted from the lack of grounded-ness in my life and career in the world of exile. In other words, the ups and downs of living a life in exile have stalled my filmmaking career, too. 

You are founder of the Documentary Film Initiative. Please talk about why you created it, its objectives and future goals.

The Documentary Film Initiative (DFI-The Gambia) was created to promote social justice, inspire change and to create youth employment through documentary-filmmaking, which is one of its objectives. It was apart of a broader project called the Makane Kane Center for the Creative Arts. I’ve made a few productions under the DFI- Gambia. However, the bigger part of the project, which was to establish an educational institution—the Makane Kane Center for the Creative Arts—to teach the creative arts in The Gambia could not take-off due to political barriers from the National Training Authority. I invested a lot of money to buy professional filmmaking equipment, furniture for classrooms and offices, and leased the premises that were to host the school—which was located along the Latri-Kunda- Tabokoto highway. I also identified staff for the school. I submitted the application for a permit with all the required documentation, but the National Training Authority did not give me the permit that I needed under national rules to operate such a school. I met all the requirements for that permit. But the Training Authority did not issue it to me. This was at a time I had a political conflict with the former President of The Gambia. Ostensibly, as a result of that, the National Training Authority decided to sabotage the take-off of my school project. I ended up losing a lot of money and I later had to go into exile as a result of my political difficulties with the former President. That stalled both the The Documentary Film Initiative-The Gambia and the Makane Kane Center for the Creative Arts projects. However, we’re now revisiting both projects. 

You have made several films, “The Journey up the Hill”, “Sutura” and “The Professor” in 2008 and “Devil’s Waters-Illegal Migration in The Gambia” in 2009. Talk a bit about the production of these films and their reception.

My documentary, The Journey up the Hill,  was produced out of my “Recording America” class project at Brandeis University. My beloved former film professor, Henry Felt, invested his personal resources and time on that project. I worked closely with him to film and edit the documentary. Additionally, thanks to Professor Felt’s insistence, the documentary had a successful premier at the Heller School [Heller School for Social Policy and Management], with a phenomenal attendance. I owe a lot to Professor Felt for that film. He taught me how to make films with such rigor in class and also as part of his year-long, one-on-one tutorial he gave me during that full-academic year course. The film explores the experiences of international students like myself, who come to America for educational purposes. In it, different international students from the Heller School share their experiences studying in America. I also had some of my beloved professors from the Heller School such as Professor Susan Holcombe, who was my advisor at Brandeis, and Professor Kelly Ready, make contributions in the film. The title of the film captured the fact that Brandeis is located on a hill in Waltham [Massachusetts]. The hill was also a metaphor of the experiences of international students as they adjust, struggle and work hard towards their educational success symbolized by reaching the top of the hill. The film recognizes the fact that getting to succeed entails challenges as most of us struggled with home sickness, culture shock, adapting to American academic life and so on. However, we also formed some lasting bonds. In fact, Heller was a wonderful place that made us feel at home, with all the several parties on and off campus. The social life helped most international students to develop a sense of belonging away from home. 

The Professor was the second documentary project I worked on and produced with Professor Felt, while at Brandeis. It is based on Professor Felt’s life. I came up with the idea to document some of his life story, which was fascinating to me. In addition to being my professor, Professor Felt was also a beloved friend when I was going to Brandeis. We had lunch together many times. We used to have conversations on many subjects including topics like Islam and Judaism (I am a Muslim and Professor Felt is Jewish), The Gambia’s relationship with Israel, about America, about New York, about Africa and so on. In those days, I was amazed by how well Professor Felt was informed about the daily news of The Gambia. I fondly recall that before we start class, he would tell me what was happening in my country. It was impressive that he paid more attention to what was happening in The Gambia than I did at that time. So, the documentary The Professor was one way of celebrating the life of a man who was an exceptional teacher to me. I fondly remember when I was returning home to The Gambia after my studies in 2008, he had these very kind words for me, he told me while we were at the Heller School, “consider me your teacher for life …” then with a broad smile, he added, “keep rising.” The production of the film on his life also signifies the appreciation I have for him.  In fact, I owe Professor Felt some promise I must deliver.  That promise carries how much he has touched my life as my former professor and friend. Wherever he is, I re-promise, I shall keep the promise, Professor Felt, God willing.

The documentary Sutura was commissioned by Dr. Leigh Swigart of the Brandeis University International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life. It was also a collaboration between Dr. Swigart’s program, the Senegalese Female Lawyers ‘Association of Senegal and the West African Research Center in Dakar, Senegal. The concept of the film came from Dr. Swigart. Dr. Fatou Kine Camara of the Senegalese Female Lawyers’ Association and Professor at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, facilitated all the pre-filming arrangements for the film. The film was premiered in Ghana, thanks to Dr. Swigart and her partners. It was also shown in Senegal, Germany, the Netherlands, in the USA (Boston and California), and in The Gambia.  People from a number of African countries who I met at a conference in Ghana and at The Hague also acquired the film and promised to show it to some of their constituents after their return. Sutura was well received and also won a UNFPA award. 

Devil’s Waters was produced in collaboration with The Gambia Ministry of Youth and Sports. It came out of the desire to educate Gambian youth and other people about the dangers of irregular migration through the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea.  It was premiered in The Gambia. 

You have a work in progress, Facscinala - Divorce and Human rights in Senegal. Talk a bit about it and its development.

The documentary and work-in progress, “Fascinala: Divorce and Human Rights in Senegal” aims to explore the different experiences women have during and after divorces. It is inspired by what I’ve learnt about women’s conditions in Senegal, thanks to the Senegalese Female Lawyers’ Association, which increased my awareness about the situations of women in Senegal. After doing the initial filming for this project, I could not continue working on this production due to situations beyond my control. But hopefully, soon, I will refocus on the production and get it completed.

Do you see future developments in cinema in The Gambia?

Yes, I see future developments in cinema in The Gambia. As I stated, already, some of my compatriots including my friend, Prince Sankanou, have been doing great work in the Gambian film sector.  They’re all great inspiration for me and I hope to join them soon, following the long hiatus that kept me away from the sector. 

How do you see your contribution in this regard?

As part of my contribution in the film sector, I will reinitiate some of the projects I need to complete like Fascinala. Additionally, I will explore new projects I wanted to work on before I left The Gambia. I will be delighted to partner with Prince Sankanou to work on a project we’ve discussed about many years ago. In other words, I will work to strengthen the sector. 

Your neighbour, Senegal in contrast has a very long history of cinema and is well known internationally, is their a possibility of co-productions?

Of course, there is a possibility of co-productions between Senegalese and Gambian filmmakers. In fact, I’ve worked with a Senegalese filmmaker on almost all the productions I’ve made after I left Brandeis.

Is there a relationship in terms of local Wollof-language filmmaking?

I’ve a number of friends who are Senegalese filmmakers and some of them produce films in Wollof. They’re very talented people, too. Sutura was filmed in Wollof and “Fascinala” is also in Wollof. Yes, there is some relationship in terms of local Wollof-language filmmaking. There are plans to further develop collaborations with these Senegalese friends, some of whom have become family to me.

Are there other women in The Gambia who are active in the moving image sector and have you been able to connect with them?

In terms of women, I've not had the opportunity to work with any independent female filmmakers when I was at home. The only female filmmaker I encountered was a Gambian lady who at the time I met her was married to a man from Germany and they were working together. This was a while back and I did not know her real name [Isha Fofana], but she was called Mama Africa. There was no opportunity for collaboration between us after our chanced encounter. Other than her, I know of other female "filmmakers" who were working for the national television such as Fatou Camara. Once or twice I've worked with her on some other professional capacity in the past. Of course, I know her in a limited way.  However, I had the opportunity to work with some excellent Gambian male filmmakers like the late Ebrima Sagnia of The Gambia Family Planning Association and his assistant Sanna. I also worked with Omar Njie who helped with some shooting, thanks to his boss Haruna Drammeh of Mediamatics (now of Paradise TV), who offered Njie's services to me for gratis, as support to my endeavour. However, I know that recently there are some rising female Gambian filmmakers in the country. I do not know any of them in person and as such I will not be able to talk about their experiences. Hopefully, anytime I'm able to go to The Gambia, I will be interested in having connections with some of them, just as I had with some female Gambian authors and poets.  

Throughout your higher education you have focused on international development, how have these experiences influenced the themes of your films?

The purpose of studying International Development is to do good for humanity and for the world (including the environment). As such, the films I’ve made so far are all about uplifting the human condition, improving human welfare and well-being and promoting justice and peace. My personal and professional experiences have shaped my passion for international development and that passion has also affected the themes I explore in my filmmaking.

You are currently on the faculty at Lehman College in the United States, where you teach African history and African civilizations, talk about the ways that you use film and cinema in your teaching.

As faculty member of Lehman College, I’ve moderately used film in both my African History and African Civilizations courses. This is the first time I’m teaching both courses. It has been an experiential process. Now, with feedback from the students who were part of both courses, I will better streamline my use of film in the future segments of both courses.  

Future projects, goals, especially as they relate to local cultural production in The Gambia.

I love culture. And one of the things I like to identify myself with is being a scholar of culture. Therefore, my future projects will focus more on issues relating to culture—Gambian or Senegalese culture and in combination, Senegambian culture. Again, as I work to take-off from the hiatus of my filmmaking career, I’ve been musing about producing culture-related documentaries or feature/ drama films. We will see how that goes, God willing.

Interview with Mariama Khan by Beti Ellerson, July 2018.

19 July 2018

Clarisse Muvuba : The Cinef, women who dare | Le Cinef des femmes qui osent - Interview/entretien by/par Wendy Bashi

Clarisse Muvuba © : DR
Clarisse Muvuba : The Cinef, women who dare | Le Cinef des femmes qui osent - Interview/entretien by/par Wendy Bashi

Interview with Clarisse Muvuba, director of the Cinéma au Féminin Festival (CINEF, Kinshasa) | Entretien avec Clarisse Muvuba, directrice du festival Cinéma au Féminin (CINEF, Kinshasa) by/par Wendy Bashi. Africiné Magazine, Bruxelles -Images Francophones. 06 July 2018.
Image credit: DR

After a pause of a year and a half, the festival Cinéma au Féminin Kinshasa (CINEF) has returned.

From 10-15 July, the Congolese capital vibrated to the rhythm of this great cinematic encounter. For its fourth edition, Cinef innovates. A meeting with Clarisse Muvuba, director and founder of the event.

Clarisse Muvuba, next week the fourth edition of Cinef, Cinéma au Féminin that you created in Kinshasa resumes service. What can you tell us about this fourth edition?

As you said, on 10 July, we will launch the fourth edition of the Cinef [Women’s Film Festival - Cinéf 2018] here in Kinshasa. After a year and a half pause, I am happy to return with a ground-breaking fourth session, which continues in the spirit of the previous editions. This year we have focused on programming. Film production on the continent is booming both in quantity and quality. It is our duty as a festival to highlight all these productions. The Cinef aims to be at the same time a promotional platform for our productions as well as a space for analysis of films and the themes that they highlight.

Tell us about your programming. What did you decide to focus on this year?

From the beginning, my team and I agreed on one point: to show quality films, films that are thought-provoking, that meet the criteria both technically and narratively, but especially films made by women. It was not a simple task. As you can imagine, it is difficult to meet all these criteria. We had to make compromises, we talked a lot about the quality of the films and in the end I think we are proud of our programming. You know, during the period of the call for submissions, we received a lot of films. I take this opportunity to thank all the filmmakers who sent us their films. At one point, there was a discussion about making a selection. While there are a lot of films produced in Africa many of them are not completed. A festival is also an opportunity to be aware of the shortcomings in our productions and propose solutions to overcome the lack or sometimes to make improvements.

What do you propose concretely to Cinef to overcome this deficiency?

In all modesty, Cinef does not claim to be able to rectify all the problems and other concerns that the cinema industry encounters in Africa. Far from it! At Cinef, what we offer are workshops, though, because of the lack of means, the time in which to do so is not sufficient! That said, we try to bring a few filmmakers together during the festival and offer technical advice during the workshops that we propose. Through the whole process of making a film, from the beginning to the end, the director needs to exert strong leadership. You will agree with me that it is not in four or five days that we can train everyone and have convincing results. During the workshops, we invite them to come with their productions. The idea is above all to talk about these projects with more experienced directors and producers. It is designed as a moment of exchange and reflection to move projects forward. Together we identify problems, what could have been done and what needs to be done to improve the film. During these few days we offer some possible solutions with the hope that they may be useful, but again considering time limitations and especially insufficient means. We would need more time for training, because believe me this is where the problem lies!

You talk about having the means for training, what are the resources available to organize this festival?

You touch on a complex question! Culture as a whole suffers from this lack. This experience is critical and flagrant across the continent. I cannot go into the adventures of Cinéf. Though that said, I think it is time for our nations to put in place coherent and effective cultural policies. It is unacceptable and incomprehensible that even today no funds are effectively allocated to culture. In my country, I cannot count the number of initiatives that deserve to be supported but nothing materialises. Culture remains the “poor relative” of all governments. We are left to wonder if, as cultural actors we are the only ones who recognise the expansion of the cultural level, in all sectors, which needs to be supported! From cinema, to music, and the visual arts, the whole sector is just waiting for assistance and funding.

Returning to the Cinef, what are the new features of this fourth edition?

As I noted at the beginning of the interview, we decided to give the festival a fresh start. This year, we have great films like Frontières | Borders by Apolline Traoré, which received awards at Fespaco; Ouaga Girls by Theresa Traoré Dahlberg; or Maman Colonel by Dieudo Hamadi. These are portraits of strong women! This is the message of this fourth edition: to talk about strong women, those who dare!

Apart from that, the biggest new feature is our youth section. Undoubtedly, I am convinced that we must introduce to the younger ones how to read images and to familiarize them with our own productions. Alain Gomis: Petite lumière, Douglas Masamuna [Ntimasiemi]: Mines de rien, which talks about child labour in the mines of Katanga, a very sensitive topic, or Sébastien Maître: Petits meters à Kinshasa. It is important for the younger generations to see the films that are being made locally and whose heroes resemble them.

Then, we tried to design workshops thematically that touch on topics such as women's migration, albinism and the stereotypes around it or afro hair. The common denominator of all these workshops is to be able to open the debate on themes that are at the same time, relatable no matter where in the world you are.

What do you hope for as Cinef approaches?

(Laughs) that everything goes as we envisioned it.

18 July 2018

Interview with Delphine Wil, director of the film "Missionary memories" | Entretien avec Delphine Wil, réalisatrice du film Mémoire de missionnaires - by/de Thierno I. Dia,

Delphine Wil ©Neon Rouge Production
Interview with Delphine Wil, director of the film "Missionary memories" | Entretien avec Delphine Wil, réalisatrice du film Mémoire de missionnaires - by/de Thierno I. Dia, 27 06 2018. 

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

Interview with Delphine Wil, director of the film Mémoire de missionnaires. Her documentary opened the festival Mis me binga 2018, Cameroon

Mémoire de missionnaires “Missionary memories” (2017) is the first documentary film by Delphine Wil. Born in Germany in 1988 fof a Belgian father and a Belgian-Congolese mother, she is a filmmaker whose cultural diversity has shaped her path. She completed her studies in photography at the École de Photographie de la Ville de Bruxelles) and in journalism at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, parallel to filmmaking, she works in the information field in Francophone Africa.

She started her professional career as a radio journalist at the Radio Télévision Belge Francophone (RTBF) before moving to the audio-visual sector. She participated in a video creation workshop in Mons and in Senegal, and afterwards moved to Burkina Faso, where she works with Manivelle Productions. Mémoire de missionnaires (2017) was the opening film of the 9th edition of Mis me binga 2018, International Women’s Film Festival in Yaounde, which was held from 26-30 June 26. The film will travel to several festivals, in Europe and in Congo, with other cultural events to follow.

What motivated the making of a film about missionary memory (rather than a photo series for example or a press article)?

A film is able to mobilize sound and image and to show the behaviour, reactions, and personality of the characters. To me, the combination of all these elements seems important for this project, because it deals with a subject that may be considered sensitive. In my opinion, seeing on screen the engagement of these people at that age tells something in itself. They entrust their truth, in retrospect, as they perceive it today. Some reaffirm the prejudices of the epoch. Others are more critical. My desire was to transmit this ambivalence. To me, it seems necessary to listen to these elders, despite the fact that the information that they relay can be incriminating; because—whether we like it or not—they illustrated history. Photos or a press article would probably not have gone as far in these nuances as a film.

What does it mean for your film to be selected at Mis Be Binga and as the opening film?

It is a great honour for me to be selected at the Mis Me Binga Festival and, moreover, to see it as the opening film of the Festival, which is also the premiere for Mémoire de missionnaires, is a recompense for the work of the entire team. I am also very happy that an African festival has made this choice, because it shows that the film addresses a subject that has made an impact and, hence, it is important to discuss it on the continent. It also demonstrates the double identity of the film, both African and European; and the fact that the festival showcases the perspectives of the women filmmakers within cinematographic creation is also important to me.

The film does not seem to have been programmed at festivals in Belgium and France? Is it a choice on your part or resistance from the programmers?

The film was broadcast on television in Belgium on the RTBF and in France on Lyon Capitale TV and was accessible for two months in both countries, in addition to Switzerland, through the video-on-demand platform [VoD] Tënk. The Belgian company Neon Rouge Production that produced Mémoire de missionnaires continues to send it to many Belgian and French festivals (and beyond). The film will be screened at the Festival des cinémas d'Afrique de Toulouse (Festival of African Cinemas in Toulouse) in late August, early September. We obviously hope that there are other selections in Belgium and France. For me, the goal is for the film to be seen, wherever that may be and in any way possible.

It is clear that, for the moment, the film circulates better in African festivals than in European ones. It is difficult for me to provide an analysis in this regard. There is a certain unpredictability in the programmers’ selection process.

In Kigali (Mashariki FilmFest), you announced a trilogy around the genocide in Rwanda, what stage are you on this project?

In 2014, this trilogy project turned into two portraits, rather in the form of a report, which is accessible on my blog [in French]:

Presently, I am writing a short fiction entitled “Au risque de se perdre” (At the risk of getting lost) that evokes the career of an African journalist, which particularly appeals to me. I co-directed with radio director and sound engineer, Jeanne Debarsy, a sound creation entitled  "Sous l'eau, les larmes du poisson qui pleure ne se voient pas" (Under water, the tears of the crying fish cannot be seen). I am also developing a new documentary project, for which I do not yet have a title.

09 July 2018

Appel à films – Call for films – JCC 2018 - les journées cinématographiques de Carthage | Carthage Film Festival

Appel à films – Call for films – JCC 2018 - les journées cinématographiques de Carthage | Carthage Film Festival


CALL FOR FILMS. The 29th session of the Carthage film festival - JCC 2018 (03-10 November 2018) Tunisia

OFFICIAL COMPETITION - Feature and short fiction films or documentaries, African and Arab 

Deadline for submissions 15 08 2018 


APPEL A FILMS. La 29ème session du festival du films : les journées cinématographiques de Carthage - JCC 2018 (03-10 novembre 2018) Tunisie

COMPETITION OFFICIELLE –longs et courts métrages ou documentaires arabes et africains

Date limite des inscriptions le 15 08 2018 

CINEF #4 2018 - Cinéma au féminin (Kinshasa) : Meduse, Cheveux Afro et Autres Mythes | Medusa, Afro hair and other myths by/de Adèle Albrespy, Johanna Makabi

Court Métrage – Short
Documentary | Documentaire
Meduse, Cheveux Afro et Autres Mythes
Medusa, Afro hair and other myths (2017)
by/de Adèle Albrespy, Johanna Makabi (France)



From Paris to Marseille, from London to Dakar, Adèle and Johanna film different types and techniques of hairdressing: braids—attached, plaited, bonding, or styles—weaving, straightening, natural. Through these encounters and conversations with people and hairdressers, as well from the stories of Romy, Cyn, Kami and Louise, Adèle and Johanna investigate the importance of treatment and maintenance of hair in the diverse African cultures. Hair, in fact, turns out to be more political than aesthetic...

De Paris à Marseille et de Londres à Dakar, Adèle et Johanna ont filmé différents types et techniques de coiffure : tresses collées, plates ou plaquées, tissage, défrisage, afro… C’est au détour de rencontres avec des passants ou coiffeurs ainsi qu’à travers les récits de Romy, Cyn, Kami et Louise, qu’elles s’interrogent sur l’importance du traitement et de l’entretien des cheveux dans les cultures africaines. Un sujet qui se révèle finalement plus politique qu’esthétique…


Johanna Makabi
Graduate of a Master of documentary cinema at Paris Diderot, and currently in Master of Anthropological Cinema and Documentary at the University of Nanterre, Johanna Makabi is destined to a career as a director. Johanna is also an ambassador and programmer for the Cinewax association, which promotes African cinemas in France and Senegal.  

Adèle Albrespy
Graduated with a degree in cinema at the University Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne and after a year at the Università di Roma Tre, Adèle Albrespy is currently in Master 2 at the University of Nanterre where she writes a dissertation on dance in the work of Pier Paolo Pasolini. She has directed several short films and edited for companies, notably for Les Cahiers du Cinéma and the CNC.

Johanna Makabi
Diplomée d’un Master de cinéma documentaire à Paris Diderot, et actuellement en Master de cinéma anthropologique et documentaire à l'Université de Nanterre, Johanna Makabi se déstine à une carrière de réalisatrice. Johanna est également ambassadrice et programmatrice au sein de l’association Cinewax qui fait la promotion des cinémas africains en France et au Sénégal.

Adèle Albrespy 
Diplômée d’une licence de cinéma à l’Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne et après un an passé à l’Università di Roma Tre, Adèle Albrespy est actuellement en Master 2 à l’Université de Nanterre où elle écrit un mémoire sur la danse dans l’œuvre de Pier Paolo Pasolini. Elle a réalisé plusieurs courts-métrages et fait du montage pour des entreprises, notamment pour Les Cahiers du cinéma et le CNC.

CINEF #4 2018 - Cinéma au féminin (Kinshasa) : Blanc-Noir et Heureux | Black White and Happy by/de Cornelia Glèlè

Court Métrage – Short
Documentary | Documentaire
Blanc-Noir et Heureux | Black White and Happy (2017)
by/de Cornelia Glèlè (Benin)


"Blanc-Noir et Heureux" relates the discrimination and rejection that Fatu and Restarick experience because of their albinism. The film also exposes the determination of these two characters to keep their heads on their shoulders to realize their dreams, despite the prejudices.

The goal is to show that people with albinism are normal people like all humans and that whatever the color of our skin, equality is what characterizes us the best.

« Blanc-Noir et heureux » relate la discrimination et le rejet qu'éprouvent Fatu et Restarick à cause de leur albinisme. Le film expose également la détermination de ces deux personnages à garder la tête sur leurs épaules pour réaliser leurs rêves, malgré les préjugés.

Le but est de montrer que les gens atteints d’albinisme sont des personnes normales comme tous les humains et que quelque soit la couleur de notre peau, l’égalité est ce qui nous caractérise le mieux.

Sources : 


Cornelia Glèlè studied journalism at the Institut Superieur des métiers d'audiovisuel ISMA in Cotonou, Benin. She is a documentary filmmaker, blogger for Ecranbenin since 2017 and freelance at the Benin Association of Social Marketing since 2015.

Cornelia Glèlè a fait ses études à Institut Supérieur des Métiers de l'audiovisuel ISMA Bénin en journalisme à Cotonou. Elle est réalisatrice documentaire, blogueuse pour Ecranbenin depuis 2017 et pigiste à l’Association Béninoise de Marketing Social depuis 2015. 

CINEF #4 2018 - Cinéma au féminin (Kinshasa) : A Place for myself | Une place pour moi by/de Marie Clementine Dusabejambo

Court Métrage – Short
A Place for myself | Une place pour moi (2016)
by/de Marie Clementine Dusabejambo (Rwanda)


 “A Place for Myself” captures the story of Elikia, a five-year-old girl with albinism who attends a regular elementary school. Due to her skin colour her classmates make her realise that her "difference" is more a problem than a special trait. While the neighbourhood treats her as a stereotype, her mother encourages her. Together they fight back and raise their voice to find a place for themselves.

At some point, every child dreams of being a superhero, wearing a cape: imagining a power that makes it a reality. Along the way, many of us lose our self-confidence and our faith is taken away when the world shows us how different we are from what is called “normality. “A Place for Myself” is a reflection on our differences. Our goal is to inspire young people and to make them realise that human beings have a lot in common to focus on, rather than just differences.

Dans une école primaire quelconque, arrive Elikia, une fille âgée de cinq ans, atteinte d’albinisme. A cause de la couleur de sa peau, ses camarades de classe s’aperçoivent que sa différence est plus un problème qu’un caractère particulier. Tandis que son voisinage la considère comme un stéréotype, sa mère la soutient. Ensemble, elles réagissent et élèvent leurs voix pour trouver leur propre place.


Marie Clementine Dusabejambo, born in Kigali, studied electronics and telecommunications in Rwanda. She is a filmmaker working with the Rwandan-based Almond Tree Films Collective.

Marie Clémentine Dusabejambo, née à Kigali, a fait des etudes en électronique et télécommunications. Cinéaste, elle travaille avec Almond Tree Films Collective basé au Rwanda.