Even before the 1997 FESPACO, the festival devoted a platform to women during the 12th edition in 1991 under the title "Women, Cinema, Television and Video in Africa." The meeting brought together fifty women from more than fifteen countries chaired by Senegalese Annette M'Baye d'Erneville, a veteran in the field of communications in Africa, founder of RECIDAK (Rencontres Cinématographiques de Dakar) and director of Consortium de communications audiovisuelles en Afrique (CCA) in Senegal. Two years before in 1989, the Montreal-based film festival Vues d'Afrique organized a special section devoted to African women in the visual media. The program consisted of: a screening of short and feature length films, television shows, and video programs produced and directed by African women; a discussion of the on-screen image of women and the influence of the media; a colloquium on the role of African women in the audiovisual media which included a survey of the participants' assessment of the current situation and their recommendations. On the African continent, three years later in 1992, the Zimbabwe-based Africa Women Filmmakers Trust was formed.
The prolific activity of the 1990s was an indicator of the increased interest and visibility of African women in cinema both on the continent and internationally that followed, ushering in the creation of film festivals and organizations such as South Africa-based Women of the Sun, launched in 2000. This initiative brought about several other South African projects including the African Women Filmmakers Awards in 2003 and the African Women Film Festival in 2004. The Zimbabwe-based Zimmedia, initiated the Mama Africa Project, completed in 2001. The three-year project promoted the scriptmaking and production of films by women. Another initiative coming out of Zimbabwe is the International Images Film Festival for Women (IIFF) founded by Tsitsi Dangarembga in 2002. Other international festivals include the London-based, Images of Black Women Film Festival created in 2005.
African women film festival organizers have also positioned themselves as important players in the industry. Namibian producer and filmmaker Bridget Pickering and Sierra Leoneon Mahen Bonetti are pioneers in this domain. In 1992, Pickering launched the Pan African Film Festival of Namibia; while a year later in 1993, Bonetti created the New York African Film Festival, featuring as guest filmmaker, Ousmane Sembene, of beloved memory, who, to use Bonetti's words, “gave his blessing”. In 1998, actress and film professional Hanny Tchelley from Cote d’Ivoire, inaugurated the Festival International du Court Metrage d’Abidjan-FICA (the International Festival of Short Films of Abidjan). In 2008, the festival celebrated its 10 anniversary with a fete and the launching of a blog.
Related links on the African Women in Cinema Blog
The Cultural Healing Festival – London diaspora edition 2013: Founder and director of the festival Taghreed Elsanhouri
Farah Clémentine Dramani Issifou: the 2013 Africadoc Benin and Festival des Nouveaux Cinémas Documentaires (New Documentary Cinemas Festival)
Nadine Otsobogo crée le Festival du Film de Masuku - Nature et environnement | Nadine Otosobogo creates the Film Festival of Masuku - Nature and Environment (Gabon) - 15-17 août 2013 | 15-17 August 2013
Naky Sy Savane: “Cinema is a vehicle for unity and social cohesion” – International Film Festival of the Lagunes – 08-16 November 2013 (Côte d'Ivoire)
Safi Faye: Role Model (A tribute to Safi Faye at the 32nd Festival International de Films de Femmes)
TAZAMA - African Women Film Festival | Festival du film des femmes africaines - January | janvier 2014 - Congo-Brazzaville