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.

08 May 2009

Research Sources on African Women in Cinema

The Internet is an increasingly useful information-sharing mechanism for research on African women in cinema. This is true for African women who want to disseminate information and do relevant research but also for people who are interested in learning more about African women in cinema. Of course, the Internet-based Center for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema, from which this Blog derives, is a comprehensive site with extensive information on the topic. At a glance, below, are several other sources that are equally available on the Internet:
Notably, Africultures, a French-based website which provides a plethora of articles, biographies, film synopsis and analyses. While most of the sources are in French, there are some articles in English. For those who can read French as well, both language sources are listed.
The most recent Africultures publication, No. 76 gives homage to Ousmane Sembene, the most recent ancestor of African cinema who passed in 2007. Three articles (in French only) are devoted to women and gender issues:
Also recently published, the Africultures 74, 2009, Féminisme(s) en Afrique et dans la diaspora - Feminism(s) in Africa and the Diaspora, includes three articles on cinema (in French only):
Other articles from Africultures include:
Femmes et hommes dans les cinemas d’Afrique noire by Olivier Barlet 


What is the Gaze of a female filmmaker? Interview with Anne-Laure Folly by Olivier Barlet 1997

There is a wealth of information on Africultures which may be accessed by inputting the desired information in RECHERCHE RAPIDE at the top of the page.
The Internet is rich in sources of research on African women in cinema from scholars around the world, a selection below:

Sophie Hoffelt.
“L’image des femmes maliennes à travers le regard d’un cineaste: Cheick Oumar Sissoko.”

Institut Panos Afrique de l’Ouest.
Femmes africaines des médias: Portraits de journalists et de cineastes africaines, 2005.

Sheila Petty. “
Images of Women and Oppression in ‘Francophone’ West African Film.” Canadian Journal of Communication, vol. 14, no. 3, 1989.

Françoise Pfaff
. Twenty-five Black African Filmmakers. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1988. Chapters on Safi Faye and Sarah Maldoror, including a filmography and comprehensive bibliography. Click on links above for reprinted chapters.

Françoise Pfaff. "
Three Faces of Africa: Women in Xala." Jump Cut, July 1982, pp. 27-31.
Scholarly works from university theses include Zimbabwean Chido Matewa’s 2002, PhD dissertation from University of Manchester entitled, “Case Study of Africa Women Filmmakers Trust in Media and the Empowerment of Communities for Social Change” and Kenyan Wanjiku Beatrice Mukora’s 1999 Master’s thesis entitled “Disrupting Binary Divisions: Representation of Identity in Saikati and Battle of the Sacred Tree” from McGill University in Montreal.

Michael Dembrow English professor at Portland Community College and part of the committee of the Annual Cascade Festival of African Films, located in Portland, Oregon, also writes the film notes. Among this very useful resource are films notes for works by and about African women--that have been showcased in the Festival, below is a selection:
Ecrans d’Afrique/African Screen was the first pan-African revue of its kind dedicated to cinema, television and audiovisual producers in Africa. Created by FEPACI, the Pan-African Federation of Filmmakers, it was in existence from 1991 to 1998.

Women were visible both on the covers and in the pages of the revue. Following are citations of and links to articles, profiles and tidbits highlighting African women in all areas of cinema: filmmakers, editors, actors, producers, make-up artists, and other positions.

  • Profile of Fanta Nacro, Burkina Faso-Director, p35
  • Cinema africain au féminin. Un difficile enfantement/African women in cinema. A difficult childbirth. Summary of the Historic African Women in the Cinema Workshop, FESPACO 1991, by Emmanuel Sama - p69
  • At a Glance: Film review of Saikati by Kenyan filmmaker Anne Mungai, p29
  • Profile of Funmi Osoba, Nigerian director by Françoise Kaboré, p70
  • Interview with Oumou Sy, Senegalese costume designer by Alessandra Speciale, p104
  • Profile of Anne-Laure Folly, Togolese director by Clément Tapsoba, p36
  • Flash: African Women in Film and Video - Kenya section, p5
  • Profile of Nadia El Fani, Tunisia-Director, p45
  • Profile of Mouna Fettou, Moroccoan actress by Amadou Gaye, p43
  • Profile of Aminata Zouré, Burkinabé make-up artist by Cheick Kolla Maiga, p87
  • Interview with Akosua Busia, Ghanaian actress, by Macy Domingo and Klevor Abo, p6
  • Interview with Izza Genini, Moroccoan director by Thérèse-Marie Deffontaines, p8
  • Women filmmakers in Morocco. Profiles of Farida Benlyazid, Touda Bouanani, Farida Bourquia, Izza Genini, Imane Mesbahi, by Amadou Gaye, p10-11
  • Profile of Joyce Makwenda, Zimbabwean director by Clément Tapsoba, p39
  • Profile of Franceline Oubda, Burkinabé director by Clément Tapsoba, p40
  • A Threefold Trial: African, Female and Actress. Portrait of Naky Sy Savane, of Côte d’Ivoire and Félicité Wouassi, Cameroon, by Alessandra Speciale, p24
  • Profile of Margaret Fombé Fobé, Cameroonian director by Clément Tapsoba, p27
  • Profile of Kadiatou Konaté, Malian director by Jadot Sezirahiga, p28
  • Interview with Kahena Attia, Tunisian Chief Film Editor by Françoise Kaboré, p67
  • Flash: "Fifth Women's Regional Conference in preparation for the Beijing Conference, p5
  • At a Glance: Film review of Retrouver Oulad Moumen by Izza Genini, Moroccan director, p26
  • Profile of Viola Shafik, Tunisian director by Alessandra Speciale, p32
  • Profile of Monique Phoba, Democratic Republic of Congo director by Sambolgo Bangre
  • Review of Femmes d'images de l'Afrique francophone by Najwa Tlili by Lynn Bettis
  • Flash: National Bureau of the Pan African Union of Women in the Image Industry of Gabon, p5
  • Flash: Pan-African Union of Women in the Image Industry, p5
  • Profile of Burkinabé filmmaker Sarah Bouyain (who at the time was assistant director) by Clément Tapsoba, p18
  • At a Glance: Film review of The Battle of the Sacred Tree by Kenyan filmmaker Wanjiru Kinyanjui, p24
  • At a Glance: Film review of Léon G. Damas by Guadeloupian filmmaker Sarah Maldoror, p24
  • The Female Body, Culture and Space: The Female Body in African Cinema, by Beti Ellerson, p28
  • Interview with Sarah Maldoror, Guadeloupean director by Jadot Sezirahiga, p6
  • Interview with Hafsa Z. Koudil, Algerian director by Cheick Kolla Maiga, p12
  • Profile of Oum Dierryla, Senegalese actress by Clément Tapsoba, p17
  • Profile of Dommie Yambo Odotte, Kenyan director, by Noufou Ouedraogo, p18
  • At a Glance: Film review of Ash-shaytan imra'/Le démon au féminin by Algerian filmmaker Hafsa Zinai Koudil, p34
  • At a Glance: Film review of Puk Nini by Burkinabé filmmaker Fanta Nacro, p59
  • Flash: Chad - A Fatwa Against Zara Yacoub, p7
  • Profile of Abiba Diarra, Ivorian-Malian Actress, by Sambolgo Bangre, p35
  • At a Glance: Film review of La Danse du feu by Tunisian filmmaker Selma Baccar, p49
  • Alone: A Film about a Family in Zimbabwe by Zimbabwean filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga, by Françoise Kaboré and Sakbolé, p62
  • Flash: "South Africa: Women in Cinema, p7
  • At a Glance: Film review of Puk Nini by Fanta Nacro, Burkinabé filmmaker, p37
  • Excerpt from an interview with Asma al Bakri, Egyptian director by Ahmed Atef, p61
  • At a Glance: Film review of Mossane by Senegalese filmmaker, Safi Faye, p34
  • Recidak 96: When the Women of Cinema Take Action! By Cheriff Amadou Diop, p39
  • Flash: "Zimbabwe: An Association of Women Filmmakers, p7
  • At a Glance: Film review of Honey and Ashes by Nadia Fares, Tunisian filmmaker, p17
  • At a Glance: Film review of Everyone's Child by Tsitsi Dangarembga, Zimbabwean filmmaker, p27
  • When Women Standup, African Cinema Moves. Interview with Martine Ilboudo Condé, Guinea/Burkina Faso director by Clément Tapsoba, p22
  • Female Scoop in Harare by Françoise Kaboré, p84
  • Aids in the City. Interview with Hanny Brigitte Tchelley, Ivoirian Actress/TV Producer, Clément Tapsoba, p88
  • The Women of FESPACO 97: Valérie Kaboré or the filmmaker 'of all trades' by Clément Tapsoba, p35
  • Mariam Kaba en positif/Mariam Kaba thinks positive, par/by Anne Khady Sé - p36
  • Do They Remember Us. Interview with Shirikiana Aina [USA director] by Beti Ellerson, p8
  • Portrait of Palesa Letlaka-Nkosi, South African director by Corinne Miglioli, p41
  • At a Glance: Film review of Pour le plaisir des yeux by Izza Genini, Moroccan filmmaker, p45
  • Discovery of a Festival by Wabei Siyolwe, p55
  • The Variety of African Cultures by Wabei Siyolwe, p67
  • [Cuban filmmaker] Gloria Rolando on Slavery by William Tanifeani, p86
  • Anta and Lingère: Portraits of Women by Nike Morganti, p54
  • Ousmane Sembene, The Suburb of Women by Baba Diop. Sembene talks about his film Faat Kine by Baba Diop p91
  • Interview with Venus Seye, protagonist of Faat Kine by Ousmane Sembene by Baba Diop, p92
The text on Ecrans d'Afrique is reprinted from Women’s Experiences in Ecran’s d’Afrique/African Screen, Center for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema.

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