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.

27 August 2010

Women of the Sun Making HERstory

WOMEN OF THE SUN, in conjunction with the Goethe Institut, the Gauteng Film Commission (GFC) and the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), are putting African women filmmakers on the map with the launch of a seven day film festival to celebrate African Women Filmmakers, in Johannesburg (2nd – 9th September). The Women Of the Sun Film Festival (WoS Film Festival) will be the First African Women Film Festival to take place in South Africa, featuring 25 films by 23 talented women filmmakers from 15 African Countries with 15 of the filmmakers present at the screenings.

The festival offers a unique opportunity to see great films and to meet the exceptional women behind them. It’s open to all – and there’s something for everyone. The selection will showcase some of the best examples of the filmmaking craft, crossing a diverse range of genres and styles, from family drama to social justice documentaries to experimental films. 

Guests include Jyoti Mistry with her film The Bull on the Roof (South Africa), from the Sudan Tagreed Elsanhouri Mother Unknown and All About Darfur, from Kenya Hawa Essuman’s and her latest film festival sensation Soul Boy, produced by acclaimed German director Tom Tywker (Run Lola Run/Perfume). Other guests are Burkina Faso’s Fanta Nacro (Night of Truth), highly acclaimed Algerian director Djamila Sahraoui (Barakat!), Zimbabwe’s award winning novelist and film director, Tsitsi Dangarembga, and the first Angolan woman to ever make a feature film, Maria Joao Ganga (Hollow City).

This is a festival that will challenge the notion that only certain people make films and that only certain places/countries have a film industry. It will open our eyes and ears to distinct female voices from far flung places across the continent and highlight emerging industry and talent.

“The time is ripe to change the widely held belief that filmmaking is a male domain,” says Eve Rantseli, Director of Women of the Sun. “Women in film have much to say and are saying it with unique vision and flair. The launch of this annual women’s film festival will be the start of getting women filmmakers and their works part of the mainstream.”

The Women of the Sun Film Festival is running alongside the African Women Filmmaker’s Forum. Hosted by the Goethe Institute, the forum gathers a delegation of 25 women filmmakers of all levels of experience from sub-Saharan Africa, the USA and Germany to network with and gain inspiration from colleagues. The Forum is a platform for Africa women filmmakers to assess the situation and develop strategies to strengthen their presence in the industry. It’s all about creating inspiration and supporting women in the industry to make more films, and once films are made, getting work widely distributed to audiences. Invited participants include world-renowned women filmmakers and festival programmers, distributors and local and international directors, producers and academics.

The festival’s red carpet launch will take place at Arts on Main on the evening of the 2nd and will be attended by some of the biggest names associated with women and film. Among them are renowned professor of media, culture and gender theory, Dr. Christina von Braun (Germany), Berlinale Programme Director, filmmaker and journalist Dorothee Wenner and Director of New York based distribution company, Women Make Movies, Debra Zimmerman.

  • The festival runs from Friday 3rd September to Thursday 9th September at the Bioscope Cinema on Fox Street.
  • Opening Night Thursday the 2nd at Arts on Main (RSVP crucial).
  • The Forum takes place from 1st to 4th September at the Goethe Institute. Day 4 is open to members of the public (all filmmakers).

Eve Rantseli
(Executive Officer of Women of the Sun)