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.

05 November 2011

Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe Community Outreach

Source: WILDTRACK Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe (WFOZ) Newsletter 3rd Edition (November 2011)

Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe (WFOZ) is excited to take the International Images Film Festival for Women (IIFF) outreach to the Matabeleland North town of  Binga for the first time. The project will take place from the 5 to the 8 of December 2011 where local films will be screened to the Binga audiences. Located in Matabeleland North, 450km away from Bulawayo, Binga district has a population of about 118 842 people. Targeting an audience of about 5000 people, IIFF will screen the films Nyami nyami amaji abulozi (Nyaminyami and the Evil Eggs), Peretera maneta (Spell my Name) and I Want A Wedding Dress. Each film is specifically chosen for the community because of its theme, content and relevance.  Nyami nyami is an adaptation of ancient Tonga folklore. Peretera maneta tackles child sexual abuse, while I Want A Wedding Dress focuses on HIV and AIDS and behavioural change, particularly amongst young people. 

Binga, like any other community, has its own challenges and these range from cultural practices such as wife inheritance and domestic sexual violence.  Secretive sexual performance with a close relative as a cleansing ceremony has been highlighted as another challenge that Tonga women still face.  Such practices drive the HIV/AIDS pandemic.  Disastrously, as a result of cultural circumstances, 'mothers' are viewed as contributing to the spread of the pandemic by not defending the girl child from abuse.

Several initiatives to create space for women to freely interact, to build confidence and attain collective power, as well as share sensitive gender information have been introduced in the area. Participating in these initiatives, Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe uses the medium of film to enable these women, especially the young to identify, analyse and find possible solutions to problems that affect them as individuals and as a group through engaging with messages in the film. Film allows viewers a chance to discuss and debate issues normally swept under the carpet.  WFOZ almost always experience this during community outreach programmes. Discussion participants, having seen engaging films on problems that affect them personally, can both identify with protagonists and "hide" behind characters.  Audiences bring up issues citing the 
film, yet in reality referring to a real life experience. 

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