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.

31 January 2014

Lula Ali Ismaïl: Pioneer of Djibouti Cinema

Text and image source: Jeune Afrique. “Lula Ali Ismaïl la First Lady du cinéma djiboutien cinema” by Clarisse Juompan-Yakam. Translated from French by Beti Ellerson

Lula Ali Ismaïl will begin filming Dhalinyaro, the first feature film from Djibouti, which depicts the daily life and hopes of the young women of her country.

She decided to give fiction a life in her home country. After Laan, the first short film ever made by a Djibouti filmmaker, this year Canadian-based Lula Ali Ismaïl will present to her homeland its first feature film, Dhalinyaro. A co-production of 800 000€ - Canadian, French, Djibouti (160 000€) and Senegalese, in partnership with the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF).

Starting in October 2014, the seven-week film shoot will take place entirely in Djibouti. While she concedes that it is a challenge, and above all a heavy responsibility, she is not at all daunted by it. Currently, during scouting in Djibouti, the thirty-year old, who has been navigating for the past four years between Paris, Montreal and the continent, says that she relies on experienced partners, such as independent producer Gilles Sandoz from France.

In a country with neither a space nor infrastructure dedicated to cinema, she also welcomes governmental support. "There is a real political will to revive this cinema", asserts Lula Ali Ismaïl, the youngest of a family of eight. "This is exciting!"

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