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.

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01 February 2019

Cascade Festival of African Films (Portland, Oregon USA) 2019

29th Annual Cascade Festival of African Films
In Celebration of Black History Month
At Portland Community College
01 February - 02 March 2019

The Cascade Festival of African Films (Portland, Oregon USA), is held during the months of February and March, thus commemorating the U.S. celebration of Black History Month and Women’s History Month, respectively. The closing week of the festival features Women Filmmakers Week, which includes retrospectives, tributes and recently released short and feature film.

The Cascade Festival of African Films shows us Africa through the eyes of Africans, rather than a vision of Africa packaged for Western viewers. The films celebrate Africa’s achievements, expose its failures, and reveal possibilities for a hopeful future. Although the films cannot represent an entire continent, we hope to encourage American viewers to become interested in and study African cultures.

Source: (Texts and Images)
Cascade Festival of African Films

2019 Films - 01-23 February (Festival website link to films

Yomeddine 2018 by Abu Bakr Shawky 97min - Opening Night Film 
Shorts from Emerging African Filmmakers
The African Storm / L'Orage Africain, 2017 by Sylvestre Amoussou 89min
Wallay, 2017 by Berni Goldblat (Burkina Faso) 84min
Essebat*, 2017 by Amira Ghehanne Khalfallah (Algeria, Morocco) 6min
Akasha, 2018 by Hajooj Kuka (Sudan) 78min
Little Fiel, 2017 by Irina Patkanian (Mozambique/Russia) 15min
Winnie, 2017 by Pascale Lamche (France, South Africa) 98min
Keteke, 2017 by Peter Sedufia (Ghana) 98min
Razzia, 2017 by Nabil Ayouch (Morocco) 119min
Supa Modo, 2018 by Likarion Wainaina (Kenya) 74min 
Arthur's Bike, 2017 by Tafadzwa Chiriga (Zimbabwe) 18min 
Silas*, 2017 by Hawa Essuman and Anjali Nayar (Liberia) 80min
Five Fingers for Marseilles, 2017 by Michael Matthews (South Africa) 120min 
Fig Tree*, 2018 by Aäläm-Wärqe Davidian (Ethiopia Israel) 93min
Hathor Stone, 2017 by Gasser Gado (Egypt) 8min 
Uncertain Future / Lendemains Incertains, 2018 by Eddy Munyaneza (Burundi) 69min 
Liyana, 2017 by Aaron & Amanda Kopp (Swaziland/USA) 77min

The 2019 lineup of films for Women Filmmakers Week - 28 February to 2 March

Beauty and the Dog, 2017 by Kaouther Ben Hania(Tunisia) 100in
During a student party, Mariam, a young Tunisian woman, meets the mysterious Youssef and leaves with him. A long night will begin, during which she’ll have to fight for her rights and her dignity. But how can justice be served when it lies on the side of her tormentors? 

Sayeda, 2017 by Nesma Zazou (Egypt) 15min
A story of a mother who needs to get her child to a doctor’s appointment and encounters both bureaucratic and physical obstacles in her way.

Marie-Madeleine: a Female Chief, 2018 by Florence Ayisi (Cameroon) 66min
As Marie-Madeleine beats the African drum on her enthronement day, the gentle sounds signal a break with tradition. It is the dawn of a new era in the village of Nkol Ngock I. A woman will be their traditional leader. This is an unusual occurrence in most African societies, where the position of chief is customarily handed down from father to son. This documentary presents a rare glimpse into a community undergoing change. Social attitudes toward gender equality are changing, as men openly acknowledge and speak about the importance of women in development. Even though some villagers consider Marie-Madeleine a “stranger” because she lives in the capital city of Yaoundé, she is determined to learn about her culture and integrate into village life.

Restoring Focus, 2018 by Sue-Ellen Chitunya (Zimbabwe) 11min
In a country that is known for political controversies, one man, Dr. Solomon Guramatunhu, does all he can to uplift and empower Zimbabwean people through his work as a medical doctor and philanthropist.

I am not a Witch, 2017 by Nungano Nyoni (Zambia) 93min
An original and daringly satirical parable of magic and misogyny, superstition and social strictures, I Am Not a Witch tells the story of eight-year-old Shula, who turns up alone and unannounced in a rural Zambian village. The locals are suspicious of her. She becomes involved in a minor incident that escalates to a full-blown witch trial, where she is found guilty and sentenced to life in a government-run witch camp. There, she is tethered to a long white ribbon and told that if she ever tries to run away, she will be transformed into a goat. Soon she is forced to make a difficult decision–whether to resign herself to life in the camp, or take a risk for freedom.

Rafiki, 2018 by Wanuri Kahui (Kenya) 83min
Rafiki, which means “friend” in Swahili, is a love story between two young Kenyan women who live in a country where homosexuality is banned. Forced to hide their love from family, friends and the public, Kena and Ziki create their own private world where their love flourishes in hidden, snatched moments of joy and happiness. Inevitably, however, Kena and Ziki are unable to escape their country’s harsh laws and prejudices against gay people, and they are forced to choose between happiness, family, and safety.

*Also women-directed films

Essebat, 2017 by Amira Ghehanne Khalfallah* (Algeria/ Morocco) 6min
A young boy must make a living cleaning shoes, but his imagination allows him to see the world from a new perspective.

Silas, 2017 by Hawa Essuman and Anjali Nayar (Liberia) 80min
The documentary profiles the life of Liberian activist Silas Siakor, a tireless crusader against illegal logging and a symbol of resistance for a new generation. Siakor trains a network of citizen reporters, using smart phones with apps, to expose land grabs and corruption in West Africa. He also reveals ties between President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s relatives and logging interests.

Fig Tree, 2018 by Aäläm-Wärqe Davidian (Ethiopia Israel) 93min
Set in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the film focuses on Mina, an Ethiopian-Jewish teenager who learns of her family’s plan to escape the war by immigrating to Israel. She fears the worst for her Christian boyfriend, Eli, who hides out in a fig tree to avoid being captured and forced into joining Mengistu Haile Mariam’s army. Mina is determined to solve Eli’s problems.


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