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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Director/Directrice, Centre for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema | Centre pour l'étude et la recherche des femmes africaines dans le cinéma

12 June 2019

Out of Africa International Film Festival (OOAIFF) 2019: Call for entries for the 5th Edition

Out of Africa International Film Festival (OOAIFF) 2019
Call for entries for the 5th Edition

PRESS RELEASE

The 20-22 November OOAIFF will return to the Safaricom House, Michael Joseph Centre Kenya.

Out of Africa International Film Festival (OOAIFF) is committed to discovering and developing African filmmakers as well as out of Africa Cineastes, to reach their greatest potential in the industry and to provide the global audience with original and creative films.

Through the networking platform filmmakers will be discovered, supported, and inspired to create world record films that appeal to a global audience in their originality and creativity.

Film makers with works around all genres are welcome to submit for selection and screening at the venue during the festival.


There will be screenings of high-caliber selections of new-release features, documentaries and short films from all over Africa and outside of Africa.


9 June 2019: Opening Date 
11 August 2019: Earlybird Deadline 
8 September 2019: Regular Deadline 
5 October 2019: Notification Date 
20-22 November: 2019 Event Date

Organizers

Mumbi Hinga
Festival Director

Rose Wachuka
Festival Director

31 May 2019

Report: Africa Film Academy Workshop 2019 (Enugu, Nigeria)

Report: Africa Film Academy Workshop 2019

Source: AMAA Awards
Image: Africa Film Academy Award’s founder, Ms Peace Anyiam Osigwe

Africa Film Academy under the aegis of the AMAA Awards presented the Africa Film Academy Workshop held on Thursday 23rd of May at the Lift Hall, Enugu with an attendance of over five hundred participants. The workshop achieved its aim which is to create a paradigm shift in the African film industry.

With veterans like Patience Ozokwor (Mama G), the Aneke Twins,  Ofiafuluagwu Mbaka , Steve Ebo Afam Okereke alongside rising stars from the various sectors of the industry, the well-attended workshop focused on key industry specialist areas that professionals should focus on to boost professionalism and increase investment.

Different facilitators at the workshop offered subject-matter expert view to enhance creative output of the industry in general and professional credibility of practitioners from the ropes of movie-making, to the value chains of funding and distribution.

While speaking on thriving in the film business, and indeed any other business, Jim Jermanok, an award- winning writer, director, producer, author and speaker based in New York whose film “Em” won the Grand Jury Prize at the Seattle International Film Festival and the Criterion International Inspiration Award opined that to stop learning is to stop living, "for life is a class and we all are students." He further asserted that,  "to be successful is to call persistence to service. Don’t stop going when the going gets tough."

The representative of BVA Consultancy spoke on the issue of financial literacy and how to access funds from the Bank of Industry for films and other creative endeavours. While he stressed the need for financial prudence, he also put attendees through the process of obtaining loans from credible financial institutions while bearing their creativity in mind.

Martin Gbados, the producer of the award-winning film, ‘Solider Story’ was also present, he spoke to the students about distribution and contracts. While he emphasized the legality of a contract, he went into the heartaches that can be avoided when a contract is in place. He particularly applauded the adoption of digital distribution channels, which have been on the increase. 

The Enugu state commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Rita Mba, was in attendance as well as 200 participants sponsored by the Enugu State Government. The sponsorship was to the tune of N2million with additional funding from the Osigwe Anyiam Osigwe foundation. The speakers at the workshop promised to offer continued support to participants of the workshop and the organizers as well. The workshop also received the green light from some Honourables who promised to further the cause. With the participants staying  for about  nine hours, the Africa Film Academy Workshop was intriguing as well as engaging.

During the Gala night which held on Friday, 24 May 2019, the Africa Film Academy Award’s founder, Ms Peace Anyiam Osigwe, spoke about the need for the filmmakers from the South East and South South to improve the quality of their films that they should look at quality rather than quantity. She hoped that soon a film from here could go to Cannes, Berlin , or Toronto and win best Film at AMAA.

Patience Ozokwo one of the celebrants of the Gala commented on the role AMAA has played in her career, Enugu, Nigeria and Africa as whole. She added that AMAA gave her the opportunity to give back to an industry that is the life work of several people. She spoke about an experience with AMAA where she had an opportunity of flying more than 20 people outside of Nigeria to South Africa—an honour she didn’t take for granted. 

The Gala night had a lot of surprises with Africa Film Academy and Ethiopia Airline partnering to fly out Patience Ozokwor to Dallas, for an event.

Ethiopian Airlines gave gifts the  stars  Ken Erics Ugo, Rachael Okonkwo, the Aneke twins, Nnaemeka Charles Eze (Nani Boy).  Hon. Barr. Chima Obieze, Don. Sylvester Chinedu Nwaeke and Chief Kenneth Anike, received the  Africa Film Academy special recognition  for support to film industry. 

Inducted in to the Africa Film Academy  Gold Patrons Club were: Hon Amos Oshi who is building a film village in Enugu and has been supporting  film makers in Nigeria and Chief Alexander Chukwudimma Nwokeabia. HRH  Igwe Edwin Edeoga was also inducted into  the Africa Film Academy  platinum  Patrons Club. 

The Speaker Enugu House of Representatives, Edward Ubosi, was inducted into the Platinum Patrons Club.  The club is a membership to individuals who support the advancement of the work of the Africa Film Academy programmes in Africa cinema, especially training and canvassing the inclusion of African cinema for all.

Jim Jermanok spoke on the workshop, hailing the organizers. He affirmed that the Nigerian film industry has a lot of untapped potentials and that with the knowledge gained from the workshop, participants will be charged up to be better filmmakers. 

He took time out to appreciate the hospitality of the organizers and indeed the good people of Enugu. He confessed that the nation is indeed one that is blessed with good people. He also admitted that he had the best of mouth watering meals.

Finally, the Speaker Enugu State House of Representatives, Edward Ubosi, accented to look into the plea and request of the from South East  Filmmakers  on Building a film village in Enugu, which will not only put Enugu on the creative map but also create a value chain of opportunities in the creative and entertainment industry.

27 May 2019

Black Camera: Safi Faye's Mossane: A Song to Women, to Beauty, to Africa by Beti Ellerson (Spring 2019)

Safi Faye's Mossane:
A Song to Women, to Beauty, to Africa
Beti Ellerson 
Black Camera: An International Film Journal
African Women in Cinema Dossier
Vol. 10, No. 2 (Spring 2019), pp. 250-265

Abstract

Mossane (dir. Safi Faye), completed in 1990 and released in 1996, is a timeless piece. That is the nature of legends, of myths, of allegories. Destiny has been inscribed, fate already determined. Having created a narrative imbued in Serer mythology, structured around the fate of a fourteen-year-old girl, who because of her stunning beauty, is returned to the Pangool spirits through the waters of the Mamangueth, Safi Faye’s cinematic endeavor was to decide in what way to tell the story and how to visualize it. This article frames the film Mossane within the context of Faye’s corpus of works, especially as it relates to prevailing themes that foreground women’s experiences within the rural sector and countryside, socio-economic matters, education, issues at the intersection of tradition and modernity, rituals and ceremonies and the importance of oral tradition as a foundation for visual storytelling. Set in Faye's Serer homeland, Mossane compares to her early Serer-focused films that draw its cast/participants from the village. While it is her only film in which the scenario and narrative are entirely fictionalized, the themes of class, the quotidian experiences of the rural-dwellers, oral tradition, struggles based on land and nature, the storyteller, are recurrent topics in Faye’s oeuvres. In addition, the article speaks to the manner in which Mossane addresses the right of women to have power over their own bodies and desires and the choice to marry who they choose, by framing the analysis of women's rights in the context of the broader discourse on the peasantry, education, custom and modernity. 


BLACK CAMERA ARTICLES BY BETI ELLERSON:






26 May 2019

Cannes 2019: Mati Diop receives/reçoit le Grand Prix

Cannes 2019 - Mati Diop
 Le Grand Prix for /pour Atlantique

Franco-Senegalese Mati Diop receives the Grand Prix at the Festival de Cannes for her film Atlantique.

Franco-Senegalaise Mati Diop reçoit le Grand Prix du Festival de Cannes pour son film Atlantique.

LINKS | LIENS

Mati Diop : Atlantique (Cannes 2019)

Mati Diop’s Atlantique analysis/analyse by/par Falila Gbadamassi

Mati Diop: "It was very important for me to dedicate a film to this ghost generation" | "C'était très important pour moi de dédier un film à cette génération fantôme". Interview/Entretien by/par Falila Gbadamassi

22 May 2019

Cannes 2019: Maïmouna N'Diaye, member of the jury | membre du jury: interview/entretien by/par Falila Gbadamassi (AfriqueFrance Télévisions)

Cannes 2019: Maïmouna N'Diaye
member of the jury | membre du jury interview/entretien by/par Falila Gbadamassi (AfriqueFrance Télévisions)

Translated excerpts from interview in French by Falila Gbadamassi. AfriqueFrance Télévisions. 13 05 2019


Choice of pursuing a career in Africa rather than Europe:

I admit that I was very lucky. I grew up in Africa, studied in Europe and then came back to the continent. It is indeed a choice, because at one point in my career in Europe, I felt that I had more to gain by working in Africa and I wanted to do things from the continent. It seemed obvious to me.

When I finished my studies, I worked in TV series and feature films in France. And then, there was an off-peak and rather than waiting for roles that did not come, I thought it would be better to collaborate with directors on the continent. And to avoid having to wait between films and because I like to be active, I embarked on the production of documentaries. I have roles in the theatre, in TV series and in the cinema. I am always on the move, because I need it. In addition, if the film industry is to develop, African filmmakers must be allowed to work on location with us.


As ambassador of Fespaco in 2019: Its evolution at the 50th anniversary

There are many things that have changed and others not so much. This year, I had the great honour of being the image of the fiftieth anniversary of Fespaco (Pan-African Festival of Film and Television). This was a privilege for several reasons: First, it is a pan-African festival, my diverse background and my cultural identities echo this [born in Paris of a Senegalese father and a Nigerien mother, grew up in Guinea, lived in France, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal before settling in Burkina Faso]. So I feel that I am at home in all of these places, and am very comfortable. I am international, pan-African and of African descent. I do not see my colour, but I know my cultures. Then, L’Œil du cyclone | The Eye of the Hurricane (2015) and the 12 awards that I received worldwide, and the film itself which received 80, certainly played an important part.

I think that the place of women in our African cinemas has evolved a great deal. They are more and more present in films, even if their roles remain stereotypes, whereas there are other characters to embody. On the technical side, the situation has also changed. It started with women directors, women cinematographers, sound and lighting engineers… They have pushed to be recognised and have asserted themselves in this environment of men. The advent of digital technology has helped to facilitate access to women. They are not only makeup artists, scriptwriters or editors. At this level, the situation has really evolved and it is a pleasure.

…at the level of productions, [African] filmmakers sometimes lack imagination or they do not want to take the time to unleash their imagination. I think that cinema has to make you dream, reflect and, why not, change mentalities or give another point of view. However, I find that we are still too close to what people live on a daily basis. I am a documentary filmmaker, so I will not criticize such an approach. Simply, I think that fiction must go beyond this.

Africans do not always want to see their reality in film, they want to be projected into another reality. People, young people especially, go to see foreign films because, in fact, they allow them to dream, they are taken elsewhere. Our cinema needs to get there. Our films must be seen in Africa and beyond, like all other productions. We have to make films, period! Even if we talk about African cinema, which is often classified as such, ultimately, a good film is a good film. We have to get there and we will succeed. The youth is on the way!


The regional disparity between Maghreb cinema/English-speaking countries and francophone regions in West and Central Africa

We need to understand in the francophone region that cinema is a real industry and that we must put in place genuine cultural policies so that cinema is funded at the level that it merits. Our policies must recognise that cinema pays. It is an idea that does not seem to get through.

Shooting a film involves setting up teams of women and men who, through their work, can support their families. I think that investing in cinema prevents us from having to sacrifice the education of young girls for the benefit of boys. To fund girls' education is to see what they are capable of! As long as cinema is only considered entertainment, we will not get there.

Djia Mambu, journalist and film critic | journaliste et critique de cinéma (Cannes 2019)

Djia Mambu, journalist and film critic
journaliste et critique de cinéma

Source: Le film français: le premier magazine web des professionals de l'audiovisuel. 19 mai 2019. Excerpts translated from French of an interview by Kevin Bertrand
Image: Semaine de la Critique - Cannes © Photo : Élise Ortiou Campion

EN FRANÇAIS: Les déjeuners du Film français à la Plage des Palmes avec Djia Mambu par Kevin Bertrand  http://www.lefilmfrancais.com/document/cannes2019/quotidien/FF5/index.html#p=10

Djia Mambu comes to Cannes in two capacities: at the invitation of the We Build Change programme and as jury member of the Semaine de la critique.

[To be a member] is a real privilege, especially as I am the first black African woman to be a part of this jury. For me it is very important, it is a wonderful message. Since only the first and second oeuvres are selected at the Semaine de la critique, we as a jury may, perhaps, launch a future "great" filmmaker. That is also important.

[VisuElles], I have always wanted to do something related to cinema. The idea was launched at the end of 2017 with the crisis around the Weinstein affair, of #metoo ... A window opened, and I took the opportunity to concretise this idea in the bilingual capital of Canada, Ottawa. There are already women's film festivals, but VisuElles is the only bilingual festival. We organised the first edition over three days, with only women-directed films… My next challenge is distribution. Contrary to 10 or 15 years ago, African content is no longer lacking. On the other hand, there is a problem of spaces for screening films. Outside of festivals, it is very difficult to see these films.

21 May 2019

Cannes 2019: Maryam Touzani's "Adam" (Morocco)

Cannes 2019: Maryam Touzani's Adam (Morocco)

Adam, the first feature film by Moroccan director, Maryam Touzani, in competition in the category "Un certain regard" at the 72nd Festival de Cannes, competing for the "Caméra d'or".

Excerpts from an interview with Maryam Touzani by Kaoutar Laili. HuffPost Maroc. Translation from French. Images: Festival de Cannes.

Adam is the story of a somewhat fortuitous encounter between two women in the medina of Casablanca. The kind of unexpected encounter, as destiny knows so well and that can change the course of a life. Samia is a single, pregnant mother who comes from the countryside to give her child up for adoption. She is welcomed in the home of a young widow, Abla, struggling to make ends meet with her 8-year-old daughter, having lost the taste of life since the death of her husband. Together, the two women make a genuine inner journey of rebuilding, by moving towards each other.

 ...I wanted to share a vision of society through these characters. Adam is an intimist film, centered on the inner experiences of two women. Here the action is not very important, the main focus is the inner journey of the two women and  little girl. My only desire was to tell this film as sincerely as possible and be able to communicate my vision.


[The title of the film] Adam, like the first man, the man who must also sometimes ask questions and return to the origin. For me, it is also a way to recall who ultimately carries life: the woman. Every new life, whether male or female, is carried by a woman. It is thus a reflection that examines the place of the man and that of the woman in our society. It is essential to ask oneself these questions and there are many ways to ask them.