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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20 November 2012

Report on Afrikamera 2012 Women on and behind the screen

Report on Afrikamera 2012 - Women on and behind the screen
by Beti Ellerson

The success of Afrikamera's 5th edition, featuring women on, behind and (in front of) the screen was evident throughout the six-day event by the full attendance, insightful Q&As, overall enthusiasm of the public, and the genuine exchanges among the invited filmmakers and film professionals—both women and men.

The span of images of women on the screen and the diversity of themes by women filmmakers attest to the plurality and breadth of African women's lives and experiences.

Thirteen countries from all regions of the continent were represented with shorts, mediums and features, spanning the genres of fiction, documentary, docu-drama, animation, comedy, and sci-fi.

Many of the films included in the festival were screened in the presence of the filmmaker, actress or crew member all of whom provided great insight and reflection.

Yaba Badoe discussed her research and the making of Witches of Gambaga (Ghana); Remi Vaughan-Richards talked about the consciousness-raising efforts around the film One Small Step (Nigeria) and with producer Chichi Uzuegbu examined the experiences of the "area girls" of Lagos in the film Scent of the Streets. Léandre-Alain Baker answered with aplomb audience questions about female desire, adultery and the adaptation of a novel to film, all elements in Ramata (Senegal) interpreted by the late top model Katoucha. Georgette Paré, the lead character in the comedy, An uncommon woman (Burkina Faso) by Abdoulaye Dao, contemplated the reverse scenario of polyandry examined in the film as a challenge to men's infidelity and polygamous relationships.

Other feature films at the festival included Moroccan Leila Kilani's On the edge, Othelo Burning (South Africa) by Sara Blecher, Indochina, Traces of a Mother by Idrissou Mora Kpai of Benin, Imani (Uganda) by Caroline Kamya; and Here we drown Algerians by Yasmina Adi, about the events around the protest of 17 October 1961 in Paris.

Four, short and medium films from Mozambique focused on women and spousal abuse as well as the devastating effects of AIDS on the family: Dina by Dario Mickey Fonseca, Mae dos netos by Isabel Noronha and Vivan Altman, Impunidades criminosas by Sol de Carvalho, and Mahla, also by Dario Mickey Fonseca, who represented the Mozambican filmmakers at the festival.

"Womenfolk African Sisters of the Screen": Discussion and short film screening:

The short film screenings included an eclectic collection of works and themes about, love, beauty, identity, revolution, and the future of the planet: Pumzi by Wanuri Kahiu (Kenya), L’Ambouba and L’Mrayet by Nadia Rais (Tunisia), Yasmine et la révolution by Karin Albou (Algeria); La femme invisible by Pascale Obolo (Cameroon), Mon beau sourire (My beautiful smile) by Angèle Diabang (Senegal), Tout le monde a des raisons d’en vouloir à sa mère (Everyone has a reason to be angry at their mother) by Pauline Mulombe (DRC).

A panel discussion preceding the short film screening featured scholar Beti Ellerson, cinematographer Cécile Mulombe, and animation filmmaker and artist Nadia Rais, moderated by film curator June Givanni with French-English translations by journalist Claire Diao, the Festival moderator.

A third component of the Festival's engagement with cinema focused on women in front of the screen in the form of a panel discussion moderated by Dorothee Wenner. Beti Ellerson and June Givanni as cultural readers and film critics, along with filmmaker Yaba Badoe, producer Chichi Uzuegbu and actress Georgette Pare, also president of a casting and communications company, discussed the realities and current issues regarding African women in all spheres of cinema.

Report by Beti Ellerson


Also read about other proceedings on conferences, forums and meetings of African Women in Cinema on the African Women in Cinema Blog:

Keynote: "40 years of cinema by women of Africa" by Beti Ellerson. Colloquy: Francophone African Women Filmmakers: 40 years of cinema (1972-2012), Paris, 23 and 24 November 2012. Follow link

Report on the Colloquium-Meeting "Francophone African Women Filmmakers: 40 years of cinema (1972-2012)" - Paris, 23-24 November 2012. Follow link

Women and Film in Africa: Overcoming Social Barriers, University of Westminster, London, 19–20 November 2011. A report by Bronwen Pugsley. Follow link

Report on the International Images Film Festival for Women 2011 (Harare, Zimbabwe). Follow link

Report on the African Women Filmmakers Forum 2010 - Johannesburg. Follow link

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