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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29 October 2013

The Cultural Healing Festival – London diaspora edition 2013: Founder and director of the festival Taghreed Elsanhouri in partnership with South Sudan Women Skills Development project

The Cultural Healing Festival – London diaspora edition 2013:
Founder and director of the festival Taghreed Elsanhouri in partnership with South Sudan Women Skills Development project

The Cultural Healing Festival is conceived to carry on the legacy of the Cultural Healing project that was originated by filmmaker Taghreed Elsanhouri. Cultural Healing was a EU funded cinema for peace building and community transformation initiative designed to empower ordinary people in Sudan to find their creativity and their voice and to use these to break the silence on taboo issues at the local and the national level. Eight short films by communities across Sudan were made through the project.

Taghreed, please give a bit of context regarding The Cultural Healing Festival.

The Cultural Healing Festival was envisioned as an annual event that would continue and build upon the legacy of the project.  The first edition of the festival was launched in Khartoum in January 2013.  With the recent clampdown on media and artistic activities in Khartoum I realized it might not be possible to sustain the festival as an annual event. However, there are significant Sudanese and South Sudanese diaspora in the UK, Europe and the US and so the idea to create an annual diaspora event emerged.

The London diaspora edition was recently held on 26 October, what are its objectives?

The objective of the diaspora edition is to bring people of the two Sudans together in a spirit of cultural exchange. I think in diaspora the people of the partitioned Sudans experience their differences from a more expansive vantage point, here they are both ethnic minorities and may experience marginalization and discrimination. On the positive side they live in free democracies and have the opportunity to express themselves openly and without fear.

There is a Sudanese proverb that says ‘words are more beautiful when they are spoken out of the mouth of the person they concern.’ In diaspora a new generation is emerging which has the education and the self-knowledge to facilitate the peace back home and it is time that they are mobilized and empowered to make their contribution.

Conversation with Taghreed Elsanhouri and Beti Ellerson, October 2013

28 October 2013

London Feminist Film Festival LFFF 2013

SUNDAY 24 NOVEMBER 3.30 pm   
BODY POLITICS + panel discussion
Beryl Magoko / 43 mins / 2012 / Uganda, Kenya
Female circumcision in East Africa – the various traditional ceremonies and efforts to eradicate them.
Blank Canvas UK PREMIERE
Sarah Berkovich / 4 mins / 2011 / USA
Undergoing chemotherapy, Kim copes with her changing body image in a positive and unconventional way.
Still Fighting: The Story of Clinic Escorts WORLD PREMIERE
Rebecca Sesny / 13 mins / 2013 / USA
Abortion clinic escorts in two US states help patients arrive safely.
SUNDAY 24 NOVEMBER 6.00 pm   
The Spice Girls of India + shorts + panel discussion
Jay Jihyun Kim / 5 mins / 2013 / USA
Experimental short animation on the grief of ‘comfort women’ in World War II.
Women Rising: Political Leadership in Africa EUROPEAN PREMIERE
Jennifer Okungu / 18 mins / 2013 / Kenya, Malawi, Liberia, Uganda
African political leaders share their experiences and their vision for an Africa with equal political representation.
The Spice Girls of India WORLD PREMIERE 
Mitu Bhomwick Lange / 50 mins / 2012 / Australia, India
Seven young sisters take over their deceased father’s famous spice business in this uplifting film.
MONDAY 25 NOVEMBER 6.30 pm   
CLAIMING SPACES + panel discussion
Bending the Lens: 20 years of the London Lesbian Film Festival EUROPEAN PREMIERE
Mary J. Daniel / 33 mins / 2012 / Canada
The inception, growth, and impact of the longest running lesbian film festival in North America.
Kelly Gallagher / 4 mins / 2013 / USA
An experimental short film in response to street harassment.
White Robes, Saffron Dreams WORLD PREMIERE
Teena Gill / 43 mins / 2013 / Thailand, India
The discriminatory treatment of women in Theravada Buddhism in Thailand.
TUESDAY 26 NOVEMBER 6.30 pm   
FEMINIST CLASSIC: The Gold Diggers + panel discussion
Sally Potter / 85 mins / 1983 / UK
Sally Potter’s award-winning classic of 1980s feminist cinema. Made with an all-woman crew, with stunning photography and a score by Lindsay Cooper, the film embraces a radical and experimental narrative structure.
INSPIRING WOMEN + panel discussion
The Red Fairy (Laal Pari) EUROPEAN PREMIERE
Sadia Halima / 20 mins / 2013 / USA, India
An illiterate woman is elected into village council in Bihar, India.
Nikola Gillgren / 21 mins / 2013 / Sweden
Three women fighting for women’s rights in three war-torn countries.
30% (Women and Politics in Sierra Leone)
Anna Cady / 11 mins / 2012 / UK
Oil painted animation enlivens this story of three powerful women working for women’s fair representation in Sierra Leone’s government.
Half Value Life (در دهکده ای که نافص الغقلم می نامن)
Alka Sadat / 25 mins / 2009 / Afghanistan
Maria Bashir, Afghanistan’s first female chief prosecutor, fights to eliminate violence against women.
Reflections Unheard: Black Women in Civil Rights INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL PREMIERE           + panel discussion
Nevline Nnaji / 81 mins / 2013 / USA
Black women’s marginalisation in the Black Power and Feminist movements, and the resulting political mobilisation of women of colour.
EXPECTATIONS + panel discussion
Maaria Sayed / 26 mins / 2013 / India
A woman’s new-found freedom is constrained by societal norms.
The Lala Road
Letitia Lamb / 10 mins / 2012 / Australia
Lesbian women in China talk about negotiating the pressures to marry and have children.
Christina Pitouli / 30 mins / 2013 / Spain
Conversations about female genital mutilation with women from Africa who live in Spain.
FRIDAY 29 NOVEMBER 6.30 pm   
Daughters of the Niger Delta + short + panel discussion
For Grandmother (Para Kay Ama) EUROPEAN PREMIERE
Relyn A. Tan / 23 mins / 2012 / Philippines
Drama portraying the challenges faced by female Chinese-Filipinos in the Philippines.
Daughters of the Niger Delta EUROPEAN PREMIERE
Ilse van Lamoen / 56 mins / 2012 / Nigeria
A taste of everyday life in the Niger Delta through the eyes of three ordinary women, highlighting their strength to overcome injustices.
FRIDAY 29 NOVEMBER 9.00 pm   
ACTIVISM + panel discussion
Foot for Love: The Thokozani Football Club in Paris UK PREMIERE
Elise Lobry and Veronica Noseda / 12 mins / 2013 / France
A black lesbian South African football team campaigns against discrimination and violence against lesbians.
The Campaigner
Rebecca Brand / 3 mins / 2012 / UK
78 year old Joyce refuses to go along with the quiet, conformist role society approves of for older women.
Clare Neylon / 16 mins / 2012 / UK
The women’s suffrage movement as seen through the work of playwrights of the time.
En la casa, la cama y la calle (At home, in bed and in the streets) UK PREMIERE
Liz Miller / 35 mins / 2013 / Canada and Nicaragua
A Nicaraguan women’s rights group works to end sexual violence through a blend of TV drama and grassroots organising.
HERSTORIES + panel discussion
Through the Glass Ceiling
Leeds Animation Workshop / 17 mins / 1994 / UK
Fairytale-based animation about equal opportunities for women, firmly set in the real world of gender stereotyping, sexual harassment, and discrimination.
Strength is Not Enough (La forza non basta) UK PREMIERE
Valentina Arena / 3 mins / 2012 / Italy
Experimental short about the deep-rooted causes of violence against women.
Waiting for You UK PREMIERE
Lisa Fingleton / 25 mins / 2012 / Ireland, UK
An intimate five-year video diary of a lesbian couple’s journey towards motherhood.
The Yellow Wallpaper
Nidhi Reddy / 3 mins / 2013 / USA
2D animation based on the feminist novel of the same name about a woman driven to insanity.
Joy, it’s Nina
Jane Thorburn / 34 mins / 2012 / UK, Nigeria
Evocative and original film building on the experiences and emotional lives of West African women living in the UK.
FEMINIST CLASSIC: Born in Flames + short + panel discussion
Nadia Barbu / 2 mins / 2013 / UK, Romania
A surreal animated revenge fantasy.
Born in Flames
Lizzie Borden / 80 mins / 1983 / USA
30th anniversary screening of Lizzie Borden’s award-winning feminist science fiction classic which explores racism, classism, heterosexism, and sexism.

27 October 2013

June Givanni, new festival director of Colours of the Nile International Film Festival (Addis Ababa) : Call for submissions for 2014 - Deadline 15 November 2013

June Givanni, new festival director of Colours of the Nile International Film Festival (Addis Ababa) : Call for submissions for 2014 - Deadline 15 November 2013

Colours of the Nile International Film Festival (CNIFF) will take place from ­9 February 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  The East African festival is calling for submissions from across Africa for feature-length and short
fiction films, as well as feature-length and short documentaries. The entry deadline is 15 November 2013.

The inaugural edition of CNIFF that took place in November 2012 was very successful," says Abraham Haile Biru, president of CNIFF and an award-winning African cinematographer. "The overwhelmingly positive
response of the African film community and audiences encouraged us to host the festival annually instead of biennially as originally planned."

Film curator June Givanni, who has worked with the British Film Institute, Toronto International Film Festival and Focus Feature's Africa First, is the new festival director, while CNIFF's competition section will be judged by an international jury consisting of African filmmakers and leading industry professionals.

Text: Press release

26 October 2013

FILM: République Démocratique du Congo : violations graves des droits humains | Democratic Republic of Congo: Serious human rights violations

FILM: République Démocratique du Congo : violations graves des droits humains | Democratic Republic of Congo: Serious human rights violations

Des millions de morts, des massacres, des le silence continue. Réalisé par Osvalde LEWAT et Arnaud SELIGNAC
Durée : 08mins01s

The death, massacre, rapes of millions…and the silence continues. Directed by Osvalde Lewat and Arnaud Selignac.
Duration: 8 min. 1 sec. (In French)

23 October 2013

Forty Years On: Women's Film Festivals Today

Forty Years On: Women's Film Festivals Today

This video documents a roundtable discussion held on September 10th, 2013 at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto. (Text and screen grab from Athena Film Festival Vimeo)

In the face of such gender inequity in the industry and corresponding neglect of women's productions by mainstream festivals, a growing movement of women's film festivals around the world has committed to showcasing films by women and films about women. These festivals play a significant role by exhibiting work that may not otherwise find a venue and by offering settings for conversations that may not take place in mainstream festivals.


Kay Armatage

Former TIFF international programmer, Professor Emerita University of Toronto


Norma Guevara, Program Director, Films de Femmes, Creteil, the world’s longest continuously running women’s film festival

Melissa Silverstein, Co-Founder & Artistic Director of Athena Film Festival, New York

Debra Zimmerman, Executive Director, Women Make Movies (NY) 

This discussion celebrates the 40th anniversary of Toronto International Women & Film 1973.

Forty Years On: Women’s Film Festivals Today is co-sponsored by the International Women’s Film Network, the Female Eye Film Festival, Women in View, Women Make Movies and the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT).

Forty Years On: Women's Film Festivals Today

22 October 2013

Sacre au festival du film africain de Cordoue : Le Griot de Maty Diop brille de Mille soleils | Hailed at the African Film Festival of Cordoba Mati Diop’s Griot Award for “Mille Soleils” Shines

Sacre au festival du film africain de Cordoue : Le Griot de Maty Diop brille de Mille soleils | Hailed at the African Film Festival of Cordoba Mati Diop’s Griot Award for Mille Soleils Shines. Image Source: 
Lors de la cérémonie de clôture et la présentation des prix Griots, le documentaire Mille Soleils (2013), déjà prix Fib Marseille 2013, a remporté le Griot du meilleur documentaire. Selon un document parvenu au journal Le Quotidien, «La jeune réalisatrice, fille du musicien Wasis Diop et nièce du réputé cinéaste sénégalais Djibril Diop Mambety, a récupéré le chef d’œuvre Touki Bouki (1973), dirigé par son oncle Mambety, pour explorer l’héritage personnel et universel laissé par ce film de culte, à travers le témoignage de Magaye Niang. Ce dernier est l’acteur qui incarna le protagoniste du film, Mory, en 1973». Retrouvez l'article dans son intégralité @ 

Excerpted from the article by Gilles Arsene Tchedji, Monday 21 October for Translated from French by Beti Ellerson
At the closing ceremony and the presentation of the Griot Awards, the documentary Mille Soleils (2013), having already received the FIB Marseille 2013, wins the Griot for best documentary. Cited from an earlier Le Quotidien article: “The young filmmaker, daughter of musician Wasis Diop and niece of the renowned Senegalese Djibril Diop Mambety, reconstructs the masterpiece Touki Bouki (1972) directed by her uncle Mambety, to explore the personal and universal legacy of the cult film Touki Bouki through the character of Magaye Niang, the actor who embodied Mory, the protagonist of the film in 1972. The jury that presented the award to Mille Soleils (Thousand Suns) by Mati Diop emphasised, “its force and relevance to our times; acclaiming an innovative film that combines tradition and modernity with great finesse. With superb creativity the film conveys the extent in which the ties to the past opens new paths in the present and how its valuable insights may energise the future”…the film allowed the spectators to observe the evolution of the Mory character, who in Mille Soleils is now called by his name, Magaye Niang. Yet, his personality is really influenced by the personage of Mory.  He notes that, even though receiving an offer to go to Hollywood to continue his career, he got lost along the way. In the documentary, Mati Diop is surrounded by Magaye Niang and other actors as they reflect on the success of Touki Bouki, already known for its reflexivity and poetic avant-gardism.  The spectator discovers what has happened during the last 40 years since the voyage of the hyenas, Touki Bouki”.

According to certain observers, “the oeuvre reflects on the world of cinema and proposes a subtle critique of capitalism in the way Ousmane Sembene, one of the fathers of African cinemas and in particular, Senegalese cinema, once did: the documentary returns thus to the timeless debate of the universal phenomenon: emigration.”

19 October 2013

Ghanaian-American filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu launches crowdfunding campaign to save the Rex Cinema in Accra, Ghana

Ghanaian-American filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu launches crowdfunding campaign to save the Rex Cinema in Accra, Ghana that risks being sold for redevelopment.

With the $8,000 she hopes to raise on Kickstarter, Akosua Adoma Owusu envisions transforming the Rex Cinema into a multi-purpose art space.

Go to the "Damn the Man, Save the Rex" Kickstarter page for more information:

Image Source: Kickstarter "Damn the Man, Save the Rex"

18 October 2013

The New Negress Film Society

The New Negress Film Society is a core collective of black woman filmmakers whose priority is to create community and spaces for exhibition, support, and consciousness-raising. Formed by Frances Bodomo, Ja'Tovia Gary, Wendy James and Nevline Nnaji.


The New Negress Film Society catalyzed in response to our first film screening in Brooklyn entitled, I Am A Negress of Noteworthy Talent, which featured short films from our group of emerging black female artists. The wild success of the first screening showed us that despite our lack of support in the wider industry, there is a community eager to hear our voices. We then went on to form the NNFS.

The scope of our art, political thought, and process is diverse in nature. We recognize the importance of our collective strength as marginalized artists in the film industry. Core members of the NNFS hold creative space to workshop ongoing film projects, fundraise, and gain visibility for our own work. 

We regularly exhibit quality works by both emerging and established black female filmmakers around the world through our website and screening events. It is our priority to provide opportunities to highlight quality works by black female artists. Additionally, we organize theme-based film screenings for new audiences. 

The NNFS was originally formed out of a need to create community in an industry where black female voices and stories are often suppressed. We therefore aim to raise awareness and understanding of our challenges within the film world. This ranges from interesting behind-the-scenes media, to reflective vlogs, to artist spotlights showcasing their recent successes. We also regularly interview black women who work in the filmmaking community to highlight their unique stories.

Text and Image Source from Facebook Page


17 October 2013

Nikyatu Jusu’s Indiegogo campaign for her debut feature film “Free the Town”

Nikyatu Jusu launches crowfunding Indiegogo campaign for her debut feature film “Free the Town”.

FREE THE TOWN is Sierra Leonean-American Nikyatu Jusu’s feature film debut: three lives interweave in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Love and occultism untie these strangers, revealing lies and illuminating truth. As 17 year old Binta runs from a past riddled with witch accusations, she collides with two strangers: a Brooklyn teen reuniting with his estranged African father and a European filmmaker relentlessly pursuing a story of witch exorcisms. In a country struggling to progress, we discover the past often has an unshakeable grasp on the future.

Text and Image from Indiegogo website.


Nikyatu Jusu Website
Nikyatu Jusu on Vimeo
Interview with Nikyatu Jusu on African Women in Cinema Blog

16 October 2013

Cheryl Dunye's "Black is Blue" Kickstarter campaign success

Cheryl Dunye's Kickstarter campaign to raise $15,000 was successful. She made her goal raising $15,253 in 30 days for the film project "Black is Blue" a new short film about a Black Transman security guard struggling with his identity after meeting an ex-lover from his past.

Cheryl Dunye discusses her intentions regarding the film project and the Kickstarter funding raising campaign on the Kickstarter page.

Cheryl Dunye and Kingston Farady discuss BLACK IS BLUE from Veronica Lopez on Vimeo.

Image Source: Screen grab of Cheryl Dunye from Kickstarter promotion video


Cheryl Dunye Website

13 October 2013

[Remembering Khady Sylla - 1963-2013] Khady Sylla, a daughter of the water | une fille de l'eau by/par Baba Diop

Khady Sylla a daughter of the water by Baba Diop. Image and text source: sudonline, 11 October 2013. Translation from French by Beti Ellerson. 

Français ci-après

Filmmaker-writer Khady Sylla, author of several short stories, novels and docu-fictions passed away Tuesday, 8 October 2013. She had completed the editing of Simple parole, a long documentary about her grand-mother, co-directed with her sister Mariama Sylla, and shot in the village of Barele Ndiaye, 15 kilometers (9.32 miles) from Louga.

Like Djibril Diop Mambety, filmmaker-writer Khady Sylla will not see her last film on the screen, co-directed with her sister Mariama Sylla, entitled Simple Parole. A return to the village to capture the words of one of the last guardians of the family genealogy, grandmother Penda Diogo Sarr. In the silences of this film there is a sense of a farewell. The film was carefully edited, drawing from an immersion into their grandmother’s land. Khady Sylla added her voice not realising that she would be putting her last footprint on the asphalt of Senegalese cinema, leaving to her sister the task of fine-tuning the details.

Solitude, withdrawal into oneself, the incommunicability that gnaws at you, the stranglehold must be released, freeing the voice to speak, and speak again about what hurts. In summary, this is essential to the work of the writer and cineaste Khady Sylla. It would not be inaccurate to assert that very early she fell into the cinema pool. Her mother worked at the secretariat of the Actualités Sénégalaises under the direction of Paulin Soumanou Vieyra, which was the breeding ground and site for the development of the young Senegalese cinema of the period. Nicknamed “Katanga”, it was the venue of hot debates about cinema and other cinematic trends (realism versus Soviet, Italian neorealism, New Wave, Brazil Novo Cinema...).

Each trend had its followers. The trail of these interminable discussions eventually found its way to Khady's family. Consequence: the two sisters became filmmakers. Khady Sylla’s choice for the image would be reinforced by her meeting with the French ethnographer-filmmaker Jean Rouch who was her teacher. She relates this encounter in the book by Françoise Pfaff, À l’écoute du cinéma sénégalais, (Edition L’Harmattan 2010): “ I was in Paris and I sent him my book Le Jeu de la mer. Rouch read it and he called me and said that my story reminded him of the myth of the daughters of the water. For a year we met every Sunday morning in a café to write a script inspired by my book. The film was never made but I kept the script.” But it was not just Jean Rouch, she also cites the German filmmaker Wim Wender; “I knew that Wim Wenders studied filmmaking in Paris. He stayed for three months inside the Cinèmatheque and when he came out he started making films. I wanted to do a bit like him, I began to visit the little cinema houses in the Latin Quarter.”

Her first plunge into directing dates from 1997 with Les bijoux, a fiction short, which she says that she placed in a rigid, straitjacketed realist style. This first attempt left the auteur with a half-hearted feeling. Not entirely satisfied, not completely unhappy. The lesson she learned was to let the camera move with greater autonomy. Having benefitted from this experience, she made Colobane Express, her second film. Considered a docu-fiction, it is a laboratory of Senegalese social reality. A reality composed of actors who play their own role.

Khady Sylla’s aesthetic sense becomes more precise: to do with the image, what the Argentinian writer Borges does with words. She explains: “with his double-side words one may turn things from one side to another and see two meanings which come together.” The mystery of Jorges Luis Borges is that he uses words as if the meaning was inexhaustible or as if it renewed itself with each reading. The images of Khady Sylla are full of undertones. Nothing is explicit in what she shows. Khady Sylla also brushed against the wings of the Japanese Romantic School through the work of Yokio Mishima to which she makes reference. The Japanese author’s La mer de la fertilité recalls Khady Sylla’s Le jeu de la mer, except the former is a cycle of four novels which ends with L’ange en decomposition and the lover who slowly drifts into madness.

The film Une fenêtre ouverte which speaks of madness, of her madness, has received several awards. At the Apt Festival, the year of its release, the co-director and cameraman Charlie Van Dam stated: “These are the simplest and strongest images that I have every shot”, and Khady Sylla adds, “I thought a long time about this film. I was ill for ten years, hospitalised several times. At one moment I was delusional, lost my memory. Aminta stopped by to see me. I wanted to do the film with her. During the shooting, I was too immersed in it to give directions. I lived the film while fully charged. The film helped me a great deal. As if I was somewhat looking at myself. It is a self-portrait in a broken mirror.”

The monologue de la muette, her next to last film, poses the gaze on domestic servants and their harsh conditions. Back to square one, Khady Sylla who came to writing incidentally through her grandmother, deceased, and here her last one Simple parole leaves for a meeting with another grandmother. Images, excerpts from the site, the film sounds like a swansong in the music of Wasis Diop, the brother of Mambety.

Khady Sylla une fille de l'eau
Baba Diop | sudonline | 11 octobre 2013

La réalisatrice- écrivaine Khady Sylla auteure de plusieurs nouvelles, romans et docu-fictions s'est éteinte le mardi 8 octobre 2013. Elle avait fini le montage de « Simple parole »  long métrage documentaire sur sa grand-mère coréalisé avec sa sœur Mariama Sylla , tourné dans le village de Barele Ndiaye à 15 kilomètres de Louga.

Comme Djibril Diop Mambety, la réalisatrice écrivaine  Khady Sylla ne verra pas  sur grand écran son dernier film, coréalisée  avec sa sœur Mariama Sylla dont le titre est « Simple parole » . UN retour au village pour capter les paroles de l’une des dernières gardiennes de la généalogie de la famille : la grand-mère Penda Diogo Sarr. Il y a dans les silences de ce film  comme un air d’adieu. Le film qu’elles ont tiré de leur immersion au pays de grand-mère, avait été soigneusement monté. Khady Sylla y avait posé sa voix sans se douter qu’elle posait sa dernière empreinte  sur l’asphalte du cinéma sénégalais, confiant  à sa sœur la tâche de peaufiner ce qui reste à peaufiner.

Retrouvez l'article dans son intégralité : N'EST PLUS DISPONIBLE

12 October 2013

Le décès de la cinéaste Khady Sylla | Cineaste Khady Sylla has passed away

Le décès de la cinéaste Khady Sylla | 
Cineaste Khady Sylla has passed away

Nous venons d'apprendre avec tristesse, ce mardi 08 octobre 2013, le décès de la cinéaste Khady Sylla.

Khady Sylla est née à Dakar en 1963. Après des études de philosophie à l'Université de Paris V, elle enseigne l'alphabétisation aux populations migrantes à Paris. Elle se consacre à l'écriture et compte plusieurs romans dont Le Jeu de la mer (L'Harmattan 1992) et des nouvelles. Elle réalise ensuite un court métrage, Les Bijoux (1997) et trois documentaires : Colobane Express (2000), Une fenêtre ouverte (2005, Prix de la Meilleure première œuvre au Festival International du Documentaire de Marseille, FID) et Le Monologue de la muette (2008, film multiprimé, coréalisé avec le cinéaste belge Charlie Van Damme). Elle a écrit par ailleurs des scénarios et adaptations. Elle vivait à Dakar.

Khady Sylla est la soeur de la réalisatrice Mariama Sylla et belle soeur du président de l'Association sénégalaise de la critique cinématographique (ASCC) Mamoune Faye, journaliste au quotidien Le Soleil (Dakar). Elle sera enterrée à Touba (Sénégal). Les condoléances seront reçues aux HLM 6 Gouye Gui, Villa 26 69 à Dakar.


2008 Le Monologue de la muette
2005 Une fenêtre ouverte
2000 Colobane Express

Fatou Kiné SENE, Secrétaire générale de l'Ascc, Dakar avec Thierno I. DIA. Source: Africultures 

With much sadness, we have just learned of the death of cineaste Khady Sylla, on Tuesday 08 October 2013.

Khady Sylla was born in Dakar in 1963, where she lived. After her studies in philosophy at the University of Paris V, she taught literacy courses to migrant populations in Paris. She devoted her time to writing, publishing several novels, notably Le Jeu de la mer (L’Harmattan 1992) as well as short stories. Afterwards, she directed the short film Les Bijoux (1997) and three documentaries: Colobane Express (2000), Une fenêtre ouverte (2005, Award for the Best First Work at the International Documentary Festival of Marseille, FID) and Le Monologue de la muette (2008, co-directed with Belgian filmmaker Charlie Van Damme), which received multiple awards. In addition, she wrote scripts and adaptations.

Khady Sylla is the sister of filmmaker Mariama Sylla and the sister-in-law of the president of the Senegalese Association of Film Critics (ASCC) Mamoune Faye, journalist of the daily Le Soleil (Dakar). She will be buried in Touba, Senegal. Condolences may be sent to HLM 6 Gouye Gui, Villa 26 69 in Dakar.

Monologue de la muette, 2008
Une fenêtre ouverte, 2005
Colobane Express, 2000
Les bijoux, 1997

Report by Fatou Kiné Sene, and Thierno I. Dia. Source: Africultures

06 October 2013

Report on the 2nd African Women in Film Forum (AWIFF) - Accra, 23-25 September 2013

Report on the 2nd African Women in Film Forum (AWIFF) - Accra
23-25 September 2013
by Beti Ellerson

The 2nd African Women in Film Forum (AWIFF), organized and sponsored by the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) and held from 23-25 September 2013 in Accra, Ghana gathered under the theme “Creating Compelling Social Justice Content for Film and Television.” Storytelling and the role of the storyteller was the leitmotif that traversed the panels, sessions and conversations throughout the three days. A highlight of the Forum was the presence of the renowned writer Ata Ama Aidoo.

The objective of the Forum is “to utilise the power of film to accelerate efforts towards gender equity and social justice. We think filmmakers have a powerful role to play in shifting or reinforcing patriarchal attitudes, and we want to work with filmmakers to create a better world for women, and the community at large,” according to Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah.

Women from the continent and the diaspora assembled to share, learn and strategize, continuing the conversation which began at the 1st African Women in Film Forum held in Lagos, Nigeria in 2010. In addition, the live Tweeter feed, which allowed people worldwide to follow the events in real time, is evidence of the role that AWDF wants to play as an important actor in the global dialogue in which African women will have a visible voice. For those who were not able to follow live, the very useful aspect of asynchronous communication allows one to join the conversation at anytime @

Key women of the African Women’s Development Fund ensured a warm, convivial space in which to organize and network. Among these inspiring women were Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah, Communications Specialist of AWDF and the designated staff member leading on the organisation of the 2nd Forum, and Sarah Mukasa, AWDF Director of Programmes who opened the event with a welcome and update on the 1st AWIFF. Writer and documentary filmmaker Yaba Badoe followed with a short presentation on African women in film. 

Day One continued with parallel sessions led by writer/playwright Sefi Atta with a focus on funding, and by playwright/scriptwriter Ade Solanke, who conducted a master class on scriptwriting. After the lunch break, Tsitsi Dangarembga, writer/filmmaker/founder of the International Images Film Festival for Women, facilitated a panel on funding for the film industry comprised of Korkor Amarteifio, Associate Director, Institute for Music and Development, Stéphanie Soleansky, Cultural Affairs Attaché, Institut Français du Ghana and Sarah Mukasa. The session that followed, conducted by François d'Artemare, Producer and founder of Les Films de l'Après- Midi, provided useful information for identifying producers, co-producers and film project development.

The first day concluded with the evening screening of On the Border (a documentary which problematized the issue of landmines that remain after the liberation struggle) by Tsitsi Dangarembga and The Witches of Gambaga by Yaba Badoe. A lively Q&A followed.

Day Two began with a conversation with Yaba Badoe, writer/director Sarah Bouyain, Lodi Matsetela, writer/producer/director and Beti Ellerson, Director of the Centre for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema, who also facilitated the interchange. After a screening of a TV episode written and directed by Lodi and excerpts of Sarah’s work, the group explored myriad issues such as écritures of storytelling, positionality, identities and transnational dialogue. 

Settling back after the return from a lunch break during which conversations deepened and intensified, Vincentia Akwetia, Dean of Studies at NAFTI (National Film and Television Institute) facilitated the panel on the Ghanaian film and television under the theme “Challenges, opportunities and the way forward.” The panel included pioneer Kwaw Ansah, writer/director/producer, Anita Erskine, TV host/producer/ communications professional, and writer/film director Veronica Quashie.

The second day wrapped up with an evening screening of Perished Diamonds by Anita Afonu, about the history of the Ghanaian cinema and Notre Etrangere |The Place in Between by Sarah Bouyain. An enthusiastic discussion followed.

On Day Three, Sionne Neely lead the final panel entitled “The Way Forward: African Women in Film”, and composed of Tsitsi Dangaremgba, Ade Solanke, and director, Akosua Adoma Owusu, whose film Kwaku Ananse was screened prior to the discussion.

Three action group breakout meetings were formed to explore issues to take forward or to be shared with others, and were facilitated by those who initiated them, continuing through lunch: Sarah Bouyain, a conversation and action set on what could be an African way of telling a story through scriptwriting and filming; Anita Afonu, how can we move forward in terms of how to archive Ghana’s film industry? and Tsitsi Dangarembga and Beti Ellerson, towards an African women and media manifesto, which during the action group was finalised as a declaration.

The three day forum ended with the closing address by Yaba Blay, co-director and assistant teaching professor of Africana Studies at Drexel University (USA) and consulting producer for CNN Black in America 5 for the television documentary, “Who is Black in America?”. 

Sara Mukasa thanked the participants and audience with these words: “From ADWF’s point of view this is a learning experience for us, we will continue to commit to mobilise resources to support African women telling their stories…we will also commit to convening the African Women in Film Forum…”


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

Report on Afrikamera 2012 Women on and behind the screen. 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 Meeting - Johannesburg , 1-4 September 2010. Follow link

Proceedings from the 1st African Women in Film Forum - Lagos, 16-17 June 2010. Follow link

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