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


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30 April 2015

Sur la rive (On the Shore) by/de Mariama Sy, Derrière les rails (Behind the tracks) by/de Khady Diedhiou, a review/une critique by/par Fatou Kiné Sene

Sur la Rive (On the Shore) by/de Mariama Sy and Derrière les rails (Behind the tracks) by/de Khady Diedhiou a review/une critique by/par Fatou Kiné Sene

Source: Article publié sur Wal Fadjiri (Dakar) le 1er avril 2015 | Published on Wal Fadjiri 01 April 2015.  Translated from French by Beti Ellerson

L'héroïsme au quotidien | Daily acts of heroism 
Mois du Cinéma au Féminin 2015, Dakar

[English] Français ci-après

The short films Sur la rive (On the Shore) by Mariama Sy and Derrière les rails (Behind the tracks) by Diedhiou Khady situates the every life of the "little people" in St. Louis, Senegal and in the vicinity of the Guinaw Rail in a suburb of Dakar. Two films that highlight the self-sacrifice of ordinary citizens.

The directors Mariama Sy and Diedhiou Khady were the guests of the fourth edition of the Mois du cinema au féminin in Dakar. Their films Sur la rive and Derrière les rails, respectively, were shown at the Aula Cervantes to a young audience composed of students and those studying cinema and film. The short films share a common theme: the daily lives of the "little people" as the filmmaker Djibril Diop Mambéty would say, where bravery and self-sacrifice seem to be their hallmark. Although with a different décor, the environment in which the characters inhabit in both films is the world of fishing. While Mariama Sy shot Sur la rive in the district of Guet Ndar in Saint Louis, Senegal. Diedhiou Khady set her film Derrière les rails in the vicinity of Guinaw Rail, a suburb of Dakar, presenting the experiences of Dior Leye, a fish merchant.

The filmmakers show how these ordinary people manage their daily lives braving the obstacles that confront them from day to day. The fate of the Guets Ndariens is the shortage of fish, which has been the source of their daily earnings for generations. Though ancestral beliefs sometimes help overcome the hardships, it is not a calm life, as it is punctuated by numerous disappearances, because of an uncontrollable sea since the dike in St. Louis was breached. Even if it is not the camera’s target, the highly degraded environment is always in focus.

But the film’s most notable drawback is technical. In Sur la rive there is not sufficient lighting. Certain shots are very dark, preventing the faces of the characters to be seen. Was it the screening venue or the film itself? The latter seems more plausible, since in other shots, especially at the end of the film where the fishermen are tallying the day’s revenue, the people are also not visible. These technical problems seem to be shared between the two films. In Khady Diedhiou’s short film, in many of the shots the camera is in constant movement. Even if the names of the directors of cinematography and lighting are present in the credits, there is an absence in the images. With this film, Khady Diedhiou received the UEMOA award for the best documentary film in the last edition of Clap Ivoire in Abidjan in 2014. These are the debut films of the two directors.

La Rive de Mariama Sy et Derrière les rails de Kady Diédhiou 
L'héroïsme au quotidien
Mois du Cinéma au Féminin 2015, Dakar

Les courts métrages Sur la Rive de Mariama Sy et Derrière les rails de Kady Diédhiou fixent le quotidien de "petits gens" à Saint-Louis et à Guinaw rail. Deux films qui mettent en lumière l'abnégation de citoyens ordinaires.

Les réalisatrices Mariama Sy et Kady Diédhiou ont été les invitées de la quatrième édition du Mois du cinéma au féminin samedi. Leurs films respectivement Sur la rive (2013) et Derrière les rails (2013) ont été projetés devant un jeune public composé d'élèves, d'étudiants en cinéma et de critiques à l'Aula Cervantès. Les courts métrages partagent une même thématique : Le quotidien de "petits gens" comme dirait le cinéaste Djibril Diop Mambety où la bravoure et l'abnégation semblent être leurs maîtres mots. L'univers de la pêche dans lequel baignent les personnages de deux films est aussi commun même si les décors divergent. Car Mariama Sy filme dans Sur la rive le quartier de Guet Ndar à Saint-Louis du Sénégal et Kady Diédhiou fixe la localité de Guinaw Rail, une banlieue de Dakar à travers Derrière les rails présentant l'histoire de Dior Lèye, une vendeuse de poisson. Continuer à lire l'article publié sur Wal Fadjiri (Dakar) le 1er avril 2015 : 

Links | Liens

Guinaw rails 2014, Kady Diedhiou ( N'EST PLUS DISPONIBLE)

Sur la rive 2013, Mariama Sy ( N'EST PLUS DISPONIBLE)

28 April 2015

Stories Untold: We all have lives. We all have stories. We all have phones. (Denmark)

Stories Untold
We all have lives. We all have stories. We all have phones.


Six directors from six different countries in the MENA Region discuss the project.
Right now, 12 women from Jordan, Oman, Tunisia, Egypt, Palestine and Lebanon have started recording films about their own lives for the very first time. The project aims to create a new authentic aesthetic with a new perspective - and a new user-driven way of producing personal documentaries that brings the viewer closer to real life than ever before. These films are going to constitute the first stage of a proliferation of self-directed films that presents the real lives of women all over the world.
The women have been chosen because of their impactful stories and their diverse life experiences. Their films will represent themselves and their lives. Together, the films will offer a wide range of important as well as personal testimonies from the region, sharing their way of seeing their environment through an intended low-tech expression.
With their smartphones, these first-time filmmakers document their individual experiences and reflections to present their realities to the world in a new light. The short personal documentaries will give the women an opportunity to show their world, their lives, and their attitude towards their surroundings completely uncensored.
In public discourse, many perceptions and opinions exist on what certain people are and are not able to do. In this project, women from Arab countries get to tell their own version of what they deal with in their everyday lives - and what they hope to change in future on their own terms!
The first-time filmmakers have been taught to express themselves visually through film on a need-to-know basis by six female professional filmmakers from the MENA region, who C:NTACT and the local partner MA3MAL 612 have worked with to create a method of self-expression through film. The directors and the first-time filmmakers thus enter in a unique symbiosis, where they together create a completely new genre, distanced from classic documentary and closer to personal storytelling aesthetic.
Through this user-driven aesthetic, the project aims to dissolve prejudices on a global scale. We hope that women all over the world can mirror themselves in the personal representations of the first-time filmmakers, renegotiate their prejudices - and even become inspired to tell their own stories using their own phones. In this way, the project aspires to popularise and democratise this method of filmmaking and use it as a catalyser of visualised personal storytelling of people all over the world.
The films will be screened in all the participating countries. The screenings of the films are free of charge and will be shown in different communities and societies as well as theatres and cinemas.

The project is funded by the Danish Centre for Gender, Equality and Diversity, KVINFO.

25 April 2015

Binga Talent 2015 : Call for Applications (Cameroon)

Competition of short documentaries for women filmmakers and journalists



Today, the world is plunged into a series of seemingly endless conflicts. Conflicts of different directions and categories:
  • Political, threatening the stability of states
  • Social (strikes, protests, rallies for rights, frustration among the youth...)
  • In the household (violence against women, rape, parental irresponsibility, juvenile delinquency ...). The family, which is the nucleus of society and therefore of humanity, is in a permanent state of conflict. 
While the list is far from exhaustive, approaches that are relatively effective have been developed and implemented to manage these conflicts. Mediators, conflict management experts at different levels (family, international, social) are increasingly involved. Nonetheless, women continue to be left out of roles as key players in this process. At the same time, the adoption of International Women's Day on 8 March does denotes the recognition of women and their importance in maintaining peace or finding ways to bring it about. In these cases, cinema and the arts are effective ways to raise awareness regarding these conflicts, how to manage them and the role women may play.

Recognizing this challenge, The Mis Me Binga Association, A.DAM.IC (the Association of Women of the Image of Cameroon) with the support of the Goethe Institute, and in collaboration with CINEPRESS (the Association of journalists and film critics of Cameroon) are organizing a competition of short documentary film projects. This competition is open to women filmmakers, professional journalists, and students living in Cameroon.


  1. a) Objective:
 The competition aims:
  • To encourage women to become more involved in the process of crises and conflict resolution in society,
  • To celebrate women who are involved in the daily process of crises and conflict management in society,
  • To raise awareness of conflict, the various forms of conflict that society faces today, and furthermore, the involvement of women in conflict management.
  • To encourage the use of film as an advocacy tool, as it is a mass medium.

b) Theme:

The competition is launched under the theme "Empowerment of women for better management of social cohesion, crises and conflicts."

c) Terms of reference:

The terms of reference of the competition are:
  • Stability of the country
  • Social cohesion
  • Household management
  • Management of unresolved situations
  • War and political stability.

d) Films:

 The candidates will make a film (fiction, documentary or reportage) for a period of 3, 6, 13 minutes. Each selected project is developed under the supervision of an internationally recognized Cameroonian professional. A complete shooting kit and crew are made available to the team for each project selected by the partnering associations. The films produced are the property of MIS ME BINGA.
The films may be in French or English and must be subtitled in one language or the other depending on the language of the shooting.

Films must be submitted in two (02) copies on DVD.

e) Dates:

Film projects must be deposited at the Goethe-Institut in a sealed envelope marked 'Binga Talent 2015 on 30 May 2015 midnight at the latest. Each project must be accompanied by a completed registration form to the following address: or submitted at the reception desk of the Goethe-Institut located at Bastos (Public School).

Candidates residing outside of the city of Yaoundé may send their film by post to: 1077 rue Mballa Eloumden BP 1067 Goethe Kamerun Institut.

f) Awards:

The winner of the competition will receive a sum of 100,000 CFA francs.

For more information, please contact us at the following addresses and telephone numbers:


Concurs Binga Talent 2015

1077, Rue Joseph Mballa Eloumdem
S/c Goethe-Institut, BP: 1067 Bastos

Telephone: 677 729 078 / 696 377 057 / 679 908 502



First name:

Date of Birth:


Passport / ID Number:

Full postal address:



Title of the project:






I hereby declare to be the rights holder of the project submitted:

I hereby declare to have read, accept and comply with the rules and regulations regarding the competition.


24 April 2015

Binga Talent 2015 : Appel à candidatures (Cameroun)

Concours de courts métrages documentaires lancé à l’endroit des réalisatrices et journalistes   



Le monde aujourd'hui est plongé dans une suite de conflits qui semblent sans fin. Ces conflits sont de différents ordres et catégories :  
  • d'ordre politique, mettant en péril la stabilité des Etats;  
  • d'ordre social (grèves, manifestations, revendications, frustrations de la jeunesse…) 
  • dans les ménages (violences faites aux femmes, viols, irresponsabilité parentale, délinquance juvénile…). La famille qui est le noyau de la société et donc de l'humanité reste un foyer de conflit permanent.   
La liste est loin d’être exhaustive. Cependant, des moyens plus ou moins efficaces sont élaborés et mis en œuvre pour gérer ces conflits. Des médiateurs, des experts en gestion des conflits à de différents niveaux (familiaux, internationaux, sociaux) sont de plus en plus mis à contribution. Les femmes dans ce processus sont loin d'être à la traine. L'adoption d'une Journée Mondiale de la Femme, le 8 mars, dénote bien de la place qu'on reconnait à la femme aujourd'hui, de l'importance qu'elle joue dans la consolidation de la paix quand elle est effective ou encore dans la recherche de celle-ci quand elle est absente. Les arts et le cinéma en l'occurrence sont des moyens efficaces de sensibilisation et d'appel à la prise de conscience des conflits, de leur gestion et en l'occurrence de l'implication des femmes dans la gestion des conflits.  
 Conscient de ce fait l'Association Mis Me Binga,  l'Association des Dames de l'Image du Cameroun (A.DAM.I.C.) avec le soutien du Goethe-Institut et en collaboration avec et CINEPRESS (l'association des journalistes et critiques de cinéma du Cameroun) organisent un concours de projets de films courts métrages documentaire. 
 Ce concours est ouvert aux femmes cinéastes, journalistes professionnelles, amatrices et étudiantes vivant au Cameroun.  
  a) Objectif: 
  Le concours a pour objectif : 
  • d’encourager les femmes s’impliquer davantage au processus d’éradication des crises et des conflits dans la société, 
  • de célébrer les femmes qui s’impliquent au quotidien au processus d’éradication des crises et des conflits dans la société, 
  • de sensibiliser les populations sur les conflits, les différentes formes de conflits auxquels la société est confrontée aujourd'hui, et plus encore, l'implication des femmes dans la gestion des conflits.  
  • d’encourager l’usage du cinéma comme outil de sensibilisation vu qu’il est un média de masse
        b) Thème:
 Ledit concours est lancé sous le thème : "Autonomisation de la femme pour une meilleure gestion de la cohésion sociale, des crises et conflits". 

        c) Termes de référence:

  Les termes de référence du concours sont: 
    1. stabilité du pays 
    2. cohésion sociale 
    3. gestion des ménages  
    4. gestion des situations non résolues  
    5. guerre et stabilité politique. 
        d) Films:

 Les candidates devront réaliser un film de fiction, documentaire ou un reportage d'une durée de 3, 6, 13 minutes. Chaque projet retenu est développé sous la supervision d’un professionnel camerounais internationalement reconnu. Un kit complet de tournage et une équipe sont mis à disposition de l’équipe de chaque projet retenu par les associations partenaires. Les films produits sont la propriété de MIS ME BINGA. 
 Les films peuvent être en français ou anglais et devront être sous-titrés dans l’une ou l’autre langue en fonction de la langue de tournage.  
  Les films devront être présentés en deux (02) copies sur support DVD.

        e) Dates:

Les projets de films devront être déposés au Goethe-Institut dans une enveloppe scellée avec la mention ‘Binga Talent, 2015’ au plus tard le 30 mai 2015 à 00 heures. Chaque projet devra être accompagné d’une fiche d'inscription dûment remplie à demander à l'adresse suivante : ou retirer à la réception du Goethe-Institut sis à Bastos (Ecole publique). 
Les candidats résidents hors de la ville de Yaoundé pourront envoyer leur film par la poste à l’adresse : 1.077 rue Mballa Eloumden BP : 1067 Goethe Institut Kamerun.

f) Récompenses:

  La lauréate du concours recevra une somme de 100.000 francs CFA. 

  Pour tout renseignement, veuillez nous contacter aux adresses et numéros de téléphone suivants:


Concours Binga Talent 2015 

1.077, Rue Joseph Mballa Eloumdem 
S/c Goethe-Insttitut, BP: 1.067 Bastos 

Telephone: 677 729 078 / 696 377 057 / 679 908 502 

Nom/ Name:


Date de Naissance /Date of birth:  

Nationalité /Nationality:  

Passport / Id Number:  

Adresse Postal /Full postal address:  



Titre du projet /Title of the project:  

Genre: --  Synopsis:  


Pays/Country : 


Je déclare être le détenteur des droits du projet soumis. 
I hereby declare to be the right holder of the project submitted:  

En remplissant se formulaire, je déclare avoir lu et accepté les conditions générales et le règlement du concours. I hereby declare to have read, accept and comply with the rules and regulations regarding the competition: 


23 April 2015

The International Pan African Film Festival at Cannes | Le Festival International du Film Panafricain à Cannes 2015

The International Pan African Film Festival of Cannes and its salon (29 April – 3 May 2015) are an exhibition platform for cinema and its related fields, the arts, and a range of expertise, as well as innovation, culture (music, photo, beauty, fashion show, books...) and the festival events.

Le Festival International du Film Panafricain de Cannes et son salon  (29 avril - 3 mai 2015) sont une plateforme d’exposition du cinéma et de ses métiers, des arts et des savoirs-faire, mais également de l’innovation, de la culture (la musique, la photo, la beauté, l'esthétique, la mode, le livre...) et de l’evénementiel. 

Présidente du Jury : Stéphanie Girerd (France)
Nadia Tamo (Congo-Brazzaville)
Françoise Ellong (Cameroon/Cameroun)
Glad Amog Lemra (Congo-Brazzaville)
Ayekoro Kossou (Benin)
Tima Ouamba (Congo-Brazzaville)

Women filmmakers of Africa and the Diaspora are highlighted in bold | Les réalisatrices d’Afrique et de la diaspora sont marquées en gras

A Court d'Enfants, 2014 (Marie-Hélène Roux, France) Fiction, 40 min

Afua's Diary, 2014 (Bibi Shadbolt, UK) Fiction, 81 min 

Amissa (La Messe), 2014 (Hyacinthe Hounsou, Côte d'Ivoire) Fiction 115 min

An American Ascent, 2015 (Andy Adkins, USA) Doc, 66 min 

Angel of Hell, 2015 (Shameem Shahid, Bangladesh) Doc, 18:02 min 

Ayeola : La Danse des Couleurs, 2014 (Jonathan Drumeaux, France) Doc, 06:24 min  

A Zest For Life : Afro-Peruvian Rhythms, A Source Of Latin Jazz, 2015 (Eve A. Ma, USA) Doc, 57 min  

Bêafrîka, 2015 (Pascale Serra-Nga Gnii Vueto, Centrafrique-CAR) Doc, 30 min

Beautiful Destroyer, 2014 (Christopher Dorrah, USA) Fiction, 115 min

Between The Devil And The Deep, 2014 (Michele Aime, Netherlands) – Doc, 93 min

Black Panther Woman, 2014 (Rachel Perkins, USA) Doc, 52:15 min

Brother-in-law, 2014 (Mariem Hamidat, Algérie/Algeria) Fiction, 22 min 

Camp 72, 2015 (Seema Mathur, USA) Doc, 75 min 

Congo Beat The Drum, 2014 (Ariel Tagar, Israel-Jamaica) Doc, 57 min  

Daddy Duty, 2015 (Nikki Bates, USA) Fiction, 10 min 

Damaru, 2015 (Agbor Obed Agbor, Cameroun-Cameroon) Fiction, 23 min 

Deal With It, 2015 (Shamira Raphaela, Netherlands) Doc, 58 min 

Dealer, 2014 (Jean-Luc Herbulot, France) Fiction, 75 min

Devoir de Memoire, 2015 (Mamadou Cissé, Mali) Doc, 82 min 

Dilemme, 2014 (Mabiala Siolo Liesbeth Any-Vanne, Congo) Fiction, 27 min

12 Months, 2014 (Charysse Tia Harper, USA) Doc, 64:38 min

Family Tree 2015 (Karen Anderson, USA) Fiction, 99 min 

Fancy Dancer, 2014 (J R Mathews, USA) Doc, 14:32 min

For Dinner, 2015 (Jeffrey Williams, USA) Fiction, 13:04 min 

Gam Gam, 2015 (Natacha Samuel, France) Doc, 135 min 

Hi, Miss !, 2015 (Dionne Edwards, UK) Fiction, 11:33 min

Healing History, 2015 (Kristin Alexander, USA) Doc, 19:48 min

I Love Kuduro, 2013 (Marion Patrocinio, Angola) Doc, 94 min

Kin Kontempo, 2015 (Renate Wembo, RDC) Doc, 10:08 min 

Kokoko Afferage.Com, 2015 (Irène Tassembedo, Burkina Faso) Fiction, 71 min

Kora, 2014 (Jorge Carvalho, Portugal) Doc, 71 min
La Boucle | “The Loop”, 2013 (Didier Cheneau, Reunion) Doc, 19 min 

Life in Progress 2015 (Irene Loebell, Switzerland-Suisse) Doc, 89 min 

Love Me Haiti, 2014 (Hugues Gentillon, France) Fiction, 13 min

Man’s Paradox, 2015 (Barney Frydman, Belgium-Belgique) Animation, Music Video 3:20 min  

Mas Man, 2014 (Dalton Narine, USA) Doc, 51:25 min

Moane Mory | “L'enfant unique”, 2014 (Amédée Pacôme Nkoulou, Gabon) Fiction, 20 min - Gabon 

Natsanat, 2015 (Cheryl Halpern, USA) Doc, 29:53 min

Njinga Queen Of Angola, 2013 (Sergio Graciano, Angola) Fiction, 109 min

Omar, 2014 (Hammami Achref, Tunisie-Tunisia) Doc, 11:44 min
Pan, 2015 (Dalton Narine, Trinidad & Tobago) Doc, 09:11 min

Les Panthères de L'île Rouge, 2014 (Madeleine Frank) Fiction, 97:06 min

Page Tournée, 2013 (Doudou Biama, Congo) Fiction, 29 min

Peuls, Bergers de Lumière, 2014 (Antoine Leonardi, France) Doc, 52 min

Phone Booth, 2015 (Vahagn Khachatryan, Armenia-Arménie) Doc, 09:52 min  

Pokou, Princesse Ashanti, 2013 (Abel Kouamé Nguessan, Côte d'Ivoire) Animation, 65 min 
Poverty, Inc., 2014 (Mark Weber, USA), Docu-Fiction, 86 min 

Price Of Love | Yefikir Wagaw, 2014 (Hermon Hailay, Ethiopia-Ethiopie) Fiction, 99 min

Sally’s Way, 2015 (Joanne Johnson, Trinidad & Tobago) Fiction, 74 min 

See Me Now, 2014 (Glen Mackay, UK) Doc, 12:54 min

Shameful Deceit, 2013 (Ayo Oyebade, UK) Fiction, 82:51 min

Sketch, 2014 (Stephen Barton, USA) Fiction, 21:37 min

Somewhere In The Middle (Lanre Olabisi, USA) Fiction, 89:45 min  

Sophie, 2015 (Fofo Gavua, Ghana) Fiction 14:47 min  

Soundiata Keita le reveil du lion, 2014 (Abel Kouame, Côte d'Ivoire) Animation, 70 min 

The Brothers Texas, 2014 (Ashton Pina, USA) Fiction, 15 min

The Double Deal, 2014 (Mark Holden, UK) Fiction, 15:46 min 

The Productive Lie, 2014 (Mike Ray, USA) Fiction, 105 min

The Sea, 2014 (Guido Nicolás Zingari, Italy) Doc, 36:40 min  

The Sons Of Mapes | “Les Fils De Mapes” (Aaron Hosé, USA) Doc, 15 min

The Sound Of Road, 2014 (Barzan Rostami, Iran) Animation, 2:30 min 

Time, 2014 (Hervé Moukoko, France) Fiction, 27:37 min 

Umudugudu Rwanda 20 Years On, 2014 (Giordano Cossu, France) 36 min 

Wonderful World, 2014 (David Saveliev, USA) Sci-Fi-Fiction, 7:56 min 

22 April 2015

Rokia Traoré: jury member of the 68th Cannes festival | membre du jury du 68ème festival de Cannes

Rokia Traoré: jury member of the 68th Cannes festival | membre du jury du 68ème festival de Cannes

Malian singer and musician Rokia Traoré will join co-presidents Joel and Ethan Coen on the 68th Cannes festival jury, along with the other members Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan, French actress Sophie Marceau, American-British actress Sienna Miller, Spanish actress Rossy de Palma and Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro.

La chanteuse et musicienne malienne Rokia Traoré travaillera dans un jury co-présidé par les cinéastes américains Joel et Ethan Coen et les autres membres, tels que le cinéaste canadien Xavier Dolan, la comédienne française Sophie Marceau, l’actrice américano-britannique Sienna Miller, l’actrice espagnole Rossy de Palma, le réalisateur mexicain Guillermo del Toro.

21 April 2015

African Women in Cinema addressing the cultural, social and political manifestations of migrancy

African Women in Cinema
addressing the cultural, social, political
and economic manifestations of migrancy

Initially a tribute to migrants lost at sea, this revised post highlights migrant stories by African women of the moving image.

African women of the moving image have a particular concern for the plight of the migrant, heightened by the dramatic impact of migrancy and its consequences and effects in many African countries. They have used diverse manners of storytelling to highlight the cultural, social and political manifestations of migrancy, especially as a phenomenon that has myriad intersecting implications for the homeland and the receiving countries. And increasingly a focus on identity processes and the formation of migrant diasporic communities. Some focus on the perilous passage in the desert and at sea, others on those who await their return: wives--since the majority of those who leave are men, whole families, neighborhoods,villages. Still others direct their cameras at the migrant experiences at the site of their destinations-- waiting grounds in many instances, or, semi-permanent spaces where hope, despair and possibility intermingle.

A selection of reflections on migrant stories by African women.

Alice Diop: La permanence | On call
"This is a film about the pain of exile, but it is told through the contemplation of the faces of these men. What grabbed me when I started working on this subject were the images of these undifferentiated and anonymous masses who flock to our doors. While initially, this image was not negative in its intent, it produced something that can be experienced as threatening. For me it was important to put faces, to put names and specific stories on what is often treated as an all-encompassing problem."

Mame Woury Thioubou: 5 Étoiles
The film highlights the lives of African migrants in Lille, France in order to bring these "undocumented migrants" to the realisation that after braving the desert and the sea to arrive in France, Europe is only the beginning of their ordeal…."The film does not tell young Africans not to leave, but what I want them to know" is that Europe "is not going to be the end of the ordeal, that it is the beginning of a new struggle"…

Rahel Zegeye, a migrant worker in Lebanon and filmmaker, has this to say about why she made her film Beirut:
"My main aim with the film was to show a different perspective on the lives of Ethiopian workers in Lebanon. We often hear stories of abuse and bad treatment of Lebanese employers towards their foreign domestic workers (maids). Most media and organizations working to help migrant domestic workers (MDWs) in Lebanon portray the worker as a helpless victim, her fate ruled by evil agencies and bad madams. Although this often does happen and is definitely an issue that needs attention, reality is much more complicated. I want to shed light on the inner lives and thoughts of a domestic worker, an aspect which is usually hidden from the Lebanese and foreign public."

Mati Diop : Atlantique
"I especially wanted to pay homage to this youth vanished at sea. This is my primary intention because it was very important for me to dedicate a film to this lost generation, ghost, while giving it life through the living. It is also a way of making sense out of their actions. They have not reached Spain (destination targeted by young Senegalese who go to sea), their dream... But maybe they are for many of those in the riots of 2012 (Note by Africine: especially driven by young Senegalese who opposed a new term of the incumbent President Abdoulaye Wade). Having disappeared at sea, these young people may have allowed the rebirth of a new youth."

Mary-Noël Niba : To Leave?
In this documentary, Mary-Noël Niba is interested in the stories of migrants and their personal trajectories. Far from the images we all know, she gathers rare voices and offers a unique perspective on illegal economic immigration.

Jacqueline Nsiah’s digital storytelling from the diaspora
"I termed my research, which is part of an academic thesis “Returning from exile” because the motivation for most of the Ghanaian diaspora is to return on behalf of their parents and build this great nation, something that most of our parents were not able to do for various reasons…Also, one mustn't ignore the many Ghanaians who are still trying to leave Ghana almost daily for economical reasons. A lot of them are working class or lower who struggle to find work or make a decent living in Ghana. They spend thousands of dollars or euros, all their savings and risk their lives in hope for a better life abroad."

Following are articles from the African Women in Cinema Blog regarding migrant stories by African women of the moving image

Rosine Mbakam : Chez jolie coiffure

Mame Woury Thioubou : 5 étoiles

Mati Diop - Interview by Falila Gbadamassi

Mary-Noël Niba : To Leave?

Ghanaian-German Jacqueline Nsiah’s digital Sankofa storytelling experience and other diasporic journeys

Leila Djansi : America, by any means necessary

Éléonore Yameogo talks about her film Paris mon paradis

Rahel Zegeye: The Experiences of an Ethiopian Migrant Worker and Filmmaker in Lebanon

19 April 2015

African/African Diaspora Women's Stories at the New York African Film Festival 2015 (1-25 May)

African/African Diaspora Women's Stories
at the New York African Film Festival  2015
(1-25 May)

Yaba Badoe, Ghana
The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo, 2014, 78min.
The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo explores the artistic contribution of one of Africa’s foremost women writers. Director Badoe charts Aidoo’s creative journey over seven decades, from colonial Ghana, through the tumultuous era of independence, to a more sober present day Africa.

Carey McKenzie, South Africa
Cold Harbour, 2014, 73min.
While investigating a smugglers’ turf war in Cape Town, township cop Sizwe stumbles upon police corruption. His boss and mentor, Venske, gives Sizwe the case but assigns a rookie, Legama, to keep an eye on him. After Sizwe discovers that a homicide is linked to Triad (Chinese mafia) through abalone smuggling, a tip from a former comrade leads to a major bust. Despite the seized contraband being stolen within hours, Sizwe is still promoted to detective. It’s a bitter triumph though—he’s being played, and he knows it. In a world where self-interest and corruption have overtaken loyalty and honor, Sizwe is left with no one to trust and integrity demands that he take the law into his own hands.

Ngardy Conteh George & Allan Tong
Flying Stars, Canada, 2014, 50min.
During Sierra Leone’s civil war, rebels amputated countless limbs. Most of the victims are orphans and outcasts in a society that has yet to face its past. For some of them, only the amputee soccer league offers a chance at a better life.

Jenna Bass, South Africa
Love The One You Love, 2014, 105min.
Across the city of Cape Town, a sex-line operator, a dog handler, and an IT technician begin to suspect that their romantic relationships are the subject of a bizarre conspiracy, involving their friends, family, and possibly even greater forces. Love the One You Love’s parallel stories question the ideals we hold too sacred: love, happiness, and the New South Africa.

Safi Faye, Senegal
Mossane, 1996, 105min.
Mossane (Magou Seck), a beautiful 14-year-old girl from a rural Senegalese village, is the object of affection to many, including Fara, a poor university student—and even her own brother, Ngor. Although she has long been promised as a bride to the wealthy Diogaye, Mossane falls in love with Fara and on her wedding day, she defies her parents’ wishes and refuses to go through with it.

Tala Hadid, Morocco/France/UK
The Narrow Frame of Midnight, 2014, 93min.
Aïcha, a young orphan, is found alone in the forests of central Morocco, after being taken from her home and sold to a petty criminal. Soon after escaping, she crosses paths with Zacaria, a Moroccan/Iraqi writer, who has left everything behind—including a passionate relationship with a teacher, Judith—to search for his missing brother. The trio’s intersecting journeys lead audiences across Morocco, to Istanbul, the plains of Kurdistan, and beyond.

Networks of Hate, 2014, 52min.
Key areas of expression, today’s social and internet networks have become an outlet through which the most racist, homophobic, and sexist ideas are expressed.

Celine Gilbert, Tanzania
Surrender, 2000, 30min.
In the tranquil setting of a small fishing community in the East Coast of Zanzibar, a fire is raging in the hearts of three young individuals and the entire community feels the heat. Surrender is a story about Amri, a man trapped between the traditional role of the family man his father expects him to fulfill, and his personal desire for Mashua, a local fisherman. 

Eliciana Nascimento, Brazil
The Summer of Gods, 2014, 20min.
A young girl named Lili connects with her Afro-Brazilian religious heritage on a summer visit with family to their ancestral village in rural Brazil. During her stay, she encounters orishas (African gods) who help her find peace with a gift that had previously vexed her.

Akosua Adoma Owusu, Ghana/USA,
Bus Nut, 2014, 7min.
Bus Nut rearticulates the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, a political and social protest against U.S. racial segregation on the public transit system of Montgomery, Alabama, and its relationship to an educational video on school-bus safety. Actress MaameYaa Boafo restages a vintage video while reciting press-conference audio of Rosa Parks on a re-created set in New York City.

Monique Mbeka Phoba, Belgium/Democratic Republic of the Congo,
Sister Oyo (Soeur Oyo), 2014, 24min.
Set in the Belgian Congo in the 1950s, Sister Oyo tells the story of Godelive, a schoolgirl at the Catholic boarding school Mbanza-Mboma, the premier French-language school for Congolese girls. She is to be westernized, following the will of her parents, but the memory of her grandmother intervenes…

Muzna Almusafer, United Arab Emirates/France
Cholo, 2014, 21min.
The dark-skinned 11-year-old Cholo meets his fair-skinned younger stepbrother Abdullah for the first time. Although strikingly different, the two boys enjoy a crackling chemistry.

Libby Dougherty, South Africa
Panic Button, 2014, 25min.
From the moment that Tshepo, a security guard, breaks through Jenny’s multi-locked door to save her, she feels as if she’s been swept off her feet. But as Jenny imagines herself falling in love with him, an unhealthy, delusional obsession begins to take shape.

Eka Christa Assam, Cameroon
Beleh, 2013, 26min.
Set in a small village at the foot of Mount Fako in Cameroon, Beleh examines the relationship between Ekema and his heavily pregnant wife, Joffi. The difficulty she faces in her first pregnancy is made worse by the petulant and selfish demands of her irate and uncompromising husband. Things come to a head when one morning, the situation mysteriously changes in the village and there’s a total role reversal between the sexes. Ekema (who’s the only one who seems to be aware of the change) gets to experience a day as a pregnant man and his experiences throw a whole new light on his view of Joffi’s feelings.

Lovinsa Kavuma, Zanzibar / Tanzania
Curse of an Addict, 2013, 25min.
In Zanzibar, Seif, a 28-year-old heroin addict believes he is cursed. In a battle to be free from a life where he contracted HIV, Seif seeks help from a Shiek. In a spiritual exorcism, the curse from his past is conjured up. Having confronted his demons, only time will tell whether Seif can lead a clean life as a true Muslim.

Ekwa Msangi, Kenya/USA
Soko Sonko, 2014, 22min.
When her mom gets sick, Kibibi’s dad must take her to the market to get her hair braided before school begins. Soko Sonko is a hilarious, fish-out-of-water roller-coaster of a journey, about a well-intended dad who goes where no man has gone before… because only women have been there.

Kaouther Ben Hania, Tunisia/France
Wooden Hands, 2013, 23min.
Five-year-old Amira lives with her mother in a small apartment in Tunis. On the day that she’s supposed to return to the Koranic school, Amira was dearly wishing to enjoy the few remaining hours of her holiday. She managed to find nothing better to do than to attach her hand to the chair with super glue…

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