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.

29 September 2015

Cinemafrodiscendente: Filmmakers of African Descent in Italian Cinema

Press release:

Cinemafrodiscendente – Filmmakers of African Descent in Italian Cinema (cinemafrodiscendente.com), online from 1 October, is a blog in English on the neglected reality and the legacy of Afrodescendant filmmakers in Italian cinema and audiovisual production. 

Cinemafrodiscendente is an initiative of Associazione Culturale Yeelen, like Cinemafrica – Africa e diaspore nel cinema (cinemafrica.org), the first and only website in Italy dedicated to Africa and diasporas in film, celebrating in 2016 its 10th year.

The blog Cinemafrodiscendente – Filmmakers of African Descent in Italian Cinema (cinemafrodiscendente.com) was born as a spin-off research of a book called L’Africa in Italia: Per una controstoria postcoloniale del cinema italiano (Roma: Aracne Editrice, 2013) and edited by Leonardo De Franceschi. The domain was registered on February 2013 by Associazione Culturale Yeelen.

All the initiatives promoted by Yeelen are supervised by Maria Coletti and Leonardo De Franceschi. 

LINK OF INTEREST:

26 September 2015

B for Boy by Chika Anadu on Netflix

B for Boy (2013) by Chika Anadu is accessible on Netflix

Synopsis:

B For Boy is a contemporary drama set in Nigeria, about one woman's desperate need for a male child; which reveals the discrimination of women in the names of culture and religion.


Chika Anadu was born in Lagos, Nigeria in November 1980. She attended school there before going to the UK in 1997 where she did her 'A' Levels, got her first degree in BA (Hons) Law and Criminology, and an MA in African Studies: Human and Sustainable Development. Having always been an avid film buff from childhood, and having fallen in love with foreign Language/Arthouse films during her Masters degree, it wasn't until 2006 that Chika realized that she wanted to be a Filmmaker. She moved back to Nigeria for good in 2008 to work in TV/Film production. (From Cannes Résidence Website)

25 September 2015

Awkward is the New Black: A documentary about Senegalese-American Issa Rae

Screen grab

Awkward is the New Black by Dylan Valley is a short documentary about the Internet webseries, social media sensation, producer, director and writer Senegalese-American Issa Rae.

YouTube description:

Issa Rae's work has garnered over 20 million views and 200 000 Youtube subscribers. Her web series, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, was a refreshing comedy which amongst other things, highlighted the lack of representation of black characters in mainstream television. And, it was funny.

This short documentary explores the journey of Rae’s web series, highlighting in particular how ABG started as a zero-budget exercise amongst friends and eventually became appointment viewing with the backing of Pharrell Williams. Without the gatekeepers of traditional TV, Rae was able to let her true voice flourish, and walked right into the gap that the big broadcast networks had left wide open. The documentary is a celebration of the series, and also a challenge to indie filmmakers to fully use the digital tools literally at their fingertips, so often taken for granted.



23 September 2015

“Am I: Too African to be American or Too American to be African?” a film by Sierra Leonean American Nadia Sasso

“Am I: Too African to be American or Too American to be African?” a film by Sierra Leonean American Nadia Sasso

SOURCE: Am I The film website: http://www.amithefilm.com/

Born in the United States to parents who emigrated from Sierra Leone, Nadia Sasso’s master’s project from Lehigh University is the documentary film, “Am I: Too African to be American or Too American to be African?” 

The documentary film explores the complex identity formations of young African women living in America and West Africa who identify bi-culturally. It specifically looks at how they wrestle with concepts of race, complexion, gender, and heritage among other issues.

19 September 2015

Ghanaian-American Rebekah Frimpong launches an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for the documentary film project "Adowa"

Ghanaian-American Rebekah Frimpong, whose goal is to tell the story of the Adowa dance of the Ashanti people of Ghana, launches an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for the documentary film project "Adowa".

The Adowa Indiegogo crowdfunding page describes the film project as follows:

Adowa is a documentary film about oral literature in dance and preserving the culture of the Ashanti people of Ghana. We will travel to Ghana to capture the beauty of traditional funeral dance called Adowa of the Ashanti people. Our film explores how the Adowa dance came to be and the tradition and history behind this dance using language, music, and the movements of the Adowa dance to reveal the story.


For more information on the Indiegogo campaign and to make a contribution: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/adowa-documentary-film-by-rebekah-frimpong#/story

18 September 2015

Hiwot Admasu Getaneh: “New Eyes”

Hiwot Admasu Getaneh: “New Eyes”
Source : Claire Diao. L’Afrique en films” Chroniques cinématographiques (NO LONGER AVAILABLE)
Photo : medias.unifrance.org

En français (version originale)

Ethiopian filmmaker Hiwot Admasu Getaneh was born and raised in Addis Ababa on Ethiopia. Before her one-year training in scriptwriting and directing at the Blue Nile Film & TV Academy, she studied electrical engineering and computer science.

Hiwot Admasu Getaneh came to cinema for two reasons. First, "because as a child, I believed that all the films I saw were true. Growing up, I found it incredible that everything is a lie and that the viewers could believe it." Second, "because I felt alive when directing, when telling stories using my imagination."

During the Colours of the Nile Festival in Addis Ababa, Hiwot Admasu Getaneh met French producer François d'Artemare, who was looking for filmmakers. She told him about her project and they decided to produce her first professional short, New Eyes, together. It was presented at the Talent Campus at the Durban International Film Festival in South Africa in 2013.


Selected at Toronto International Film Festival, Hiwot Admasu Getaneh talks about New Eyes, presented in the Orrizonti section of the Venice Film Festival, in English:
http://weloveafricanfilms.blogs.courrierinternational.com/archive/2015/09/18/tiff-2015-hiwot-admasu-getaneh-talks-about-new-eyes-51134.html NO LONGER AVAILABLE

15 September 2015

African Women in Cinema Playlist: Highlighting African women during the Directed by Women worldwide film viewing party | Réalisés par des Femmes, la fête internationale de visionnement de films 2015

African Women in Cinema Blog highlights African women via films online during the Directed by Women worldwide film viewing party - 1-15 September 2015.

Le blog sur les femmes africaines dans le cinema mettre en avant les réalisatrices africaines pendant le Réalisés par des femmes  - 01-15 septembre 2015.




African Women in Cinema Playlists on/sur YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/AfricanWomeninCinema/playlists 

African Women in Cinema Playlist on/sur Vimeo

African Women in Cinema Playlist on/sur Pinterest

14 September 2015

Animation: Highlighting African women during the Directed by Women worldwide film viewing party | Réalisés par des Femmes, la fête internationale de visionnement de films 2015

Yellow Fever
African Women in Cinema Blog highlights African women via films online during the Directed by Women worldwide film viewing party - 1-15 September 2015.

Le blog sur les femmes africaines dans le cinema mettre en avant les réalisatrices africaines pendant le Réalisés par des femmes  - 01-15 septembre 2015.

Ng'endo Mukii: Yellow Fever
Cilia Sawadogo: Christopher change de nom
Ebele Okoye: The Legacy of Rubies
Marguerite Abouet & Clement Oubrerie: Aya de Youpougon

NG'ENDO MUKII: YELLOW FEVER
Filmmaker’s note of intention:

I am interested in the concept of skin and race, and what they imply; in the ideas and theories sown into our flesh that change with the arc of time. The idea of beauty has become globalised, creating homogenous aspirations, and distorting people’s self-image across the planet. In my film, I focus on African women’s self-image, through memories and interviews; using mixed media to describe this almost schizophrenic self-visualization that I and many others have grown up with.

Follow link to film: https://vimeo.com/122574484 


CILIA SAWADOGO: CHRISTOPHER CHANGE DE NOM

[English]
Christopher hates his name and change it toTiger. Then he finds another one even better ... When he has trouble cashing the check that his aunt gives him for his birthday, he finally understands that his real name is special!

[Français]
Christopher déteste son nom et en change pour celui de Tiger. Puis, il en trouve un autre encore meilleur... Lorsqu'il a de la difficulté à encaisser le chèque que sa tante lui a donné pour son anniversaire, il comprend enfin combien son véritable nom est spécial!

Follow link to film
Suivre le lien au film


EBELE OKOYE: THE LEGACY OF RUBIES

Mfalme, a young forest boy is kidnapped and brought to a strange palace in a place called Airegin, with the claim that he is the blood son of the dying King Obankosi and the chosen successor to the throne.

Not just that, he is given a mandatory assignment which he has to fulfil before he can either accept or reject their offer. So, accompanied by the little palace boy with whom he struck up a friendship, he is forced on a journey he least reckoned with.



MARGUERITE ABOUET & CLEMENT OUBRERIE : AYA OF YOPOU CITY | AYA DE
YOPOUGON 

[English]

Aya of Yopou City recounts the life of Aya, a beautiful 19-year-old Ivorian who lives in Yopougon, a working-class neighbourhood of Abidjan in the 1970s.

A serious young woman who has ambitions to become a doctor, she is in total contrast to her two friends, Adjoua and Bintou who to her dismay, do extremely well in the categories : Hairstyles, Fashion and Husband hunting. The two girls, go dancing in the "bush", venture out to the dance halls, taking life easily, until the day that Adjoua, who is not married, finds out that she is pregnant.

In a serene atmosphere with warm colours seasoned with popular songs, the film attempts to describe the lives of an urban and modern neighbourhood where no matter the circumstances, everyone stays optimistic by relying on the solidarity among neighbours.

[Français]

Fin des années 1970, en Côte d'Ivoire à Yopougon, quartier populaire d'Abidjan. C'est là que vit Aya, 19 ans, une jeune fille sérieuse qui préfère rester étudier à la maison plutôt que de sortir avec ses copines.

Aya partage ses journées entre l'école, la famille et ses deux meilleures amies : Adjoua et Bintou, qui ne pensent qu'à aller "gazer" en douce à la nuit tombée dans les maquis. Les choses se gâtent lorsque qu'Adjoua se retrouve enceinte par mégarde. Que faire ?

Trailer | Bande-annonce




13 September 2015

Fanta Nacro: The Night of Truth | La nuit de la verité. Highlighting African women during the Directed by Women worldwide film viewing party | Réalisés par des femmes – 2015

African Women in Cinema Blog highlights African women via films online during the Directed by Women worldwide film viewing party - 1-15 September 2015.

Le blog sur les femmes africaines dans le cinema mettre en avant les réalisatrices africaines pendant le Réalisés par des femmes  - 01-15 septembre 2015.

Follow the Netflix link 
Suivre le lien sur Netflix


[English]
Fanta Régina Nacro: The Night of Truth

Somewhere in Africa. After ten years of bloody ethnic war, the Nayaks, the President's ethnic group, and the Bonandés, rebels supporting Colonel Theo, are on the point of celebrating the peace agreement.
But the reconciliation festivities are overshadowed by the terrible barbarities committed by both sides.

Leaving behind the signature humour of her earlier short films, director Fanta Régina Nacro has no qualms about portraying the violence enclosed by the story while leading the story to an unexpected bid for peace.

[Français]
La nuit de la verité
Fanta Régina Nacro : Note d'intention

"Les bourreaux aiment la nuit, les assassins ont peur du jour".
Zehor Zerari, poète algérien

La nuit de la vérité est un film écrit à la mémoire d'un homme.
Accusé d'avoir fomenté un coup d'état, il fut d'abord torturé et emprisonné.

Une nuit, des hommes préparèrent un barbecue, l'attachèrent et le firent cuire à petit feu jusqu'au matin. À sept heures du matin, il mourait atrocement.

Cet homme était mon oncle.

Il y eût aussi ce vendredi noir où des musulmans de mon quartier, à Ouagadougou, s'entretuèrent à coups de couteaux et de machettes parce qu'ils ne s'entendaient pas sur le choix du nouvel imam. Des sages ont pu calmer les esprits et éviter une guerre civile.

Enfin, comment oublier la Yougoslavie, le Rwanda, le Burundi, le Soudan, le Zaïre, le Congo … mais aussi tant d'autres pays du monde confrontés à des guerres civiles ? Sur le thème des rivalités ethniques, nous avons voulu écrire un drame "shakespearien".

La violence et la cruauté n'y sont pas exposées avec complaisance, mais intégrées à une progression dramatique.

12 September 2015

Nadia el Fani & Caroline Fourest: Nos seins, nos armes | Our breasts, our weapons: Directed by Women worldwide film viewing party | Réalisés par des Femmes, la fête internationale de visionnement de films - 1-15 September 2015

African Women in Cinema Blog highlights African women via films online during the Directed by Women worldwide film viewing party - 1-15 September 2015.

Le blog sur les femmes africaines dans le cinema mettre en avant les réalisatrices africaines pendant le Réalisés par des femmes - 01-15 septembre 2015.

[English]
Nadia el Fani and Caroline Fourest: Our breasts, our weapons

They are provocating and angry. They protest topless and go to war against the patriarchy, the dictators, the prostitution, and the religions! These warriors are the new face of the feminism, their bodies became their weapons. And they are ready of paying the price of this fight by the prison or the exile. Of the flight(leak) of Inna Schevenko, 22ans, leader of the FEMEN in that of Aliaa El Madhdy, age 21 threatened with death to have denounced the sexism in Egypt by resting posing naked on the Internet, this movie tells the heartening and sometimes violent story of a from now on global movement.

[Français]
Nadia el Fani et Caroline Fourest : Nos seins, nos armes

Elles sont provocantes et en colère. Elles protestent seins nus et partent en guerre contre le patriarcat, les dictateurs, la prostitution, et les religions ! Ces guerrières sont le nouveau visage du féminisme, leurs corps sont devenus leurs armes.  Et elles sont prêtes à payer le prix de ce combat par la prison ou l’exil.De la fuite d’Inna Schevenko, 22ans, leader des FEMEN à celle d’Aliaa El Madhdy, 21 ans  menacée de mort pour avoir dénoncé le sexisme en Egypte en posant nue sur Internet, ce film raconte l’histoire réjouissante et parfois violente d’un mouvement désormais planétaire.

Image : Wikipedia

Suivre le lien pour visionner en français
Follow link to view (in French only)

11 September 2015

Shorts by Rumbi Katedza. Highlighting African women during the Directed by Women worldwide film viewing party - 1-15 September 2015

©Rumbi Katedza
African Women in Cinema Blog highlights African women via films online during the Directed by Women worldwide film viewing party - 1-15 September 2015

Asylum

Rumbi Katedza talks about Asylum: "...I saw a news piece on refugees in the UK. What struck me about the stories was how so many of the people still experienced fear every day of their lives because they were still haunted by the experiences they went through. Unfortunately, no one seemed to be helping them psychologically. The assumption was, if you are in a ‘safe’ country, then all is fine, but to be honest, you are never safe from the prison that your mind can create for you. Making the film with no dialogue was a very deliberate choice, because I felt no words had to be said to convey the war that continued to be waged in the character’s mind every day. I spent time with Sudanese refugees in London who were very generous with their stories, and they appreciated the film once it was made.The film has travelled to scores of festivals now and won a couple of awards, and wherever it goes, it resonates with audiences. The character in the film could be from anywhere because her experience is a universal one."



Danai

Synopsis: When a woman reaches her limits in an abusive relationship, she decides to take a stand.

10 September 2015

Sarah Bouyain: Les Enfants du blanc | Children of the White man. Highlighting African women during the Directed by Women worldwide film viewing party | Réalisés par des femmes - 2015

African Women in Cinema Blog highlights African women via films online during the Directed by Women worldwide film viewing party - 1-15 September 2015

Le blog sur les femmes africaines dans le cinema mettre en avant les réalisatrices africaines pendant le Réalisés par des femmes  - 01-15 septembre 2015.


Biography | Biographie

[English]
Sarah Bouyain, bi-racial, Franco-Burkinabé, was born in Reims, France. She received a diploma in mathematics and studied film at Louis Lumiere College. She co-directed Niararaye (1997) and directed the documentary Les Enfants du Blanc (2000). The Place In Between (2010) is her first feature film.

[Français]
Sarah Bouyain est métisse franco-burkinabé. Elle est née à Reims, dans la Marne.
Après une licence de Mathématiques obtenue à Jussieu, elle entre à l’école Nationale supérieure Louis Lumière (“École de Vaugirard”).

Après l’école, deux ans plus tard, elle travaille comme assistante caméra sur différents films, des courts, des longs, des petits, des gros (elle a été stagiaire image sur Léon de Luc Besson”!) des documentaires et des fictions et aussi des publicités.


09 September 2015

The Works of Salem Mekuria. Highlighting African women during the Directed by Women worldwide film viewing party - 1-15 September 2015

Photo: salemmekuria.com
African Women in Cinema Blog highlights African women via films online during the Directed by Women worldwide film viewing party - 1-15 September 2015

Follow link to http://salemmekuria.com 

Text from Salem Mekuria website:

Salem Mekuria is the director of Mekuria Productions, an independent film production company established in 1987. She is also a professor in the Art Department at Wellesley College. She splits her residence between Ethiopia and the United States. Since 1987, she has been an independent writer, producer, director, videographer, and a video installation artist. Her award winning documentary films and video installations feature Ethiopian subjects and have been shown internationally.

Photo: salemmekuria.com


08 September 2015

Shorts by Nikyatu Jusu. Highlighting African women during the Directed by Women worldwide film viewing party - 1-15 September 2015

The African Women in Cinema Blog highlights African women via films online during the Directed by Women worldwide film viewing party - 1-15 September 2015.

Sierra Leonean-American Nikyatu Jusu is among a growing number of filmmakers emerging from the New African Diaspora of the United States. A Diaspora which reflects the multiple identities, histories and experiences of those born in the United States and also embrace the Africa of their parents.

Say Grace Before Drowning 
After meeting her African Refugee mother for the first time in six years, 8 year old Hawa is forced to coexist with a woman teetering on the brink of insanity.

Follow link at https://vimeo.com/14624401 

African Booty Scratcher 
Prom nears and things seem to be spiralling out of control for the typically composed ISATU. In this coming of age story,West African tradition conflicts with American idealism and Isatu is forced to reassess her alliances.


Follow link at https://vimeo.com/3070606   

07 September 2015

Claude Haffner: Footprints of My Other | Noire ici, Blanche la-bàs: Directed by Women worldwide film viewing party | Réalisés par des Femmes, la fête internationale de visionnement de films

African Women in Cinema Blog highlights African women via films online during the Directed by Women worldwide film viewing party - 1-15 September 2015.

Le blog sur les femmes africaines dans le cinéma met en avant les réalisatrices africaines pendant la fête internationale de visionnement de films Réalisés par des femmes - 01-15 septembre 2015.

Suivre le lien pour visionner en français | Follow link to view (in French only) :

Rent the film | Louer le film : 3,90 €

[English]
Claude Haffner: Footprints of My Other

Claude Haffner's moving autobiographical story about her place “in between”—black and white as a racial signifier, Africa and Europe—their contrasting beliefs and customs, class, status and gender—what she represents as an Alsatian and its contradictions as a Congolese. One also discerns ker need to redefine herself in relationship to her father and mother—a liberation, as she calls it, and finally as an expectant mother, her research on the formation of identity and how she will transmit her own multiple identity to her child with the hopes that the latter will be able to find, as she was able to, between black and white--her own colour.

[Français]
Claude Haffner: Noire ici, Blanche la-bàs 

Claude Haffner raconte dans une émouvante histoire autobiographique sa place « entre deux », noire et blanche comme signifiant racial, entre Afrique et Europe, leurs croyances et coutumes différentes, entre classe, statut social et genre—ce qu’elle représente en tant qu’Alsacienne et leurs contradictions en tant que Congolaise. On discerne aussi son désir de se redéfinir par rapport à son père et sa mère, une émancipation comme elle le dit. Et puis, comme une future mère, sa recherche sur la formation d’identité et comment elle transmettra sa propre identité multiple à son enfant avec l’espoir que ce dernier trouvera, comme elle l’aurait pu entre le blanc et le noir, sa propre couleur.




06 September 2015

“Pumzi” by Wanuri Kahiu. Highlighting African women during the Directed by Women worldwide film viewing party - 1-15 September 2015

Pumzi by Wanuri Kahiu. African Women in Cinema Blog highlights African women via films accessible online during the Directed by Women worldwide film viewing party - 1-15 September 2015.

Wanuri Kahiu:

My metaphor about Pumzi is life and sacrifice and that we ourselves have to mother mother nature. That we have to make sacrifices in order to live in this world. And that we have to know that our own behaviour will affect generations to come.


Follow link to: https://vimeo.com/46891859 

05 September 2015

"Difficult Love" by Zanele Muholi and Peter Goldsmid. Highlighting African women during the Directed by Women worldwide film viewing party - 1-15 September 2015

Photography by Zanele Muholi
Difficult Love by Zanele Muholi and Peter Goldsmid. African Women in Cinema Blog highlights African women via films online during the Directed by Women worldwide film viewing party - 1-15 September 2015.

Visual activist Zanele Muholi of South Africa, repositions the African subject that is often represented by others, reclaiming her own space and that of other black lesbians and black South Africans as a whole. Telling her own story and taking ownership of her subject-position, she returns the gaze, re-writes the script that has often left black lesbians and Africans in general without a voice.

Difficult Love

A highly personal take on the challenges facing Black lesbians in South Africa today emerges through the life, work, friends and associates of 'visual activist' and internationally celebrated photographer, Zanele Muholi (who also presents). (From imdb.com website)

04 September 2015

“Woman to Woman” by Malika Franklin and Véronique Doumbé. Highlighting African women during the Directed by Women worldwide film viewing party - 1-15 September 2015

Woman to Woman by Malika Franklin and Véronique Doumbé. The African Women in Cinema Blog highlights African women's films accessible online during the Directed by Women worldwide film viewing party - 1-15 September 2015.

Daughter Malika Franklin and mother Véronique Doumbé teamed up to make Woman to Woman (2013), a documentary film exploring the experiences of mothers and of daughters living in New York City.

View the trailer, and watch the film online for $5.99 @ http://womantowomanmovie.com/watch.html.

Woman to woman stands out in many ways, the treatment of the subject, the filmmaking process whereby Véronique Doumbé and her daughter Malika Franklin film other mothers and daughters, and the online view-on-demand distribution strategy, which provides an opportunity for a worldwide audience to experience the English-language film. 

From the Woman to Women Press Kit:

Véronique

The idea of Woman to Woman grew out of discussions with mothers of teenagers about issues relating to being a woman or becoming one. Producing Woman to Woman is exciting because it touches two areas that matter most in my life, being a mother and making films.

Malika

I joined the film after my mother had already begun because I felt it was important to have a teenager's perspective. The film's intention is for mothers and daughters to better understand each other and to have open conversations. This could not be done if the conversation was told only through a mother's eyes.

01 September 2015

Directed by Women - a worldwide film viewing party - 1-15 September 2015


Directed by Women - a worldwide film viewing party - 
1-15 September 2015

http://directedbywomen.com/


From the African Women in Cinema Blog during the worldwide film viewing party










13 Sep 2015 - Fanta Nacro: The Night of Truth | La nuit de la verité. Highlighting African women during the Directed by Women NO LONGER ACTIVE