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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29 February 2016

Black Camera: Teaching African Women in Cinema, Part One by Beti Ellerson

Teaching African Women in Cinema, Part One on JSTOR: Beti Ellerson, Teaching African Women in Cinema, Part One, Black Camera, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Fall 2015), pp. 251-261

Women in front of the screen, as cultural readers, scholars, critics and theorists of African women in cinema studies also have a vital function in the study and analysis of cultural production as it relates to women's role in creating, shaping and determining the course of their cinematic history, the intellectual and cultural capital that it produces, and the intangible cultural heritage to which it contributes.
Women in cinema as a study and research focus has an extremely broad range of discourse and practice. Women on, in front of, behind the screen--as storytellers, makers, producers, scriptwriters, actresses, role models, consciousness raisers, practitioners, technicians, organizers, fund-raisers, social media community managers, bloggers, agents of change, activists, advocates, audience builders, cultural producers, cultural readers, film critics, scholars, and researchers--all contribute to the idea of "African Women in Cinema" as a conceptual framework.

Also see Beti Ellerson, Teaching African Women in Cinema, Part Two on Project Muse: Beti Ellerson, Teaching African Women in Cinema, Part One, Black Camera, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Fall 2015), pp. 251-261

27 February 2016

Iman Kamel talks about her beloved home Egypt, storytelling through cinema and her film project Jeanne d'Arc Masriya

Iman Kamel
Iman Kamel, Egyptian filmmaker based in Germany, talks about her relationship to Egypt, her positionality between cultures, the use of cinema as a medium of storytelling, and her film project Jeanne d'Arc Masriya ("JDM")

Iman, talk a bit about yourself, your trajectory into documentary practice, your experience as an Egyptian living and working between cultures.

To talk about oneself one has to meditate about almost half of a life lived between cities, between cultures, between minds and ideologies. In fact I became a filmmaker by accident. Brought up in an artist’s household becoming a visual artist was a natural born thing. But then studying visual arts at the Academy of Arts in Berlin I found out that sitting in a studio and making art was not my thing. The director of the film academy of Berlin who was at the same time professor at our arts academy attended a presentation of my work. Then he came over to me and said, “everything you do has something to do with film, so come and make your first short film.” I did and my career as a filmmaker started from there. Actually I do not consider myself as a documentary filmmaker per se. I am more like a storyteller using the capacities of cinema to tell untold stories. Living and working in between cultures makes me sensitive to in-between stories, mostly subtle and introverted stories that are not crying out, it is the everyday life of my protagonists that interest me most, looking at the beauty and the lyrical in their universe.

While living outside of Egypt, issues and experiences regarding the country are your point of reference in terms of the stories you want to tell. Some reflections…

Actually my connection to my beloved home is so inherent in my system that it is actually not possible to live outside of Egypt for too long without suffering too much. There was an encounter with schoolmates in a reunion, and I listened to one of my schoolmates telling me, it has been seven years that she hasn’t been in Egypt. She would come together with her family in Zurich or London but not back home in Egypt. The longest time I really have been away from Egypt was two years and I got literally homesick, physically. I have to be home at least once a year. My artery of life is working on a movie, so I could connect to my protagonists, to their everyday struggles, to be emotionally connected I mean, to the smells, to the sounds, to the colours and to the agonies of my people. 

Your film Jeanne d'Arc Masriya ("JDM") is described as a creative documentary. Talk about your process, your choices in telling the story, especially how you connect to the story, on your return to Egypt.

The film industry always struggles to put my movies into a marketing box, so the easiest way to do it is to label it as a creative documentary. Me personally I do not distinguish between documentaries and fiction. For me cinema is cinema, the film language cannot and shall not confide itself to a funding category. I do get moved by very authentic moments in front of the camera; but I always love to apply these documentary-like moments into a playful—even fictional—storytelling, just to delve into deeper and multiple levels of a theme or a story. I do believe every scene caught on camera and edited later on film is going through a fictional process of abstraction. You have to put these scenes into a framework of a storyline. The protagonists are—whether aware of the camera or not—moving in front of the camera, so they move differently, etc. I do connect to my protagonists in an organic way. I listen; I observe; I feel; I am inspired. And then during the shooting, that is very much like a fictional shooting, has a beginning and an end, I try to capture these authentic moments that I create together with my protagonists. To work on an overall story as main line of action becomes then the challenge. So the dramaturgy, the editing, the voice over and music are essential in this process. These processes feed into each other to create a “whole” body of work. 

It is very different from classical documentary shooting, where you follow your protagonist maybe for years, where you have hundreds of hours of footages, and then you try to compile a film out of these materials. For me to have twenty hours of material shot at different times during the process of the film will suffice totally to create the foundation for my movies. I then study every image and motion in these footages; and it becomes for me the material like a poet works on his poems. The documentary transforms then to cinema as a universal poetic language.

In what way is Jehanne who dreams of being a dancer and disappears in Tahir Square on 9 March 2011 during the revolution while detained by military forces, a Jeanne d’Arc figure, an apparent reference to Jeanne d’Arc, a heroine of France?

I am aware that the reference to the French heroine will generate a lot of questioning. It started already in the pre-screenings we had. Actually there is a wealth of associations and meanings to this title and to the connection to this French figure who left her people in a village, made her way to the king and pursued her vision until the very bitter end. There is an inherent force in her story that stays with me forever. Every time when I am exhausted of moving against the stream, I always think of this young Jeanne d’Arc and get the power to move on despite of all obstacles. Also the title of Jeanne d’Arc refers to a movement of the revolution in Egypt itself that started in a dynamic of euphoria and infinite possibilities to get betrayed in the end even eliminated from history. 

Jeanne d'Arc Masriya explores issues related to female emancipation and the right to female expression in ‘post’ post-revolutionary Egypt, through your eyes as an Egyptian woman living in the diaspora. What was your experience in telling this story from your subject position?

When I embarked on the journey to rebel and question the codex of my society, that did not allow me the simplest things like living on my own in a flat or making love to a man before marriage, it seemed an impossible task to go against the current. Now I feel the clogs of fear were broken and as many women now seek their intrepid path for these kind of emancipations, struggling with feelings of shame, struggling to find their own ways beyond the westernized or even conventionalized ways of emancipation without loosing their precious roots.

In your search for Jehanne, talk about the choices/selection of voices of those who knew Jehanne.

These voices as I said entered the movie in an organic way. I would meet women and tell them about Jehanne and they would say, ah yes I met her on the streets as a demonstration companion, or ah I shared with her my first discoveries of body and dance at that course, etc. So it is a dialectical process. I created Jehanne out of the stories that I heard from women, but I also related Jehanne to many of the women in my film. It is a very fine line between reality and imagination that we walk in this movie. 

There is a written text in the film, apparently in reference to Jehanne’s desire to be a dancer:

Dance, when you’re broken open.
Dance if you’ve torn the bandage off.
Dance in the middle of the fighting.
Dance in your blood.
Dance, when you’re perfectly free.

Rum, 14th century.

...some reflections…

Rumi has expressed the core of my movie in this poem. I would experience for so many years now following my protagonists the way they express their kind of resistance in the midst of turmoil. They would wake up every morning and there is a friend who disappeared, or got arrested or had to flee the country, they would then go to their studio and keep working, they would never give up in their own way, no matter how much it breaks them, or eats them up from the inside. That kind of “inner” and “subtle” and I would say “spiritual” resistance is the blood for this movie.

Interview with Iman Kamel by Beti Ellerson, February 2016.

Also see other African Women in Cinema Blog article:

26 February 2016

Call for Entries 2016: Mzansi Women Film Festival – Johannesburg, South Africa

Call for Entries 2016: Mzansi Women Film Festival – Johannesburg, South Africa

Call for Entries 2016
Films By and About WOMEN

Genre: Features, Shorts, Documentaries and Animations.

Eligibility: Professional filmmakers, Emergining filmmakers and Students only

Films must be produced within the last five years

Send your DVD Screener to Jean Paul Karekezi:
Mzansi Women Film Festival
1801 The Franklin Building
04 Pritchard Street, Johannesburg 2000
South Africa

Or you can email the link of your film to

Closing date for submissions 31 May 2016
For more information

Inspired by the 1956 Women’s March to Pretoria in South Africa in a fight against APARTHEID. Mzansi Women Film Festival will be hosting its 3rd edition in 2016 of Films by Women and about Women. Headlining the festival is short, feature films and conversations/ workshops. This is all in the spirit of Celebrating Women filmmakers, inspiring and empowering Women, encourage the spirit of engagement, collaboration, co-creation for a better and informed society  and paying homage to the founding Women of our arts.

24 February 2016

Women Movement Building: Film Dialogue Series - Zimbabwe

Women Movement Building: Film Dialogue Series. A Zimbabwe Women's Resource Centre and Network and Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe partnership.
International Images Film Festival (IIFF) screenings have found a new platform. Screenings held under the banner Women Movement Building: Film Dialogue Series started on the 29th of November 2015 at the Zimbabwe Women's Resource Centre and Network (ZWRCN). Harare, Zimbabwe.
The series was launched by a screening of Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe (WFOZ) production Peretera Maneta. The successful launch was followed up by a screening of IIFF 2015 Best Short Film Damaru during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. 
Screenings are always followed by discussions on the different struggles women and girls in Zimbabwe are facing. The dialogue is not focused on the problems, but on possible solutions. 
Sessions are always accompanied by performances ranging from drumming to poetry. This has been done because the main purpose of these sessions is to amplify the voices of women using different artistic expressions. The Film Dialogue Series is the result of partnership between ZWRCN and WFOZ.

A screening and discussion of the short film Korji will be held on Monday, 29 February 2016 at the ZWRCN: 

Djia Mambu, Africiné : Meanwhile, They’re filming… | En attendant, Elles tournent…, report on the/compte rendu du Festival Elles Tournent, 2016

Djia Mambu : Meanwhile, They’re filming… | En attendant, Elles tournent…, report on the/compte rendu du Festival Elles Tournent, 2016

Africiné.org, Djia Mambu, February 2016 Translation from French by Beti Ellerson

[English] Français ci-après

At the eighth edition of the Elles Tournent (they're filming) Film Festival in Brussels, in the span of a few days, forty films of all genres by women filmmakers of all nationalities captivated a loyal and consistently avid public.

While one may hear that there are not enough women filmmakers, that their works are not very profitable, or that they are not sufficiently visible to the public, all these arguments seem out-dated and pointless when it comes to festivals that distinguishes themselves, such as the festival “Elles Tournent”.

According to a Belgian study, "Femmes et cinéma : Derrière l'écran, où sont les femmes ?" (Engender asbl, forthcoming) ["Women and cinema: Behind the screen, where are the women?"] violence, sexuality and the male lead character are much less likely to be on the screens of women directors than those of their male counterparts. Is it the public who makes this choice or is it the funders who drive it, hence undervaluing their interest? "The content should be imposed on the funders, not the makers”, noted a filmmaker from Canada, where the film industry has decided to eliminate the notion of quotas.

Whether fiction, documentary, experimental or advertising, perhaps this is the most common characteristic among all these women makers and their film. If one considers that most of these makers are struggling to be heard, they do not hesitate to bring the voices of other women who are reduced to silence (sometimes mute) on the screen. In Kung Fu Grandma, Korean Jeong-One Park examined the resistance of elderly ladies to sexual assaults, as they are the main prey in the slums in Kenya. By bringing together the associations “Comme Un Lundi” in Brussels and the Burkinabé collective CITO in Ouagadougou, Yund Ya Paang Paagba (Elise Boon) shows the people’s contempt towards women artists. Considered loose women, they are not taken seriously in the art world and are frowned upon by other women who doubt their capacity to manage a household. In Dreamcatcher (World Cinema Directing Award in the documentary category at Sundance in 2015), Kim Longinotto follows American Brenda Myers-Powell in her fight against the prostitution that affects many young girls in Chicago.

Tributes are also devoted to remarkable women in two documentaries about Arab feminism. La Révolution des Femmes : Un siècle de féminisme arabe (The Revolution of Women: A Century of Arab Feminism) by Fériel Ben Mahmoud traces female figures of the African independences of yesterday to the present. Furthermore, Konstanze Burkard focused on the Egyptian writer Nawal El Saadawi and her legacy in The Free Voice of Egypt: Nawal El Saadawi.

Long Live Feminism

Because today's technology allows it, there is a selection of all types of short films by diverse makers and from various mediums, since sometimes it takes whatever works to show what there is to see. The Smurfette Principle by Anita Sarkeesian ( probes the principle of the Schtroumphette (one lone woman in a man's world) by comparing it to the film industry. In Lima, Peru, an association tricks street stalkers by putting them face to face with their mother in Whistling at your Mom (Siballe A Tu Madre). A documentary from Norway, NRK-Dokument MMAR, goes behind the scenes of the national women’s soccer team by playing on gender bias. More tragic in India, the association Make Love Not Scars films a victim of acid throwing in a full make-up lesson in Beauty Tips: How to Get Perfect Red Lips. Indians Uppekha Jain and Pankhuri Awasthi denounce rape by way of rap in the film Rap Against Rape; a piece that created a buzz on YouTube on its release.

Meanwhile waiting for equal allocation and distribution of funding among male and female filmmakers, for the various European cultural policies as well as others to become inspired by the Swedish model—which consists of equal public funding, and for women in the field to be remunerated as filmmakers as they often are for their work in the area of decor, costumes, sound or editing, They, these women, keep filming.

Djia Mambu,
Brussels, February 2016


En l'espace de quelques jours, une quarantaine d'œuvres cinématographiques de tout genre de réalisatrices toutes nationalités confondues ont conquis un public fidèle et toujours demandeur à la huitième édition du Festival du Film Elles Tournent à Bruxelles.

On a beau entendre qu'il n'y a pas assez de réalisatrices, que leurs œuvres sont peu lucratives ou encore qu'elles ne rencontrent pas suffisamment de public, mais tous ces arguments paraissent désuets et dépourvus de sens lorsqu'il est question de Festivals qui se démarquent comme le festival Elles Tournent.

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22 February 2016

The 5th Annual BlackStar Film Festival (USA) Launches Call for Submissions - 2016

The 5th Annual BlackStar Film Festival (USA) Launches Call for Submissions - 2016
Media Advisory from Lauren Holland, associate director
Submissions are officially open for BlackStar Film Festival. The festival’s fifth annual celebration of cinema focused on work by and about people of color in a global context will take place 4-7 August 2016, in Philadelphia.
The discounted early bird deadline is 29 February; the regular deadline is March 18; and the late deadline is 15 April.
Films will be entered into competition for Best Feature Narrative & Documentary, Best Short Narrative & Documentary, Best Experimental Short, Best Music Video, and Audience Awards. Winners will be selected by a jury of industry professionals and announced at the BlackStar Awards ceremony during the festival.
 To be eligible for competition, films must be directed by a person of African descent or who otherwise identifies as black, feature persons of African descent, or tell a story of the black experience. The maximum running times are 120 minutes for feature films and 30 minutes for short films.
Submit your film to BlackStar Film Festival here.
Heralded by Ebony magazine as the “Black Sundance,” BlackStar Film Festival comprises a dynamic and important collection of films highlighting both independence and cultural community. Past guests have included Ava DuVernay, Spike Lee, Nelson George, Haile Gerima, Michael K. Williams, Lisa Cortés, Hank Willis Thomas, Greg Tate, King Britt, Omari Hardwick, and Jimmy Jean-Louis.
The 2015 festival hosted over 70 films from around the world, including the Philadelphia premieres of LIFE’S ESSENTIALS WITH RUBY DEE, CHRISTMAS WEDDING BABY, and BADDDDD SONIA SANCHEZ. dream hampton was honored with the Richard Nichols Luminary Award at the closing event at World Café Live, which also featured performances by Phonte and Muhsinah.

Image credit, BlackStar Film Festival: The Mahoyo Project: South Africa, screened at the 2015 edition.

21 February 2016

FESTAF 2016 - 1st | 1ère edition : Paris 8 celebrates the black woman | Paris 8 célèbre la femme noire – 8 mars | 8 March

FESTAF 1st | 1ère edition 2016 : Paris 8 celebrates the black woman | Paris 8 célèbre la femme noire – 8-9 mars | 8-9 March 

8-9 March 2016 – African Festival of Paris 8 – FESTAF 1st  edition – Black women, Africain women | 8-9 mars 2016 - Festival Africain de Paris 8 - FESTAF 1ère édition - Femmes noires, Femmes africaines.

Festival Africain de Paris 8 - FESTAF Facebook: 

[English] Français ci-après

The project

Bringing together individuals, the University functions within a melting pot of cultures. Through this Festival under the theme "The Black Woman", the Association Bok Xalat Paris 8 contributes to the values of Université Paris 8. Created after much thought and preparation, the project aims to promote the role of black women in the processes leading to the liberation of black people as a whole but also to the independences of former colonized countries. Activities during this event will highlight the evolution of women’s historical involvement in political struggles. We invite political scholars and personalities from the world of culture to come to share with the entire university community on this theme.

The interest for the university, for the association and partners is at the outset to highlight that this event is a medium of culture for the black world. It demonstrates the diversity that is itself the hallmark of Université Paris 8. It will be an opportunity for Bok Xalat and all partner organizations to strengthen the ties between our people.

Lastly, the festival provides an opportunity for all students to participate in activities with the aim of developing their sense of entrepreneurship, project management and leadership.

To be at Université Paris 8 should not be summarized only through courses and other acquired instruction but also through student projects, cultural initiatives and the promotion of values ​​that are the identity of Université Paris 8.

This project aims to revitalize all the personalities who have participated in the history of the black world. It promotes an Africa that is positive, on the move, that invents and reinvents, despite the weight of its history. It will be up to us during these two days, to ensure that a different story is heard, to show a positive, dynamic and enterprising Africa.

As part of its activities within Université Paris 8, the African associations, "Bok Xalat", "AEM", "MPP8" and the association "Regard Sur" include in their 2015-2016 agenda, Festival Africain under the stamp "Paris 8 celebrates African women".

"Black Woman, African woman…Dressed in your color that is life, your form that is beauty..."(1)

African woman, woman of a continent rich with such diverse cultures...

Women of the black world, this is dedicated to you because nobody can ignore half the sky.

Registration is required to attend the event by clicking on the link: Enter your: name; E-mail ; and a message noting "registration for festaf"

(1) Leopold Sedar Senghor, “Black Woman”.


Le choix du projet

Evoluant dans un creuset culturel que constitue l’Université, regroupant des individus, l’association Bok Xalat Paris 8 contribue par le biais de ce Festival aux valeurs Paris 8 autour du thème « La femme Noire ». Ce projet né d’une longue réflexion et d’une longue préparation, vise à promouvoir le rôle de la femme noire dans les processus qui ont conduit à la libération du peuple noir dans son ensemble mais aussi aux indépendances des pays anciennement colonisés. Il s’agit durant cet évènement de retracer de manière historique l’implication des femmes dans les luttes politique. Nous inviterons des personnalités universitaires politiques, du monde de la culture à venir partager avec l’ensemble de la communauté universitaire sur la thématique choisie.

L’intérêt pour l’université, pour l’association et les partenaires :
D’emblée il convient de souligner que cet événement est un véhicule de la culture du monde noir. Il est aussi une confirmation de la diversité qui est elle-même la marque de Paris 8. Il sera l’occasion pour Bok Xalat et l’ensemble des associations partenaires ; de raffermir les liens qui unissent nos peuples.

Ce Festival offre enfin une opportunité à tous les étudiants prenant part aux activités de développer leur sens d’entreprenariat, de gestion de projets et de leadership.

Etre à Paris 8 ne devrait pas se résumer qu’à travers les cours et autres enseignements reçus, mais aussi à travers des projets d’étudiants, des initiatives culturelles et la promotion des valeurs qui font l’identité de Paris 8. 

Ce projet a pour ambition de redonner vie à toutes ces figures qui ont fait l’histoire du monde noir. Il promeut une Afrique positive qui bouge, qui s’invente et se réinvente malgré le poids de son histoire. Il s’agira pour nous, durant ces deux jours, de faire entendre un autre son de cloche ; de montrer une Afrique positive dynamique et entreprenante.

Dans le cadre de ses activités au sein de l’université Paris 8, les associations africaines, " Bok Xalat ", " AEM ", " MPP8 ", ainsi que l'association " Regard Sur " inscrivent dans leurs agendas 2015-2016 le Festival Africain sous le sceau de « Paris 8 célèbre la femme africaine ».

« Femme noire, femme africaine, Vétue de ta couleur qui est vie, de ta forme qui est beauté... » 

Femme africaine, femme d'un continent riche de ses cultures si diverses…

Ce projet né d’une longue réflexion et d’une longue préparation, vise à promouvoir le rôle de la femme noire dans les processus qui ont conduit à la libération du peuple noir dans son ensemble mais aussi aux indépendances des pays anciennement colonisés. Il s’agit durant cet évènement de retracer de manière historique l’implication des femmes dans les luttes politiques. 

Nous inviterons des personnalités universitaires politiques, du monde de la culture à venir partager avec l’ensemble de la communauté universitaire de Paris 8 sur la thématique choisie. 

Femmes du monde noir, ceci vous est dédié car personne ne peut ignorer la moitié du ciel.

Inscription obligatoire a l'évènement en cliquant sur le lien ci après : renseigner votre : nom; e-mail ; et en message la mention "inscription au festaf "

19 February 2016

Appel à Films | Call for Entries : Festival Ecrans Noirs | Ecrans Noirs Film Festival - Cameroun | Cameroon 2016

Appel à Films | Call for Entries : Festival Ecrans Noirs | Ecrans Noirs Film Festival 2016


Soumission des films en vue de leur sélection pour la 20ème édition du Festival Ecrans Noirs dans les catégories suivantes : Fiction Long métrage / Court métrage / Documentaire / Films camerounais. Les films doivent avoir été produits après le 1er janvier 2014

Inscriptions ouvertes jusqu’au : LUNDI 16 MAI 2016

Les films sont à envoyer ou à déposer au siège de l’Association, à l’adresse suivante : ECRANS NOIRS Sis Ancienne Ecole Maternelle CNPS Anguissa BP: 11371 Yaoundé – Cameroun. Tel: (+ 237) 242 897 601

Fiche d’inscription à envoyer à avec copie à


Ecrans Noirs Film Festival is now accepting submissions for 20th edition: Full Length films/ Short films/ Documentaries / Cameroonian films. Films must have been produced after January 1st, 2014

Submissions deadline : MONDAY 16 May 2016

The films are to be sent or deposited at the headquarters of the Association, at the following address: ECRANS NOIRS Ancienne Ecole Maternelle CNPS Anguissa P.O BOX: 11371 Yaoundé –Cameroun Tel: (+ 237) 242 897 601

Applications must be sent by mail to with copy to

18 February 2016

Women Filmmakers Week: Cascade Festival of African Films 2016 (USA)

Women Filmmakers Week: Cascade Festival of African Films 2016 (USA)

The Cascade Festival of African Films (Portland, Oregon USA), which celebrates its 25th year, is held during the months of February and March, thus commemorating the U.S. celebration of Black History Month and Women’s History Month, respectively. The closing week of the festival features Women Filmmakers Week, which includes retrospectives, tributes and recently released short and feature film.

This year’s highlights include an evening of shorts created by new filmmakers as part of the Blingola Workshop in South Africa; the romantic comedy Flower Girl by Nigerian Filmmaker Michelle Bello; and the Moroccan documentary Pirates of Salé directed by Merieme Addou and Rosa Rogers.

Source: (Texts and Images): Cascade Festival of African Films
Poster: 2016 Festival Poster by Aren Moffatt

The 2016 lineup of films for Women Filmmakers Week:

Flower Girl
Directed by Michelle Bello, 2013 , 79 min.
This romantic comedy film, set and shot in Lagos, Nigeria, tells the story of Kemi, who works in her parents’ flower shop and is dying to get married to her long-time lawyer boyfriend Umar. Umar, however, is interested only in work and getting ahead in his career. When he finally gets the promotion he’s worked so long and hard for, instead of proposing marriage to Kemi as promised, he breaks up with her. Completely distraught, Kemi steps into traffic and is hit by a car. The driver turns out to be Tunde Kulani, the famous Nollywood movie star, who agrees to help Kemi get Umar back on his knees proposing to her.

Pirates of Salé
Directed by Merieme Addou and Rosa Rogers, 2014 , 79 min.
Salé, a city on Morocco’s coast, was once famed as a pirate stronghold. Today it houses the country’s first professional circus, Cirque Shems’y, and its circus training school that caters to the country’s underprivileged youth. The film follows four teens in various stages of artistic development through their auditions, training and performance. It’s a tough journey of transformation as they learn to live independently, express themselves, challenge convention and embrace a totally alien concept: artistic freedom.

Shorts by South African Women Filmmakers

Unomalanga and the Witch
Directed by Palesa Shingle, 2014, 27min.
Newly married, Nomalanga and her husband move into a small neighborhood. Her neighbors pique her curiosity when they gossip about the recently widowed woman who lives across the street, who is rumored to have used dark powers to kill her husband. Being an outsider herself, Nomalanga visits the widow and soon finds herself drawn to the mysterious woman. Winner of the Best Short South African Film at the 2015 Durban International Film Festival.

The Fall of Ganesh
Directed by Sheetal Megan, 2015, 24min.
Amira hosts a Diwali dinner in order to mark a turning point in her life and announce her engagement to her family and friends. For an Indian woman, hosting a Diwali function is a rite of passage signifying womanhood. The dinner leads to a host of unexpected conflicts that culminate in an “explosive” confrontation.

Evelyn and Tapiwa
Directed by Samantha Nel, 2014, 20 min.
Evelyn is an old domestic worker whose strength is failing. An accident forces her out of her job and she finds herself training her replacement, Tapiwa. As Tapiwa settles in, Evelyn prepares herself for a new life outside of domestic work.

The Initiate
Directed by Keitumetsi Qhali, 2015, 24 min.
Rethabile, a young ambitious college girl, finds out days before her traditional Sotho coming-of-age ceremony that she is pregnant. A series of disastrous and hilarious events unfold as she tries to keep the secret from her father. The risk of partaking in the Sotho ceremony will shame her father and her family, but she must attend. Will she keep the child, or will she keep the secret long enough to realize what it takes to be a woman?

Link from the African Women in Cinema Blog

17 February 2016

A look at women in Senegalese hip-hop | Regards féminins sur le hip-hop sénégalais – Analysis by/analyse par Fatou Sall (Africultures)

A look at women in Senegalese hip-hop | Regards féminins sur le hip-hop sénégalais – Analysis by/analyse par Fatou Sall (Africultures)

SOURCE : Africultures. Translated from French by Beti Ellerson. IMAGES : Africultures.

[English] Français ci-après

The weight of tradition, a patriarchal culture firmly entrenched in the matrix of life, a predominantly male audience, male artists protective of their success, all of which means that the representation of women in Senegalese rap struggles to shape an enduring presence. Certainly, groups are born. Certainly, strong personalities emerge. But this does not always last...

Between the 1990s and 2000s, groups like ALIF (Attaque Libératrice pour l'Infanterie Féministe) managed to carve a place of choice on the scene before disappearing. Nevertheless, some individuals continue to push the doors of Senegalese hip-hop, in order to enlarge the terms of admission. Though with significant obstacles and past disappointments, their gaze is in clear focus on this milieu, as they demand acceptability, which is too often challenged.
"Schizophrenia is a known fact for the Senegalese caught in the grip of a feudal, patriarchal, Muslim, animist, modern, assimilated society." These words drawn from Wala bok, an oral history of hip-hop in Senegal, a recently published book by Amalion editions, come from multidisciplinary artist Fatou Kandé Senghor, who wants to provoke in her country a "peaceful confrontation" through hip-hop. She continues: "As modern as the woman may be...her place in society remains linked to marital status. She tries to overcome it throughout her youth by her culinary skills and power of seduction."

Sister Coumbis, a former member of Gothal ("unite" in Pulaar), a woman’s group reassembled many times but still alive, confirms that women’s place in Senegalese society is at the heart of a history in the making of women in hip-hop. "In Senegal, we tend to confine women to the role of wife, mother, sister, mother-in-law and daughter-in-law." A tendency that is put into question. Wanting to make a breakthrough as a woman MC is to be ready to fight against "this heritage."

Many women have tried to push boundaries for over a decade. They seek to win mostly by keeping up the fight, rather than through a seductive neckline. The "brave woman" stories among these pioneers of the genre still tell of a sinuous path, full of downsides.

Women’s Rap, what is it?

First, the decor. Fatou Kandé Senghor asserts: "our country, Senegal, is a land preoccupied with ancestral beliefs. Where spirits guard the gates, waters and alleyways. Among them are many goddesses... Mame Coumba Bang in the North, Mame Coumba Lamb in Rufisque and the region of Dakar, Coumba Castel in Gorée Island, Mame Ndiaré in Yoff and Leuk Daour in the Madeleine Islands. Dakar the coquette is indeed inhabited." First and foremost, by women...

In this society, male dominance is a known fact. The men are the decision makers. Hip-hop therefore only illustrates an ever-increasing trend. Keyti, ​​a politically committed rapper, however dares to present a prognosis, which stands out from other perspectives: "Rap is not a guy thing, I think that women especially, have much more to say than men". Confronted with the support for family values in a divided society in flux, the bold women who venture off the beaten track are nevertheless rare. "In 1999, there were plenty of girl groups. Most of these groups no longer exist. Because the girls got married or became pregnant, ending their career," according Njaaya, former member of the group ALIF, one of the largest women's groups recognized by the general public.

Created in 1997, ALIF was composed of Myriem and Mina. Afterwards, Oumy and a few others entered the circle. Their first production occupied the ranks in 1999, signalling the emergence of women in Senegalese hip-hop. In 2003, the group released a new album on the international market. Since then, the Senegalese scene has been heartened by the spirit of these performers.

Ephemeral destinies

Illusion or empty dream, the destiny of Senegalese women rappers always seems ephemeral, torn between modernity and tradition. The protagonists themselves acknowledge it as such: “Women in hip-hop is very young. Culturally, parents and society are not yet ready so there is no strong female role model, who is well-known at the present." We are still far from the attitude towards the complexity of the Tassou, a possible cousin of the rap genre, but rooted in the country’s memory. The Tassou consists of rapid speech with a spasmodic rhythm. A few years ago rappers such as Awadi or the Djoloff declared it as the progenitor of rap. But the issues at stakes for young women rappers announce another world, to the contrary, located far away from a claim to legacy. Which is why Ina Thiam, photographer, videographer and archivist for the association Africulturban, views this claim from the standpoint of a society that remains cautious. This energetic thirty-something, a passionate of urban cultures, wants a vocation à la Martha Copper, photographer archivist of American hip-hop.

The only woman member of the board of the Pikine-based association, created by the rapper Matador, she is convinced that rap and urban cultures will help to change attitudes in this society. She dreams of real equality in the arts. Fatou Kande Senghor, however, talks about the spirit of her younger cohort in relative terms: "There is a whole panoply of Senegalese women who have the will to truly become rappers of hip-hop. But for me, one needs two things as a Senegalese woman in this environment: the head and the belly. But rappers today are primarily the product of their neighbourhoods. While we have many heroines in Senegal and in Africa, I think it is from there that the public both expects them and yet does not see them coming."

Toussa, another rapper from the neighbourhood, manages her own label, Fam Musik. She holds her own, while showing a strong interest in the experiences of women. In addition to talking about it in her texts, she also sees the importance of having social responsibility. "In hip-hop the woman has always existed and has been able to create her place. We do not see them at the forefront, perhaps because of a lack of self-confidence, but they are there. But to make oneself a place requires a lot of determination". A determination that sometimes dissipates along the way.

A female scene still in gestation

"It is true that there is a female void in the rap clan and this bothers me (...)" states Moona, a rapper of promising talent, and whose next album is soon to be released. She is clear about what is lacking on the female scene. In fact, beyond cultural barriers, these budding artists must take two factors into account: the struggle for financial independence and the content of the texts they propose. On this level, there is still work to be done; there continue to be gaps. Big sister Fatou Kandé Senghor though not soft on the issue, seeks to be compassionate.

To these passionate young artists hungry for freedom, she suggests a way of proceeding: "You have to prepare your audience for what you propose. There is a necessary concreteness before showing up and saying. ‘I do rap in Senegal.’ The male dominance, whether cultural or religious, must be understood. There are so many levels to break through that the artists who decide to follow this path must understand that this career choice is a matter of life and death." A bit extreme but not totally false...


Le poids des traditions, une culture patriarcale ancrée telle une matrice de vie, un public majoritairement composé d'hommes, des artistes masculins jaloux de leur succès. Autant dire que la représentation féminine dans le rap sénégalais a du mal à se tailler une place pérenne. Certes, des groupes naissent. Certes, des personnalités fortes émergent. Mais cela ne dure pas toujours…

Entre les années 1990 et 2000, des groupes comme ALIF (Attaque Libératrice pour l'Infanterie Féministe) avaient réussi à se faire une place de choix sur les scènes avant de disparaître. Malgré tout, quelques individualités continuent de pousser les portes du hip hop sénégalais, afin d'en élargir les modalités d'entrées. Fortes des freins et des déconvenues passés, ce sont elles qui posent lucidement leurs regards sur ce milieu, en revendiquant une légitimité trop souvent remise en cause.

Published on the African Women in Cinema Blog in partnership with Africultures | Publié sur l'African Women in Cinema Blog en partenariat avec Africultures

15 February 2016

On Broadway: Playwright, Actress Zimbabwean-American Danai Gurira’s “Eclipsed” features an all-black, all-woman cast

On Broadway: Playwright, Actress Zimbabwean-American Danai Gurira’s “Eclipsed” features an all-black, all-woman cast 

Zimbabwean-American Danai Gurira’s play “Eclipsed” featuring Pascale Armand, Akosua Busia, Zainab Jah, Lupita Nyong’o, and Saycon Sengbloh, has an all-black, all-woman cast directed by South African Liesl Tommy. 

“Eclipsed”, set during the Liberian Civil War, tells the story of five extraordinary women brought together by upheaval in their homeland of Liberia, who forge a close-knit community that inspires them to feats of increasingly greater strength.

2016 African American Women in Cinema Film Festival – Extended Deadline: 26 February 2016

2016 African American Women in Cinema Film Festival  – Extended Deadline: 26 February

18th Annual African American Women in Cinema Film Festival - 23-26 March 2016 - New York City

The African American Women In Cinema Festival will feature the works of emerging and established women of color filmmakers from around the world and will offer screenings, keynote panels which focus on industry related topics, a script competition, and a special student filmmaking segment. It is the aspiration of African American Women In Cinema, through this Festival, to give talented women a path to fulfilling their dreams, through exposure of their talents, peer interaction and through mentoring by established professionals in the media and entertainment field.

Awards & Prizes

Winner will receive the African American Women In Cinema Festival Audience Award

Rules & Terms

Please read the following terms and conditions in connection with your submission to the AAWIC 2016 Annual Film Festival. As the filmmaker (Director, Writer, Producer) or Creator, I/We have submitted to AAWIC and warrant as sole and exclusive owner(s) of all legal right and the title thereto have absolute authority to submit the enclosed material to AAWIC.

All films must have been completed no earlier than January 1, 2014.
Student Filmmakers must include current school identification information the name of school and expiration date.

-Films must be directed or written or produced by women filmmakers who are of the African, Latino, Asian or Native American Diaspora.

-Filmmakers submitting their film for consideration of the 2016 AAWIC Film Festival must be a minimum of 18 years old.

-Filmmakers submitting in the English language or have English language subtitles.

-Films can be shot in any format and must be completed (credits, etc.)

-For Shorts, Animation, Documentaries, etc., 40 minute maximum

-Feature Films, Animation, Documentaries, etc. must have a minimum running time of sixty (60) minutes.

Mailing instructions

If mailing submissions, there must be two (2) completed submission form(s) signed. All submission fees are non-refundable and must be paid by Money Order or Bank check only. Please it payable to African American Women In Cinema.

-Must mail two (2) DVD's of film. Please do not send sase or originals, as they will not be returned. No Pal formats accepted.

-Two (2) copies of filmmaker bio and synopsis.

-Two (2) copies of photo still from film

-One (1) self-address post card (will serve as notification of receipt of materials).

-Title and name of entry must be on all materials and containers.
-Can submit multiple entries, however, separate form and fee are required for each.

-Filmmakers will be solely responsible for the delivery of their film (including all shipping cost) regardless of format to and from the festival.

I/We will indemnify and hold harmless AAWIC its jurors, sponsors and partners individually and collectively, from and against all claims, demands losses, damages, costs, liability and expenses including legal expenses apprising out of or in connection with any and all claims, or third party claims based on material submitted to AAWIC. AAWIC Annual Film Festival selectees and winners will permit AAWIC to use title of the work submitted and the logline, their name, and or likeness & publicity stills in publicity and promotional efforts.

Peace Anyiam-Osigwe: The Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) Founder's Speech #RoadToAMAA2016

Peace Anyiam-Osigwe: The Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) Founder's Speech #RoadToAMAA2016

Africa Movie Academy Awards, which was established in 2005 has served as a platform on which African film makers gain recognition in and outside the continent. This Academy has created a link between Africans at home and their counterparts in diaspora.

It is that time again when African Film makers are celebrated by AMAA, rewarding them for their professionalism, excellence and providing an avenue for networking opportunities in the most glamorous and prestigious event in Africa for Africans and by Africans.

At a well attended media parley, the Founder of AMAA, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe and her team used the opportunity to unveil ‘The Road to AMAA 2016′ which starts with a tour of all the film hubs in Nigeria and some African cities tagged AMAA roadshow. The roadshow kicks off tomorrow 27 January, in Asaba, Delta state and Benin Edo state simultaneously. This roadshow will see the AMAA team storm Port Harcourt, Enugu, Ibadan, Jos, Owerri, Kano, Kaduna, several other states of the federation. During the tour AMAA will hold town hall meetings with film makers and promote the ‘So you wanna act’ project in the respective states. The ‘So you wanna act’ is a project designed by AMAA to train young people in different aspect of film making and successful participants would be added to the AMAA data base which hundreds of Producers access to hire for movie projects. Another project that AMAA will be promoting is the Amaka Igwe Script Writing Competition; And to cap it all the Roadshow hopefully seeks to increase peoples awareness to the build up for AMAA 2016.

After the road show, between 17–20 March 2016 AMAA will head to Dubai for the African Business Cinema round table where investors will interact with Filmmakers on funding for African cinema and also give room to discussion on how to fight piracy to a standstill. Still in Dubai, the nominations for the 2016 AMAA will be announced at a colorful Gala leading to the Awards slated for 30 April 2016.

AMAA over the years has been known for its ability to give her sponsors visibility and mileage. So as a platform for promotion of African Cinema and Culture; Government and Corporate Nigeria have been invited to key into sponsorship of AMAA 2016 which year after year puts African Cinema on the world stage.

12 February 2016

The Wiki Loves Women Project is looking for four Wikipedians in Residence | WikiAfrica est à la recherche de quatre Wikipédiens en Résidence pour son projet Wiki Loves Women

The Wiki Loves Women Project is looking for four Wikipedians in Residence. Click here for the English version

WikiAfrica est à la recherche de quatre Wikipédiens en Résidence pour son projet Wiki Loves Women. Cliquez ici pour la version en français

[English] Français ci-après

Wiki Loves Women is a multi-country, multi-faceted project that aims at encouraging the contribution of content that celebrates the influence of women leaders, and reflects the realities faced by women and girls across Africa. The Wikipedians in Residence will work with content organisations to contribute freely-licensed information, texts, images and media to Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. Wiki Loves Women was initiated by the WikiAfrica project in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut.

In 2016, the Wiki Loves Women project will be activated in four countries, in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut. More information may be found about the project at

Why Wiki Loves Women

Gender inequality is rife across sub-saharan Africa. Although much progress has been made to address these inequalities in the workplace and within society, there remains a systemic bias towards profiling women, especially with regards to information, news and knowledge sources, both online and offline. The project focuses on bridging two significant gaps on Wikimedia projects – women and Africa – both in terms of content about these subjects and in terms of participation by people from these groups.

The gender gap has long been known to exist in computer-related occupations, and indeed the Wikimedia community was aware of this issue from the very early days. The first large-scale publication that attempted to quantify the gap was a survey conducted by the United Nations University and published in March 2010. The study of Wikipedia’s contributor base showed that it has barely 13 percent women.


Wiki Loves Women est un projet de gestion des connaissances qui sera mis en oeuvre dans 4 pays de l’Afrique sub-saharienne. Il consiste en un ensemble de collaborations ambitieuses entre des Wikipédiens en Résidence situés dans chaque pays concerné, la communauté bénévole de wikipédiens, des institutions publiques, des organisations de la société civile, en particulier des structures impliquées dans l’égalité des genres. Wiki Loves Women est porté par WikiAfrica et mis en oeuvre en collaboration avec l’Institut Goethe.

Il cherchera à émanciper et mettre largement à disposition du grand public du contenu culturel et éducatif déjà existant et vérifié au sein d’institutions publiques ou d’organisations de la société civile, mais peu visible ou peu accessible. Le contenu et les données collectées porteront en particulier sur les femmes et leur contributions au niveau politique, économique, scientifique, culturel et patrimonial ou sur le statut socio-politique actuel des femmes, dans chaque pays.

Le projet vise à mettre en valeur les contributions et les réussites des femmes africaines notables ainsi qu’à attirer l’attention sur les défis spécifiques rencontrées par les femmes africaines dans leur quotidien. Nous travaillerons avec des organisations établies ainsi qu’avec des communautés de bénévoles dans plusieurs pays africains afin de téléverser du contenu sous licence libre ou dans le domaine public sur les projets Wikimedia (Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, WikiData etc.).

Par ailleurs, le projet Wiki Loves Women apportera une attention toute spécifique à faciliter la participation à ce projet des femmes ainsi que des hommes sensibles aux questions d’égalité homme/femme dans les pays sélectionnés.

En 2016, Wiki Loves Women se déroulera dans quatre pays africains, en collaboration avec l’Institut Goethe. Plus d’information sur le projet peut être trouvé à

Pourquoi Wiki Loves Women

L’inégalité des genres est répandue dans toute l’Afrique. Bien que des progrès aient été observés dans le cadre des inégalités existantes au niveau de la vie familiale, de l’éducation, sur le lieu de travail, en politique, il existe toujours un biais systémique en faveur des hommes, en particulier en ce qui concerne l’information, les actualités, les sources de connaissances, la représentation dans les médias, à la fois en ligne et hors ligne. De nombreuses femmes africaines remarquables ont façonné le passé des sociétés africaines. Des femmes d’affaire innovantes ont aujourd’hui un rôle déterminant, qu’il soit formel ou informel, dans le développement économique, environnemental et social de l’Afrique actuelle. Et il existe des réalités quotidiennes auxquelles les femmes et les jeunes filles doivent faire face en raison à leur sexe.

Ces récits doivent siéger aux côtés des récits qui portent sur leurs homologues masculins. Mais très peu de ces contenus peuvent être trouvés en ligne, même pas sur Wikipedia, qui est pourtant aujourd’hui l’une des plus importante sources d’information globale.

Le fossé des genres est connu de la communauté Wikimedia depuis les commencements du projet d’encyclopédie libre Wikipedia. Les premières publications à grande échelle ayant cherché à quantifier ce fossé était  une étude réalisée par United Nations University et publiée en Mars 2010. L’étude de la base des contributeurs à Wikipedia a montré que le taux de participation des femmes était d’à peine 13%.

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