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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17 March 2018

Report - Part III: Journées Cinématographiques de la Femme Africain de l'Image | African Women Image Makers Cinema Days 2018

Journées Cinématographiques de la Femme Africain de l'Image African Women Image Makers Cinema Days, Ouagadougou 02 to 07 March 2018
Editor in Chief, Laurentine Bayala
Contributors : Rachelle Bengnime Some,
Photographer : Saïba Baguian

Translation from French by Beti Ellerson

The close of the 5th edition of the JCFA

The lanterns went out on Wednesday 7 March 2018 for the 5th edition of the Journées Cinématographiques de la Femme Africaine de l’Image. At the official closing ceremony at CENASA the Minister of Culture, Arts and Tourism was in attendance along with numerous personalities and a large public to celebrate the women of the moving image who met the challenge, despite the difficult environment following recent attacks in Ouagadougou.

Speeches, trophy presentation, musical performance by Sister Doga, the closing film, were the highlights of the closing ceremony of the JCFA. According to the General Delegate of FESPACO: "This edition has made its mark. Apart from the opening ceremony, all the activities were carried out as planned, which are highlighted in this closing ceremony of the JCFA", thanks to the courage of these women to whom he paid tribute. For these women of the moving image, by continuing the festival, they sent a strong signal to the world. For their representative Naky Sy Savané "when the African woman stands, Africa moves forward", imploring the authorities that every effort should be made to further promote the JCFA. The Minister of Arts, Culture and Tourism was not indifferent to this message. On behalf of the Government, he congratulated and thanked them for this support. "You are more than sympathetic to our pain. You testify that Burkina Faso is still standing with its friends," he said. During the ceremony, film pioneer Aminata Ouedraogo-Bagayoko and actress Naky Sy Savané received tribute trophies. A minute of silence was observed in memory of the filmmaker Idrissa Ouedraogo and the soldiers who lost their lives during the 2 March terrorist attacks in Ouagadougou.

Bengnime Rachelle Some

Arice Siapi "Every time I come to Burkina Faso, I learn"

Arice SIAPI wears several hats. Promoter of the international multicultural film festival of Ngaoundere, she is also a filmmaker and producer. All this energy that she invests in cinema comes from her love for Ngaoundere, located 900 km from the capital of Cameroon: "My region is isolated from the bustling film culture of the major cities. Moreover, there is no meeting place between professionals. That is why I created this festival.”

Founded in 2009, the multicultural film festival gave her “luck” as there were few opportunities to excel in her art. Through the festival initiatives she was offered training in Europe to strengthen her skills after the screening of her film. Her experiences leads her to the conclusion that cinema is a profession where only the brave ones succeed: "you have to have willpower and tenacity.”

Now she wants to restructure the organisation of her festival to ensure its international reputation. FESPACO and the JCFA already inspire it. She intends to energise and mobilise women around cinematic activities in her native country: "Whenever I come to Burkina Faso, I learn something, even if the realities are not the same. This is the second time that I have attended the JCFA. I realise that there is work to be done at the level of women filmmakers in my country. I'm going to do outreach to women and women's associations so that we can get together to help each other.”

Arice Siapi, who has been an enthusiastic attendee of FESPACO since 2011, received the support of the General Delegate and the head of the festival department. In 2017 they made the trip to Ngaoundéré in order enhance the profile of her festival.

From her point of view, the film industry in Cameroon is in full bloom with the production of television series. However, part of the problem lies with the lack of screenwriters in cinema, because the scenarios tend to focus on telefilms.

By Laurentine Bayala

Au fantôme du père [To the ghost of the father] by Marie Laurentine Bayala: "Dad, where are you"

In this documentary, the director follows the path of mixed-race Franco-Burkinabe, Claire Lagedemond in her journey of identity to find her father, whom she has not seen since childhood. Born in Côte d’Ivoire, she grew up in the village. In Burkina, with her non-literate grandmother, she is now more than 40 years old and determined to find the father who for her has become a ghost. Also, Claire fights to prevent this same situation from happening to her son whose father is also absent. In this film, one has the impression of being transported into an investigation that goes from Ouagadougou to Abidjan, of which we absolutely want to know the outcome. All the ingredients seem to come together: A strong character, suspense and even a dose of humour. The other fact is that the film embodies the message taking the form of a filmed letter intended for the ghost-father. A message that will certainly be carried around the world and which may touch "Mr. Roger". Finally, "this film is an example of a woman’s courage and tenacity, despite her painful journey. It is Claire’s positivity that allowed us to believe in this project, which is now a reality", Laurentine Bayala said to an audience, that through their silence, laughter and comments was very touched by this story. The same is true of the committed production team that took nearly eight years to meet the challenge to see it to fruition. Claire is still pursuing her research. She has since found photographs of her parents. "This information could help to open the path in the hope of filming the reunion between father and daughter," the director hopes.

By Bengnime Rachelle Some

The 5th edition of JCFA closes its doors Wednesday, 7 March 2018. What were the filmgoers’ reactions to the films?

Camille Delevigne, teacher
I was able to attend two sessions at CENASA: a documentary on the rape of women, and a film from Mozambique. I really liked these films that touched on the historical realities of Mozambique and the situation in the DRC regarding the rape of women. We are comforted by the extraordinary work of Dr. Dénis Mukwenge, who we discovered through the magic of the image. We would have liked more people to see these kinds of film that deal with important issues.

Séré Madina, student
This is our first time coming to the JCFA. We came to see the film equipment in the gallery booths. We were able to operate some of the gear and it was really interesting. For the films, I was able to view a documentary on the women who fight everyday to succeed in life.

Ms. Isabelle Ouedraogo, cinephile
Thanks to the JCFA, I was able to see Frontières, a film that I was hoping to see for a long time. I enjoyed the acting and the theme. This film plunges us into the world of these dynamic women entrepreneurs through their experiences and their difficulties. They acted well and I congratulate them. I was able to meet and converse with Naky Sy Savané one of the actresses of the film. Frontières pays tribute to women especially at the eve of March 8th.

Love stronger than bullets

The train D 67 is leaving for Malawi. Will they arrive at their destination despite the soldier escort, which accompanies their movements since the war broke out in the country? Le train de sel et de sucre [The train of salt and sugar], a poignant film during which the characters are gradually revealed as the old and slow moving locomotive enters an increasingly hostile space rumbling with weapons. Despite the crackling of the bullets, a love story is born between nurse Rosa and a soldier, as if to say that love will always triumph over hatred, which is the source of war. How does one talk about the suspense that reaches its climax, when in the middle of the forest the train conductor discovers a skull planted on the rails ... It is a metaphor for life where despite obstacles, one must never abandon ones dreams. This Mozambican film by Licinio Azevedo, won the Golden Tanit at the Carthage Film Festival in Tunisia in 2017.

By Laurentine Bayala

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