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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30 January 2020

Cascade Festival of African Films 2020: "Woven" by Salome Mulugeta and Nagwa Ibrahim (Ethiopia)

Cascade Festival of African Films 2020
"Woven" by Salome Mulugeta and Nagwa Ibrahim
(Ethiopia USA) 2016, 96 min
Attempting to integrate her mother’s traditions with her own dreams, Ethiopian-born Elenie Tariku’s life is destroyed when a mysterious crime in New York takes the life of her only brother. As Elenie searches for the truth behind his death, her life intertwines with an intriguing man whose own personal turmoil brings them together for better or worse.

Bio: Salome Mulugeta, Nagwa Ibrahim
Salome Mulugeta was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In addition to co-directing the film, she is the protagonist of Woven. Nagwa Ibrahim is Egyptian American, and an attorney specializing in immigration law and criminal defense.

Cascade Festival of African Films 2020: "The Shadow of Cairo" by Tara Shehata (Egypt)

Cascade Festival of African Films 2020
The Shadow of Cairo by Tara Shehata
(Egypt) 2018, 15 min
Featuring Women Filmmakers Week

Maya, a 14-year-old Egyptian girl, sets out to become a superhero vigilante to avenge her mother's death.

Tara Shehata is an Egyptian filmmaker, based in Cairo and in London. In addition to directing independent films, she works professionally as an Assistant Director and Script Supervisor on feature film sets.

(Source: Women in Media)

Cascade Festival of African Films 2020: "Sela" by Rafieka Davis (South Africa)

Cascade Festival of African Films 2020
Sela by Rafieka Davis
(South Africa) 2019, 25 min
Featuring Women Filmmakers Week

Three South African teenagers, aged between 13 and 15, wrote the screenplay for Sela (isiXhosa for “drink”) based on their own lives. The film is about a young boy, Kamva, who takes on the burdens of his family due to his mother’s alcoholism and its effect on her children.

Rafieka Davis is a female film director where women face extreme challenges in fighting for their artistic voice. Her career started with a stint in theatre production and she co-wrote her schools first original musical called Voices in 2006. Her love for film birthed when she entered the Nab Ubomi Interschool film competition, an initiative for high school kids interested in filmmaking around the Eastern Cape. This formed the catalyst for her love for telling stories through film. Her filmmaking career started with an enrolment in the award winning film school Big Fish in Cape Town where she graduated from. Her career spans across many roles within filmmaking from camera work, scripting and to her primary love that of film directing. Her achievements include an award for the film "Chain Reaction" for Best Scene where she was an assistant director. She was the only student to create original score for the film which lead to her being nominated for outstanding student contribution. The film received 9 out of 12 awards including "People's Choice Award" (Source: film

Cascade Festival of African Films 2020: "Papicha" by Mounia Meddour (Algeria)

Cascade Festival of African Films 2020
Papicha by Mounia Meddour
(Algeria) 2019, 106 min
Featuring Women Filmmakers Week

Nedjma (Lyna Khoudri) is a young Algerian student living on a university campus. In the early 1990s, Algeria saw the first hours of a civil war between the state and Islamic terrorists. The "dark decade", as it will be called later, left thousands of Algerian families in bereavement. But festivities are still going on at the start of Papicha, the first feature film by the Algerian director. With her friend Wassila (Shirine Boutella), they have quietly left the city to party and to sell the creations of Nedjma, a budding stylist, to the "papichas", the nickname for "pretty young Algerian girls". It is still the time of insouciance. (Source: Falila Gbadamassi, 

Born in Algeria, Mounia Meddour moved to France with her family at age 18. She studied journalism and audiovisual production in France, at both the CEFP and Femis. She directed her first documentary Particules élémentaires  in 2007 and in 2009, La Cuisine en héritage. In 2011, she made her first short fiction film Edwige.

Cascade Festival of African Films 2020: "Life is Fare" by Sephora Woldu (Eritrea)

Cascade Festival of African Films 2020
Life is Fare by Sephora Woldu
(Eritrea, USA) 2018, 61 min
Featuring Women Filmmakers Week

Life is Fare is a Tigrinya/ English feature film exploring three wildly different diaspora perspectives on the East African nation of Eritrea. A cross cultural analogy to challenge how patriotism and nationalism are practiced, it is inspired by current Eritrean and Ethiopian migration journeys worldwide.

Sephora Woldu is an Eritrean American visual artist and filmmaker based in San Francisco. Life is Fare is Sephora's first feature length film and her third project. Her first film, Impresa!, debuted at the 2013 San Francisco Black Film Festival and has since received awards at festivals including the Independent Film Awards Berlin, Montreal International Black Film Festival, and the Silicon Valley African Film Festival. Her second film, Exit, was made in Luxor, Egypt as a selected filmmaker for the 2014 Haile Gerima Alternative Film Production Workshop, a film program created in partnership with the Luxor African Film Festival. Sephora has received funding for her work from the San Francisco Arts Commission, SF Film Commission, Yerba Buena Center of the Arts, and Wildflower Institute. In 2013 she founded Abyssurdian Productions LLC, a creative studio from which all of her films and projects are released. Additionally, Sephora is a a full-time student pursuing a Master's in Architecture from California College of the Arts and currently works at the design firm IDEO because among other things, she is full of surprises.

Cascade Festival of African Films 2020: "Freedom Fields" by Naziha Arebi (Libya)

Cascade Festival of African Films 2020 Freedom Fields by Naziha Arebi
(Libya), 2018, 97 min
Featuring Women Filmmakers Week

Filmed over five years, Freedom Fields follows three women and their football team in post-revolution Libya, as the country descends into civil war and the utopian hopes of the Arab Spring begin to fade. Through the eyes of these accidental activists, we see the reality of a country in transition, where the personal stories of love and aspirations collide with History. An intimate film about hope, struggle and sacrifice in a land where dreams seem a luxury. A love letter to sisterhood and the power of team. Source:

Naziha Arebi is a Libyan/British artist and filmmaker who returned to Libya during the revolution to work and explore her father's homeland. Naziha works at the intersection of art and activism and is co-founder of film collective HuNa. Alongside her first feature Freedom Fields she is currently producing the documentary feature "After a Revolution" and has a fiction film in development. Naziha is a Hot Docs Blue Ice fellow and a Sundance Lab fellow, a WEF Global Shaper and part of The Lumiere d'Afrique collective. Her artwork has been published extensively in print and exhibited globally. (Source:

Cascade Festival of African Films 2020: "Adam" by Maryam Touzani (Morocco)

Cascade Festival of African Films 2020 Adam by Maryam Touzani
(Morocco) 2019, 98 min
Featuring Women Filmmakers Week

In the Medina of Casablanca, Alba, widow and mother of eight-year old Warda runs a modest local bakery from her home. When Samia, young, homeless, unmarried and pregnant, knocks on their door, Abla makes a life-changing decision. In this feature directorial debut, Maryam Touzani has created a moving portrait of familial love and support between women. (Source: adapted from Cascade Festival of African Films)

Maryam Touzani born in Morocco, grew up in Tangier and did her university studies in London. Passionate about writing, she returned to Morocco after her studies and worked as a journalist, specializing in cinema. She very quickly felt the need to express herself through her own films. In 2011, she directed her first cinematic work, the short film Quand ils dorment. The documentary Sous Ma Vieille Peau, directed in 2014 relates the lives of four elder Moroccan prostitutes: Some still practice, occasionally, bartering their worn out bodies for a mere pittance. Their pasts are as different as their lives and their personalities. But they all share a burning desire for freedom, in the midst of the conservative Muslim environment in which they live. In 2015 she directed her second short film, Aya va à la plage which focuses on the theme of the exploitation of young children as servants. In 2019, her first feature film Adam was selected for the Cannes festival, in the Un Certain Regard section. (Source: adapted from

30th Annual Cascade Festival of African Films 2020: Featuring Women Filmmakers Week

30th Annual Cascade Festival of African Films

In Celebration of Black History Month
At Portland Community College
31 January to 29 February 2020

The Cascade Festival of African Films is held in Portland, Oregon USA. The closing week of the festival features Women Filmmakers Week, which includes retrospectives, tributes and recently released short and feature films:

The Cascade Festival of African Films shows us Africa through the eyes of Africans, rather than a vision of Africa packaged for Western viewers. The films celebrate Africa’s achievements, expose its failures, and reveal possibilities for a hopeful future. Although the films cannot represent an entire continent, we hope to encourage American viewers to become interested in and study African cultures. Text and image source: Cascade Festival of African Films

The 2020 lineup of films for Women Filmmakers Week 27-29 February 

Papicha by Mounia Meddour (Algeria) 2019, 106 min (Women Filmmakers Week)
Life is Fare by Sephora Woldu (Eritrea, USA) 2018, 61 min
Freedom Fields by Naziha Arebi (Libya), 2018, 97 min
Woven by Salome Mulugeta and Nagwa Ibrahim (Ethiopia USA) 2016

Also women-directed films in the 30th Cascade Film Festival selection:
Adam by Maryam Touzani (Morocco) 2019, 98 min
The Shadow of Cairo by Tara Shehata (Egypt) 2018, 15 min (Family Fest Matinee) 
Sela by Rafieka Davis (South Africa) 2019, 25 min (Family Fest Matinee)

How to Have Fun in a Civil War (Live Theater Performance)
A one-woman show by Somali multimedia artist Ifrah Mansour, USA 2018, 55 min

2020 Films - 01-29 February (Festival website link to films
  • Adam by Maryam Touzani (Morocco) 2019, 98 min
  • Alyam, Alyam/Oh The Days by Ahmed El Maanouni (Morocco) 1978, 98 min
  • (African Film Heritage Series)
  • Boxing Libreville by Amedée Pacôme Nkoulou (Gabon) 2018, 54 min (Documentary Series)
  • Everything Must Fall by Rehad Desai (South Africa) 2018, 85 min (Documentary Series)
  • Family Fest Matinee with The Shadow of Cairo by Tara Shehata and Sela by Rafieka Davis 
  • Fatwa by Mahmoud Ben Mahmoud (Tunisia) 2018, 102 min
  • Freedom Fields by Naziha Arebi (Libya), 2018, 97 min
  • (Women Filmmakers Week)
  • Gao, Resistance of a People by Kassim Sanogo (Mali) 2018, 54 min (Documentary Series)
  • How to Have Fun in a Civil War, a one-woman show by Ifrah Monsour (Somalia, USA) 2018, 55 min (Live Theatre Performance)
  • Ishaba by Yuhi Amuli (Rwanda) 2015, 4 min (Short film)
  • La femme au couteau/The Woman with the Knife by Timité Bassori (Côte d'Ivoire) 1969, 80 min (African Film Heritage Series)
  • Life is Fare by Sephora Woldu (Eritrea, USA), 2018, 61 min (Women Filmmakers Week)
  • Mabata Bata by Sol de Carvalho (Mozambique) 2018, 74 min
  • Munda Moto/The Child of Another by Jean-Pierre Dikongué-Pipa (Cameroon) 1975, 90 min (African Film Heritage Series)
  • Nigerian Prince by Faraday Okoro (Nigeria, USA) 2018, 104 min
  • Papicha by Mounia Meddour (Algeria) 2019, 106 min (Women Filmmakers Week)
  • Photocopy by Tamer Ashry (Egypt) 2017, 90 min
  • Soleil O by Med Hondo (Mauritania, France) 1970, 105 min (African Film Heritage Series)
  • Spotlight on Senegal: Short Film Series
  • Talk about Trees by Suhaib Gasmelbari (Sudan) 2019, 90 min
  • The Burial of Kojo by Blitz Bazawule (Ghana) 2018, 80 min
  • The Mercy of the Jungle by Joël Karekezi (Rwanda) 2018, 91 min
  • Woven by Salome Mulugeta and Nagwa Ibrahim (Ethiopia USA) 2016 (Women Filmmakers Week)
  • Zombies by Baloji (Democratic Republic of the Congo) 2019, 13 min (Short)

27 January 2020

African Diasporas. L’afropolitaine - Le Podcast - An afropolitan woman’s meeting space

L’afropolitaine - Le Podcast
An afropolitan woman’s meeting space

The afropolitan podcast, both visual and audio, is a French-language afropolitan woman’s meeting space.


Afropolitaine is a concept born from a desire to create a space for free speech and reflection dedicated to black women and whose objective is to be INCLUSIVE.

Because each Afropolitan woman has a different journey that deserves to be heard, L'Afropolitane desires to be a sphere, open to all, where black women meet, exchange and inspire each other in an atmosphere of respect and kindness.


L’Afropolitaine est un concept né d'une volonté de créer un espace de libre-parole et de réflexion dédié aux femmes noires et qui se veut INCLUSIF.

Parce que chaque Afropolitaine a un parcours différent qui mérite d’être entendu, L’Afropolitaine se veut être une sphère, ouverte à tou.t.e.s., où les femmes noires se rencontrent, échangent et s’inspirent les unes des autres dans le respect et la bienveillance.

24 January 2020

"Le Choeur Des Femmes" un talk-show africain 100% féminin | an African women's talk show - Canal+ Afrique

Le Choeur Des Femmes
Un talk-show africain 100% féminin
African women's talk show: Canal+ Afrique  

Le Choeur Des Femmes is a 100% female African talk show hosted by a presenter and columnists of all nationalities. The talk show addresses topics that speak to women: education, relationships with men, personal development ...

Check out Le Choeur Des Femmes, Monday to Friday, 7:30 p.m. GMT on CANAL + ELLES


Le Choeur Des Femmes est un talk-show africain 100% féminin animé par une présentatrice et des chroniqueuses de toutes nationalités. Sont abordés des sujets qui parlent aux femmes : éducation, relations avec les hommes, développement personnel...

Retrouvez Le Choeur Des Femmes, du lundi au vendredi, 19H30 GMT sur CANAL+ ELLES

17 January 2020

African Women in Cinema Blog - Updates | Actualités 17.01.2020 - News around the Internet | Les infos autour de l’Internet

African Women in Cinema Blog
Updates | Actualités

News around the Internet |
Les infos autour de l’Internet

Content | Contenu

Chinonye Chukwu
Tsitsi Dangarembga
Claire Diao
Khadidia Djigo
Maimouna Doucouré
Rahmatou Keïta
Marème N'Diaye
Pascale Obolo
Akosua Adoma Owusu

Chinonye Chukwu
Chinonye Chukwu to helm first two episodes of Lupita Nyong'o HBO Max Series "Americanah"
Source: by Patrick Hipes. 15 January 2020.

Tsitsi Dangarembga
Tsitsi Dangarembga: 'Reading Toni Morrison's Beloved Changed my life'
Source: 10 January 2020.

Khadidia Djigo
Les Émissions CANAL+ Afrique
Claire Diao - TV s'est rendue au CanalOlympia Téranga de Dakar pour rencontrer sa directrice Khadidia Djigo
Source: Les Emissions CANAL+ Afrique Facebook Videos. 06 January 2020.

Maimouna Doucouré
Netflix Buys World Rights to Maimouna Doucouré’s Sundance-Player ‘Cuties’ - (Mignonnes)
Source: by Martin Dale. 14 January 2020.

Rahmatou Keïta
Tête à tête avec Rahmatou Keïta
Source: by Maimounatou. 07 janvier 2020.

Marème N'Diaye
Les Émissions CANAL+ Afrique
Claire Diao - TV a rencontré l'actrice sénégalaise Marème N'Diaye actuellement en tournage sur l'île de Gorée, à Dakar
Source: Les Emissions CANAL+ Afrique Facebook Videos. 15 January 2020.

Pascale Obolo
Rencontre avec Pascale Obolo, cinéaste et fondatrice de la revue d’art Afrikadaa
« On ne peut plus continuer à parler de nous, sans nous ! »
Source: 14 janvier 2020

Akosua Adoma Owusu
White Afro Trailer by Akosua Adoma Owusu
A barber school haircut training video on how to give a white person an "Afro" hair-do.
The final film in Owusu’s hair trilogy, White Afro (2019), employs an archival instructional video produced by the educational department of the Barbers, Beauticians, and Allied Industries Association on how to offer curly perms or body waving services to their white clientele, ostensibly for financial gain. The training video is intermingled with Owusu’s mother’s experience working as a hairstylist at a predominantly white hair salon called Fantastic Sam's in Alexandria, Virginia. Offering a rare perspective on the Afro hairstyle—as an unmistakable marker of Black collective power that becomes a desirable, and appropriated, aesthetic during liberation movements—the film also expands on the abilities of non-Black beauticians and barbers to wield their shops as spaces for political change. -- CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts

14 January 2020

Women in African Cinema: Beyond the Body Politic by Lizelle Bisschoff, Stefanie Van de Peer

Women in African Cinema: Beyond the Body Politic by Lizelle Bisschoff, Stefanie Van de Peer
Routledge 2019

Women in African Cinema: Beyond the Body Politic showcases the very prolific but often marginalised presence of women in African cinema, both on the screen and behind the camera.

This book provides the first in-depth and sustained examination of women in African cinema. Films by women from different geographical regions are discussed in case studies that are framed by feminist theoretical and historical themes, and seen through an anti-colonial, philosophical, political and socio-cultural cinematic lens. A historical and theoretical introduction provides the context for thematic chapters exploring topics ranging from female identities, female friendships, women in revolutionary cinema, motherhood and daughterhood, women’s bodies, sexuality, and spirituality. Each chapter serves up a theoretical-historical discussion of the chosen theme, followed by two in-depth case studies that provide contextual and transnational readings of the films as well as outlining production, distribution and exhibition contexts. This book contributes to the feminist anti-racist revision of the canon by placing African women filmmakers squarely at the centre of African film culture.

Demonstrating the depth and diversity of the feminine or female aesthetic in African cinema, this book will be of great interest to students and scholars of African cinema, media studies and African studies.

1. Women in African Cinema: Histories and Theories
2. The Multiplicity of Female Identities: Embracing Plurality
3. Female Friendships in Film: Affinities, Affiliations and Activism
4. Women in Revolution and Revolutionary Cinema
5. Daughters and Their Mothers: Between Conflict and Acceptance
6. African Women's Bodies: Journeys into Womanhood
7. (Re)defining Female Sexuality through Film
8. Spiritual Pathways to Emancipation

“Over the years, Stef and I had talked about writing a book and in 2017 she contacted me and said, “Let’s do this book.” So, it came out of more than a decade-long interest in women in African cinema so we combined our areas of specialities and started writing a book. It was an interesting experience to co-author a book. It had to have this collaboration.”

“It is also necessary to talk about my own identity. We’ve had a lot of concerns about being two White women writing about African cinema. I’m white South African and Stef is Belgian. Stef has her own history with how Belgium has denied its intervention in the Congo. It was one of the most brutal and severe occupations of an African country and Stef used to say to me that she never learned about these things growing up in Belgium. So for both of us it came out of our own backgrounds of wanting to address that, while also being aware of the legitimacy to write about something that you’re not a part of. We talk about our positionality in the introduction of the book because we felt that it’s very important to acknowledge that we are privileged.”

Interview with Lizelle Bisschoff by Mimi Anagli, Agnès Films, May 2020

Podcasts: Women in African Cinema Podcast Series

This podcast series is based on the book Women in African Cinema: Beyond the Body Politics, by Lizelle Bisschoff and Stefanie Van de Peer (Routledge, 2019). 
1: Women in African Cinema: An Introduction - 11 May 2020 
2a: Women in North African Cinema - 12 May 2020
2b: Women in Francophone West African Cinema - 13 May 2020
3: Personal Stories, Public Histories: Women's Filmmaking in the DRC and South Africa - 26 May 2020

Lizelle Bisschoff is a researcher and curator of African film and founder of the Africa in Motion (AiM) Film Festival, an annual African film festival taking place in Scotland. She is currently Lecturer in Film and Television Studies at the University of Glasgow.

Stefanie Van de Peer is researcher and programmer of African and Arab cinema. Her award-winning collection Animation in the Middle East came out in 2017. She programmes for film festivals worldwide and works for Africa in Motion. She is Research Fellow at the University of Exeter and Lecturer in Film and Media at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh.

07 January 2020

Black Camera: African Women on the Film Festival Landscape: Organizing, Showcasing, Promoting, Networking by Beti Ellerson with Falila Gbadamassi (Fall 2019)

African Women on the Film Festival Landscape: Organizing, Showcasing, Promoting, Networking
by Beti Ellerson with Falila Gbadamassi

Black Camera: An International Film Journal
Vol. 11, No. 1 (Fall 2019), pp. 424-456

An important function of the film festival is its capacity to showcase on a local, continental, and international level the works of African women, and to serve as a networking space to professionalize their experiences as stakeholders on the global film festival landscape. As these entities proliferate on the continent and internationally, African women are leading the way, often at the helm of these institutions. The objective of many local film festivals is to facilitate an interconnected triadic relationship between the film, filmmaker, and audience—especially with the organization of press conferences and panel discussions. Hence cultivating a critical audience via ciné-clubs and after-screening debates has been a long-standing practice of these local film initiatives. Drawing from this background and historical context, the article and associated timeline outline women's film festival practices in Africa as a vehicle for promoting leadership and showcasing women as role models; the cultural leadership functions that African women have taken on at the helm of film festivals on the continent and the diaspora; the diverse film festivals in Africa and their initiatives toward the empowerment and advancement of women in cinema; the showcasing of African women at African film festivals around the world; and the flagship international film festivals and their interest in including African women in the global cinematic conversation. As there is an abundance of African and women-related film events, because of their obvious relevance they are described in the timeline that follows the discussion, while a few select festivals receive more detailed focus because of their historical importance, longevity, and significance to this study on African women and film festival practices.

Key words: African film festival network, Women’s film festival circuit, film festival studies

-African women's film festival practices 
-Timeline of African women on the film festival landscape
-Mati Diop at Cannes 2019: Interview and critique of Atlantique by Falila Gbadamassi
-Mati Diop’s "Atlantique" – In the foam of the "Atlantic" critique by Falila Gbadamassi

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