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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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

Subheadings:
-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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