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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31 August 2020

La Biennale di Venezia 2020. Kaouther Ben Hania: The Man Who Sold His Skin | L'homme qui a vendu sa peau

La Biennale di Venezia 2020

Kaouther Ben Hania

The Man Who Sold His Skin |
 L'homme qui a vendu sa peau

Tunisia, France
104 min

The journey of Sam Ali, a Syrian man who fled to Lebanon to escape the Syrian war, hoping to eventually join his lover in Paris.

Sam Ali est un syrien qui s'est enfui au Liban afin d'échapper à la guerre qui ravage son pays et dans l'espoir de rejoindre son amoureux à Paris. Coincé au Liban sans aucun document officiel, Sam commence à travailler dans des galeries d'art de Beyrouth. Il va rencontrer un célèbre artiste américain qui transforme Sam en une œuvre d'art en tatouant un visa sur son dos.

26 August 2020

RECENT FILMS. Aisha Jama: Neefso | Breathe (Somalia-USA)

Aisha Jama
Neefso | Breathe
4 min

Raha’s special day comes to a halt when her anxiety (un)expectedly takes center stage.
Neefso (Breathe) is a micro-short about the everyday coping mechanisms of managing anxiety through the lens of a young Black Muslim woman. This film not only highlights unpredictable nature of anxiety but also the love and support necessary to survive and thrive.

Bio: Aisha Jama
Aisha Jama is filmmaker who has chosen moving images to communicate her understanding of the world around her while she’s still present in it. She is dedicated to creating images and amplifying stories that examine our interiority and offer reprieve.

17 August 2020

RECENT FILMS. Tamara Mariam Dawit: "Finding Sally" (Ethiopia/Canada)

Tamara Mariam Dawit
Finding Sally
Ethiopia | Canada
Documentary | Documentaire
78 min


Finding Sally tells the incredible story of a 23-year-old woman from an upper class family who became a communist rebel with the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party. Idealistic and in love, Sally got caught up in her country’s revolutionary fervour, landing on the military government’s most-wanted list. She went underground, and her family never saw her again. Four decades after Sally’s disappearance, filmmaker Tamara Dawit pieces together the mysterious life of her aunt Sally and revisits the Ethiopian “Red Terror”, a period of violence, upheaval and mass killings that nearly wiped out a generation of educated young people in the country.

Finding Sally raconte l’histoire improbable de Sally, une jeune femme de 23 ans issue d'une famille de la haute société, qui décida de s’enrôler dans la lutte communiste du Parti Révolutionnaire du Peuple Éthiopien. Ses idéaux romantiques la conduisirent au cœur de la ferveur révolutionnaire du pays, la propulsant ainsi au palmarès des ennemis de l’état les plus recherchés. Ses proches ne la revirent plus jamais. Quarante ans après la disparition de sa tante Sally, la cinéaste Tamara Dawit remet en place les pièces du puzzle afin de comprendre le mystérieux parcours de celle qu’elle n’a jamais connue. Elle revisite la "Terreur Rouge" éthiopienne, une période de violence, de bouleversements et de massacres qui fit une demi-million de morts en Éthiopie.

Bio: Tamara Mariam Dawit
Tamara Dawit is a producer/director based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where she runs a production company Gobez Media that produces Ethiopian film, TV, digital and music content. Tamara has experience producing music content, tours, creative documentaries, digital content, formatted television and is now branching into dramatic films. She has produced content for CBC, Bravo, MTV, Radio Canada, Discovery, and NHK, among other networks. She directed the short film Grandma Knows Best (Bravo) and the feature documentary Finding Sally (CBC) which will be released in 2020.

Tamara fusionne les arts et la justice sociale à travers ses projets. Pendant dix ans, elle a dirigé le projet 411 Initiative For Change , une organisation artistique pour laquelle elle a réalisé des présentations multi-arts qui ont été présentées à plus de 500 000 jeunes à travers le Canada. Tamara a produit les documentaires Forgotten Children (2007, EOne) et Girls of Latitude (2008, MTV / CTV) et elle a produit et réalisé Grandma Knows Best? (2014, Bravofactual). Elle est d'origine éthiopienne, érythréenne, ukrainienne et britannique. Elle a vécu, voyagé et travaillé beaucoup au Soudan du Sud et en Éthiopie.

10 August 2020

The Gauteng Film Commission on Women’s Month 2020 - South Africa

The Gauteng Film Commission
on Women’s Month 2020

The Gauteng Film Commission (GFC) today launches the month-long Women’s month 2020 programme. The programme will mostly showcase the work and efforts of women in the film and television sector in Gauteng, using virtual platforms across popular social media channels from the 10th till the 31st of August 2020.

The programme is being launched during a very difficult period, when the country is under a restricted lockdown due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. In South Africa, we have witnessed the difficult circumstances and challenges faced particularly by women – the gender-based violence as well as food insecurity among other realities. Under the theme "Generation Equality: Realising women's rights for an equal society now” the South African government has highlighted this year’s focus for Women's Month as gender-based violence and discrimination, the advancement of the rights of women and girls in the political, economic, social and cultural spheres of life.

South Africa commemorates Women's Month in August as a tribute to the more than 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956, in protest of the extension of Pass Laws to women. It is following on this premise that the GFC has brought in partners to commemorate Women’s month this year. The programme will explore issues faced by women in the industry, and solutions will be discussed in virtual activities, delivered mostly by women, namely a virtual roundtable series, women empowerment lecture with City Varsity and an Online Women Film Festival.

“Reflecting on how women came together in 1956 to fight an unjust system, we have also brought in a variety of stakeholders to work with in executing this programme. We have partnered with City Varsity who will run the virtual empowerment masterclasses delivered by women lecturers, we also have Netflix onboard, a global media company that has made available relief to the distressed industry – they are providing a once off, short-term emergency relief grant to below-the-line workers who are usually hired on a freelance basis, are paid hourly wages and currently have most of their work put on hold” said GFC’s Desmond Mthembu. 

The programme has pulled more than 30 film and TV industry practitioners and will engage on issues ranging from sexual harassment in the sector, diversity, decolonising spaces to women empowerment. All activities will be virtual and will be delivered through the GFC’s social media platforms.



Virtual Round Table by actors and talent behind the camera including Salamina Mosese, Stephina Zwane, Sello Maake Ka Ncube, Dr. Jerry Mofokeng wa Makgetha, Naledi Bogacwi and Carolie Kganyago: 10-18 August

Women Empowerment Lectures with City Varsity seeks to train limited number of women filmmakers. Register here:

Women's Film Festival a 5 day virtual event noted via GFC YouTube Channel. Watch on YouTube:Gauteng Film Commission TV 25-29 August.

GFC invites entries for the Online Women Film Festival
25 - 29 Aug 2020: Live on YouTube.

Submit a short film (not longer than 25 minutes) and Stand a Chance to Win a Share of R50 000 Filming Equipment.

Festival Open to Gauteng Based Women Producers & Directors Only

Submission Deadline: 20 Aug 2020

Follow us on all social media platforms for updates and the latest information and register for the masterclasses here

Facebook: @GautengFilm

Twitter: @GautengFilmCom

Instagram: @gautengfilmcommission


For more information, contact:
Siyabonga Mngoma
Communication Manager: GFC

African Diasporic Cinema: Aesthetics of Reconstruction by Daniela Ricci

African Diasporic Cinema: Aesthetics of Reconstruction by Daniela Ricci
Translated from French by Melissa Thackway
Michigan State University Press (August 1, 2020)
304 pages

African Diasporic Cinema: Aesthetics of Reconstruction analyzes the aesthetic strategies adopted by contemporary African diasporic filmmakers to express the reconstruction of identity. Having left the continent, these filmmakers see Africa as a site of representation and cultural circulation. The diasporic experience displaces the center and forges new syncretic identities. Through migratory movement, people become foreigners, Others—and in this instance, black. The African diasporic condition in the Western world is characterized by the intersection of various factors: being African and bearing the historical memory of the continent; belonging to a black minority in majority-white societies; and finally, having historically been the object of negative, stereotyped representation. As a result, quests for the self and self-reconstruction are frequent themes in the films of the African diaspora, and yet the filmmakers refuse to remain trapped in the confines of an assigned, rigid identity. Reflecting these complex circumstances, this book analyzes the contemporary diaspora through the prism of cultural hybridization and the processes of recomposing fragmented identities, out of which new identities emerge.

Related links on the African Women in Cinema Blog

Traveling Gazes: Glocal Imaginaries in the Transcontinental, Transnational, Exilic, Migration, and Diasporic Cinematic Experiences of African Women (Spring 2017)

Claire Diao : Double Vague, le nouveau soufflé du cinéma français (Double wave, the new energy of French cinema) 2017

08 August 2020

Mayye Zayed: Ash Ya Captain | Lift Like a Girl (Egypt) - Toronto International Film Festival 2020

Mayye Zayed
Ash Ya Captain | Lift Like a Girl
2020 - 1h35 - Documentary

An observational feature length documentary about the female weightlifting community training in the streets of Alexandria, as it follows the 14-year-old Zebiba as she pursues her dream to become a professional weightlifter. Her coach Captain Ramadan believes so much in her and never takes no for an answer. He has been training world champion weightlifters for more than 20 years, including his daughter Nahla Ramadan; the former world champion, an Olympian and the pioneer of weightlifting in Egypt, as well as Abeer Abdel Rahman; the first Arab female 2-time Olympic medalist. For 4 years, Zebiba goes through victories and defeats, including major losses that shape her, as she finds her way from dust to gold. (Source:

Bio: Mayye Zayed
An Egyptian independent filmmaker who was born in Alexandria in 1985. She studied Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering in Alexandria University. She studied independent filmmaking in many workshops including the Jesuits Cultural Centre's workshop in Alexandria in 2009/2010. Then she was granted a Fulbright scholarship to study cinema and media studies in Wellesley College in USA in 2011/2012 which also enabled her to take the comparative media class "Innovations in Documentary" in MIT. She is a film director, producer, director of photography and editor. In 2013 she co-founded Rufy's; an independent film production house based in Alexandria, Egypt.

« Ash Ya Captain » (« Lift Like a Girl »), un  film réalisé par la cinéaste égyptienne Mayye Zayed, qui raconte le voyage intime dans la vie d'un athlète en devenir.

07 August 2020

Ayten Amin: Souad (Egypt)

Ayten Amin
Egypt | Égypte 
2020 - Fiction - 1h30

Nineteen year-old Souad and her younger sister Rabab, live in the town of Zagazig with their conservative family. A series of small incidents pushes Souad to commit suicide. The family is swallowed in silence. Rabab dismisses all explanations for her Souad's death and is determined to find out the real cause of her sister's despair. She discovers that Ahmed is the central figure in Souad's virtual life. In search of answers, Rabab goes to Alexandria to see Ahmed.

Souad, une fille de 19 ans, vit avec sa famille conservatrice dans la ville de Zagazig, avec sa petite sœur Rabab. Une série de petits incidents ont poussé Souad à se suicider. Le silence avale tout dans la famille. Rabab jette toutes les explications de la mort de sa sœur et est déterminée à comprendre la véritable cause du désespoir de sa sœur. Elle découvre qu'Ahmed est la figure centrale de la vie virtuelle de Souad. Rabab voyage pour voir Ahmed à Alexandrie, à la recherche de réponses.

The film is part of the Cannes 2020 Official Selection which presents it as follows: For this moving portrait of  young Egyptian women, the fluid camera stays close to their faces. Ayten Amin weaves a precious world, which mixes local traditions and universal hopes. Young girls dream, they want to seduce, to be loved, to wear makeup, to be awakened. In the beautiful Alexandra, the sound is that of life, the noise of the city and the silences of the heroine.

Souad is a film produced by the company Vivid Reels, in co-production with Nomadis Images (Dora Bouchoucha, Tunisia). 

A native of Alexandria, Ayten Amin rose to prominence after the Egyptian revolution with the documentary "Tahrir 2011".


Le film fait partie de la Sélection Officielle Cannes 2020 qui le présente ainsi : Caméra fluide et proche des visages pour ce portrait émouvant de jeunes égyptiennes. Ayten Amin tisse un monde précieux, qui mêle traditions locales et espérances universelles. Les jeunes filles rêvent, elles veulent séduire, être aimées, se maquiller, s'éveiller. Dans Alexandrie la belle, le son est celui de la vie, des bruits de la ville et des silences de l'héroïne.

Souad est un film produit par la société Vivid Reels, en coproduction avec Nomadis Images (Dora Bouchoucha, Tunisie). 

Native d’Alexandrie, Ayten Amin s’était fait connaître après la révolution égyptienne avec le documentaire « Tahrir 2011 ».


73ème festival de Cannes 2020
Sélection officielle | Official Selection - LES NOUVELLES ET NOUVEAUX VENU(E)S 

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