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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27 November 2020

2020 Laureates: 7 jours pour 1 film (7 days for a film) Lagunimages Festival - Cotonou, Benin

2020 Laureates: 7 jours pour 1 film (7 days for a film) Lagunimages Festival - Cotonou, Benin

Félicitations aux Laureates finalistes pour l’opération 7 jours pour 1 film

Congratulations to the finalists laureates for Operation 7 jours pour 1 film (7 days for a film)

7 JOURS POUR 1 FILM est une opération itinérante de découverte, de formation et de promotion des femmes désirant être plus actives dans le milieu du cinéma, particulièrement en Afrique. Elle déploie sa vision en soutenant la création d’œuvres de qualité et en formant les lauréates au processus de production d’un film via l’écriture, la préparation, la fabrication et la diffusion. L’ambition de cette opération qui est à la fois un concours, une formation et un outil de production de films est donc d’offrir aux lauréates des compétences pluridisciplinaires sur les métiers du cinéma.

7 JOURS POUR 1 FILM is an itinerant program whose objective is to discover, train and promote women who have an interest in being more active in the film industry, particularly in Africa. The program's vision is to support the creation of quality work and to train the award winners in the film production process through writing, preparation, creation and broadcast. The program's ambition, which at the same time is organized as a competition, is a training course and a film production tool, thus providing the laureates with multidisciplinary skills in the film industry.

26 November 2020

African Women in Cinema addressing democracy, citizen empowerment and free and fair elections

African Women in Cinema addressing democracy, citizen empowerment and free and fair elections

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first woman to be democratically elected as Head of State in Africa, served as the 24th President of Liberia from 2006 to 2018. She is also a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. At the end of her term, she assured the peaceful transfer of power to her successor, an event that had not taken place in the country since 1944. In her UN General Assembly speech in 2013 she asserted that democracy was the way for Liberia as well as for the entire African continent. Her hope was that Liberia under her leadership would be among those countries setting an example for the continent as a whole.

Featured in the series Unsung Heroes executive-produced by M Beatrix Mugishagwe, about women leaders in Africa, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf talks about the significance of grassroots women's participation in the voting process leading to her election; highlighting the importance of taking responsibility, of strong leadership and of projecting a vision for the future.

She emphasizes the vital role of women's participation in the electoral process: "Women of Liberia, particularly the grassroots women, the market women, decided that I represent what they would like to be in the future, this is one time that they were going to give a woman the opportunity to change the course of our country, I represented that to them and they came out massively and voted…"

Her humility is also a reflection of her strength. The vision that lead to her successful campaign was also her vision for the success of her country: "Obviously after the long road I had travelled, activism and political competition, finally having achieved the highest benefit one could achieve from this effort, exhilarated me. I was excited and all around me we rejoiced, I was humbled by the responsibility that it implied, the responsibility not only to lead the effort to renew a war-torn nation but also to represent the expectations of women, not only in Liberia but all over Africa."

She also underscores the importance of Africans themselves carving out their own future, taking their destiny into their own hands, rather than being influenced by others: "I think sometimes as Africans we are too hard on Africa. Because there has been a lot of progress in many of our countries. Progress in terms of the management of our resources. Progress in terms of opening the political space. But we still have to do more. I think we need to "own" our own processes. We need to take charge of our own destiny. I think we need to use the resources to support the goals that are determined by ourselves and not that are dictated or influenced by others."

She sees this progress taking place through the process of leadership-building from the higher levels of government and especially by the citizens themselves having inspiration and support from those who lead so they see the value in making a contribution and feel empowered to do so: "And we need to build that leadership throughout society. Not just at the presidential level, but the leadership throughout that can influence the consensus. A leadership that can motivate and inspire others to see the vision and to see the agenda and accept and work toward collectively contributing whatever they can from their vantage point toward the achievement of clearly defined goals."

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's words highlight the notion that everyone throughout the world is entitled to fundamental and basic rights and should expect that their government ensures this for all of its citizens. At the same time, she positions her leadership as Head of State to be a model for others: "We hope that we could be a part of those countries whose performance can be exemplary, to ensure that we give equal opportunity to all; to ensure our people can prosper, can be empowered to be able to exercise choice in economic, political and social life. That will respect the basic freedoms and rights of people. That they feel that they enjoy those and basically that they can have a stake in the future and they can claim what they want to be and be a part of the decision-making that enables them to achieve their potential."

Her strategies for success are not only in terms of political aspirations but to life in general: "Set your goals and determine what you want to be, assess your potential and then go after it with everything you got. Give it your time, your skills, your knowledge, and be prepared to accept disappointments, there will be some failures on the long road to success. Be prepared to pick up and start again, and to persist and persevere in what you want to be. And I think that if one adopts those practices you do succeed, if you stay with what you want to be and stay focused on your goal."    

Similarly, Laurentine Bayala's film serves as an example of sound strategies for women's empowerment as voters. In her film Coupled Elections of 2012, Burkinabe Women on the Move, she provides a portrait of women's participation in the election process, similar to the grassroots women who propelled Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to victory: In December 2012, for the first time in the history of the organization of elections, Burkina Faso coupled the municipal and legislative elections. Also for the first time, the law on gender quotas was applied after its adoption by the National Assembly on April 16, 2009. During these elections, the NDI (National Democratic Institute) worked with nearly 700 women through training workshops to enable them to acquire the tools to better organize their election campaigns.

While Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's hopes that an exemplary leadership would spread throughout the continent, there are other examples, nonetheless, that reveal how these principles of democracy have not been upheld. Numerous African women filmmakers have documented some of these instances, including the citizens' revolutions, having been empowered to make change.
Rumbi Katedza had this to say about her documentary The Axe and the Tree: "through my research, I learned a lot about the terrible things that had happened to every day people during the 2008 Zimbabwean harmonised elections. It was an eye-opener, a kind of education in fear, and how fear can paralyze people and make it impossible to live their lives to their full potential. It obviously was not an easy film to make because there were certain people who did not want the story to be told, but I was completely humbled by the bravery of the people who agreed to be in the film. They shared very painful stories of torture and rape. It was because of them that I finished the film and believed that it had to get maximum exposure. Eventually, I would like a wider Zimbabwean audience to watch the film and discuss its content because what happened in 2008 should never happen again."

Neveen Shalaby describes the making of the film The Agenda and I: "Well, the story behind the title is that I met an undercover policeman on the night of 25 January 2011, when police forces stormed Tahrir Square. The policeman helped me get out and told me that I should not return because the protestors were actually supporting foreign agendas to bring down the regime. This became the starting point for me to find out the real agenda, and thus the title The Agenda and I shows that I was not only the director of the film, but I was one of the characters in the film."

Nadia El Fani, both a politically engaged filmmaker and a political activist, was visible throughout the Tunisian revolution and the ensuing election. After a television interview in May 2011, during which she talked about her film documentary, expressing her secularist views, she was the object of an attack campaign by those who considered the film to be anti-Islam. Originally titled Neither Allah nor Master, the name was changed to Secularism, Inch'Allah to minimize the controversy. The film poses the question “what if the will of the people, of a predominantly Muslim country opts for a secular constitution?”, an issue that has broader implications for the world as it relates to religion freedom, freedom of expression and the rights of religious minorities in society. The reactions by extremists regarding the film were personally and professionally perilous for Nadia El Fani. In October 2011, she was invited on France Inter to talk about the election victory of the islamist party Ennahda and its implications for Tunisia, the left and pro-secularists like herself. She had this to say about what she sees as the anti-democracy attitudes of the "so-called moderate islamists": Of course, we know these types who talk about democracy to get in power but once there enact laws that are liberticidal, it is nothing new. It exists everywhere in the world. I am also concerned about this, we saw during the campaign, the islamists do what they do everywhere, they start by attacking artists and then intellectuals…(Read entire interview translated from French, see link below)

Rama Thiaw describes the making of her documentary The revolution won't be televised: "In the 1980s, Senegal was dominated by an unnamed dictatorship. The man who stood against this system, Maître Abdoulaye Wade, decided to establish political liberalism. However, after he was elected, this hero quickly became worse than his predecessors. My film begins on January 17, 2012, at the end of the Senegalese legislative campaign—12 years after the presidential election of Maître Abdoulaye Wade. During this same period, Thiat and Kilifeu, members of the Keur Gui Band, decided to take action where the socialist opposition failed to do so. They mobilised and created with other friends--musicians, artists and journalists, a peaceful and apolitical group called ‘Y'en a marre’ [tr. we’re fed up]. They organised marches and demonstrations to ensure that the Constitutional Council would revoke the candidacy of the outgoing president. The mobilization was unprecedented. The recently-roused opposition joined the young artists of ‘Y'en a marre’. United under the banner of the M23, they stood up to the former man of law who tried to usurp the democracy of 10 million Senegalese."

A similar "revolution" emerged in Burkina Faso 2 years later. In her documentary On a le temps pour nous (Time is on our side), Katy Lena Ndiaye, from Senegal, traces the events that led to the downfall of Blaise Compaoré: Burkina Faso, October 2014. What many did not dare imagine happens. The Burkinabès put an end to the reign of Blaise Compaoré. The rapper Smokey, member of the Balai Citoyen, is among the artisans of change: the victory of a utopia in the real, after the uprising, after the failed coup, and the organization of free elections, what does the future hold?

In Deux petits tour et puis s'en vont, Monique Mbeka Phoba relates a democracy success story teaming with Emmanuel Kolawole to provide a glimpse of the 1996 elections in Benin, which at the time was considered to be a laboratory for democracy in Africa. After 17 years of unchallenged power, Mathieu Kérékou, in the face of popular discontent, called a National Conference in December 1989, which brought Nicéphore Soglo to power in 1991. In the next elections in April 1996, the former dictator regains power: this time he is democratically elected. In 2008 with Guy Kabeya Muya, she returns to the theme of democratic elections in the film Between The Cup and The Election, as they supervise a group of film students, who, inspired by the 2006 elections in Congo, set out to make a film about the first team from sub-Saharan Africa to have participated in a Football World Cup. It was in 1974 and this legendary team was called: the Leopards of Zaire (now DRC, Democratic Republic of Congo).

Related articles from the African Women in Cinema Blog:

Festival Films Femmes Afrique 2020 - Fatoumata Coulibaly, Erica Pomerance : L'après coup, la voix des maliennes (After the coup, Malian women speak)

On a le temps pour nous (Time is on our side) by/de Katy Lena Ndiaye (Sénégal)

Whispering truth to power by/de Shameela Seedat (South Africa | Afrique du Sud)

Laurentine Bayala : Elections couplées de 2012, les femmes burkinabé en marche | Coupled Elections of 2012, Burkinabe Women on the Move

Understanding what is happening in Egypt: A letter from Azza Elhosseiny, Executive Director, Luxor African Film Festival

Neveen Shalaby and the Agenda: The Experiences of a filmmaker - participant of the Egyptian Revolution of 2011

Rama Thiaw talks about the "making of" her film "The revolution won’t be televised"

A Conversation with Rumbi Katedza

Nadia El Fani and the Freedom of Conscience

Cineaste Nadia El Fani reflects on the elections in Tunisia

25 November 2020

U.N. - 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence | 16 jours d’activisme pour mettre fin à la violence faite aux femmes - 25 Nov - 10 Dec 2020

U.N. - 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence | 16 jours d’activisme pour mettre fin à la violence faite aux femmes - 25 Nov - 10 Dec 2020

The UN System’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence activities, from 25 November to 10 December, will take place under our 2020 global theme: "Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!"

Les 16 Jours d’activisme contre la violence basée sur le genre du système des Nations Unies se dérouleront du 25 novembre au 10 décembre et se déclineront selon notre thème mondial pour 2020 : « Orangez le monde : financez, intervenez, prévenez, collectez ! »


Journées cinématographiques de la femme africaine - JCFA 2020 (Cinema Days of African Women of the Moving Image) Burkina Faso

TV5Monde: WarkhaTV, briser le silence des femmes (WarkhaTV breaking women's silence)

Ndiva Women’s Film Festival 2019: Many Love by Rediat Abayneh (Ethiopia)

Ndiva Women’s Film Festival 2019: Trapped by Erica Owusu-Ansah (Ghana)

Première Edition Festival International des Films de Femmes de Cotonou
International Women's Film Festival of Cotonou Benin 2019
"When cinema addresses violence against women"

The first two of Zimbabwean #MeToo stories produced by WFOZ: "Picture My Life Story" 1 and 2 from ICAPA on Vimeo

#MêmePasPeur [nothing to fear]: #Metoo @ Fespaco 2019, les femmes d’Afrique et le diaspora témoignent | Women of Africa and the Diaspora bear witness

Nobel Peace Prize Winner 2018: Dr. Denis Mukwege: Congo, un médecin pour sauver les femmes | a doctor who saves women a/un film by/de Angèle Diabang

Lucy Gebre-Egziabher: A Woman on a Mission

Unite to End Violence Against Women Film Festival 2011 – South Africa

Marie Laurentine Bayala: Jusqu'au bout

Najwa Tlili: Reflections on her film "Rupture"

24 November 2020

Rétrospective et Masterclass Izza Genini - 39e édition du Festival International Jean Rouch en ligne du 24-29 novembre 2020

Rétrospective et Masterclass Izza Genini - 39e édition du Festival International Jean Rouch en ligne du 24-29 novembre 2020 

À l’occasion de la 39e édition du Festival International Jean Rouch, les Rencontres du Film Ethnographique du musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac se consacrent au cinéma d’Izza Génini. Son travail de documentariste sur les musiciens traditionnels de l’Atlas et plus largement du Maroc fait aujourd’hui figure de référence.

Rétrospective en ligne sur la plateforme du comité du film ethnographique.

21 November 2020

New York African Film Festival 2020 Goes Virtual with Streaming Rivers: The Past into the Present

New York African Film Festival 2020 Goes Virtual with Streaming Rivers: The Past into the Present

By Film at Lincoln Center on November 19, 2020
Tickets go on sale 11/23 at

Presented by Film at Lincoln Center and African Film Festival, Inc.[
], the 27th edition of the NYAFF runs online December 2-6.

Under the banner “Streaming Rivers: The Past into the Present,” the New York African Film Festival (NYAFF) returns virtually December 2-6 with a spotlight on the cinema of two nations: Nigeria and the Sudan. Presented by Film at Lincoln Center (FLC) and African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF), this year’s regional NYAFF will screen six features and eight short films in the FLC Virtual Cinema, as AFF celebrates its 30th anniversary.

The festival will transport audiences to the Sudan and Nigeria, two nations whose film industries were disrupted in their nascency—in Nigeria by an economic decline in the late 1970s and early 1980s; in Sudan by the dictatorship of Omar al-Bashir, whose 30-year grip on the country was ended by the 2019 uprising. In recent years, Sudan’s film industry has been revived by an emerging crop of filmmakers, who are also dedicated to restoring the works of the veterans on whose shoulders they stand. Nollywood can claim the mantle of being Africa’s homegrown film industry, which has influenced filmmakers globally and provided the template for other nations to jump-start their own nascent motion picture businesses.

The event includes films from some of each nation’s trailblazing directors and latest wave of filmmakers. NYAFF will present two of esteemed Sudanese filmmaker Ibrahim Shaddad’s brilliant works: Hunting Party (1964) and Human (1994). Suhaib Gasmelbari’s acclaimed documentary Talking About Trees captures the efforts of Shaddad and fellow friends and retired Sudanese filmmakers Manar Al Hilo, Suleiman Mohamed Ibrahim, and Altayeb Mahdi—each of whom was trained abroad and whose work was suppressed for decades by Islamist censorship after the 1989 coup—to reopen an outdoor cinema. Among the film’s 12 prizes is the Panorama Audience Award at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival and the Documentary Award at the 2020 Palm Springs International Film Festival.

The Opening Night film is Amjad Abu Alala’s arresting drama You Will Die at 20, winner of the Lion of the Future “Luigi de Laurentiis” Award for a Debut Film at the 2019 Venice Film Festival and Sudan’s first-ever entry for Best International Feature Film, for the upcoming 93rd Academy Awards. In the film, a young man, who the village’s holy man has prophesied will die as he reaches his second decade, turns 19.

Nollywood, the world’s most prolific film industry after Bollywood, was born out of the resourcefulness of creatives working despite economic challenges. NYAFF’s Centerpiece film is the 40th anniversary screening of Kadara (“Destiny”), the debut work of one such filmmaker, the late Adeyemi Afolayan (known as Ade Love), considered one of the fathers of Nollywood. Afolayan wrote and stars in the humorous film, which captures the rivalry between a handsome, charming farmer and a rich brute as they compete in a wrestling contest to prove their worthiness for the hand of the kingdom’s beautiful princess.

In Three Thieves, Udoka Oyeka’s Nigerian comedy, three friends hired to commit a simple theft end up as accidental kidnappers—all while being pursued by the police and the robber whose job they took.

Filmed over four years, Marwa Zein’s documentary Khartoum Offside follows the Sudanese Women’s Football Team as they defy a ban imposed by Sudan’s Islamist military government against women playing soccer—while Zein herself defies the ban against women making movies. The film won Best Documentary at the 2019 Africa Movie Academy Awards, as well as Best Documentary at the Carthage Film Festival (JCC).

Set in South London, Ngozi Onwurah’s Shoot the Messenger (2006)—winner of the Dennis Potter Screenwriting Award and two BAFTA TV Awards—stars David Oyelowo as Joe, a teacher whose life spirals out of control after he is falsely accused of hitting a student and branded a racist by the local Black community. The film features Daniel Kaluuya in one of his breakout roles.

“Art generally reflects our reality and the evolution of our world,” said AFF Executive Director and NYAFF Founder Mahen Bonetti. “While our programs might highlight the challenges Africa faces, they also illuminate her greatness and her vast contribution to our global cultures!”

The festival also includes a shorts program featuring Zein’s A Game, an adaptation of the Italian short story “Let’s Play a Game,” depicting a confrontation between a divorced woman and her young daughter; Onwurah’s Coffee Colored Children, which speaks to the current moment with its story of two siblings of mixed heritage who, faced with racist taunts, try to scrub their blackness away; and Lande Yoosuf’s Love in Submission, in which a meeting between two Black Muslim women brings a big revelation. Sarra Idris’s My Sister Sara captures Sudanese activist and writer Sara Elhassan in conversation with her brother, ESPN NBA Analyst and TV personality Amin Elhassan, about the 2019 Sudanese revolution and her ongoing activism through social media. Troublemaker, by Olive Nwosu, tells the story of a 10-year-old’s loss of innocence as he hurts his grandfather, reanimating the latter’s traumatic memories of the Biafra War. The program is rounded out by Adé Sultan Sangodoyin’s A Cemetery of Doves, a film about a teenager coming to terms with his sexuality.

This special edition of NYAFF will also showcase a fantastic digital dance piece titled Forever (Brother’s Keeper), choreographed and performed by self-taught Nigerian twins, the Ebinum brothers, in addition to a jam session of catchy Afrobeat tunes spun by the popular DJ mOma at a gorgeous spot in Zanzibar.

This year, AFF is celebrating three decades of promoting African culture through the moving image. Through its signature film festival, traveling series, community engagement programs, outdoor screenings, and new streaming service, the 501(c)(3) brings audiences around the world authentic African cinema from today’s leading and emerging directors, as well as the works of the continent and diaspora’s most esteemed auteurs.

Virtual tickets are $12, and go on sale on Monday, November 23 at noon. See more and save with the NYAFF All-Access Pass for just $60 (a $96 value). Film at Lincoln Center members save an additional 20% on individual rentals and the all-access pass. Learn more at

The Programs of AFF are made possible by the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Bradley Family Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New York Community Trust, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Communities of Color Nonprofit Stabilization Fund, Domenico Paulon Foundation, Motion Picture Enterprises, Manhattan Portage, Black Hawk Imports and Royal Air Maroc.

11 November 2020

African Women and Screen Culture in the Time of Covid-19

African Women and Screen Culture 
in the Time of Covid-19

The sad news of the passing of pioneer Sarah Maldoror on 13 April due to complications of the novel coronavirus came at the moment that the cinema world was adjusting to the emergence of the Covid-19 epidemic, forced into lockdown mode and social distancing. Film festival events already scheduled throughout the remainder of the year, quickly adjusted to the new reality. Some were postponed or cancelled, others spontaneously converted to online versions. The pandemic underscored the ubiquity of digital technologies, which quickly restructured the platforms and resources needed to support the ever-expanding transmedial practices of the moving image. The virtual event has become the norm. Zoom meetings, panel discussions and interviews, on-line festivals and film streaming and other transmedial events appear to be part of the future post-Covid-19 screen culture landscape.

African women in cinema-focused events and initiatives immediately emerged on the virtual screen scene. As a tribute, on 12 May 2020, the feminist film journal Another Gaze hosted the Zoom panel presentation, "The Legacies of Sarah Maldoror", which was followed by hundreds of spectators. The first Zoom e-conference,"Porter haut et fort la voix des femmes dans les cinémas d'Afrique" (Women's voices heard loud and clear in the cinemas of Africa) of the Pavillon des Cinémas d'Afrique in a Programme of Roundtables organized by the ACA-Agence Culturelle Africaine, was held on 22 June 2020. Producer, director, actress, film critic, came together to discuss their experiences and concerns in the world of cinema. Also in June, Ladima Foundation and DW Akademie sponsored the African Women in the Time of COVID-19 Short Film Competition, the films of the winners were screened via the internet. In August during Women's Month, the Gauteng Film Commission organized the Virtual Women's Audio-Visual Festival showcasing the work and efforts of women in the film and television sector in Gauteng, South Africa using virtual platforms across popular social media channels. The New York-based Reel Sisters 2020 held the Virtual Film Festival and Lecture Series from 24-25 October through 17 November. Founder, Karine Barclais's Pavillon Afriques is putting forward-looking strategies in place anticipating a post-Covid future for African cinemas. These are among the many others that continue to emerge. The New York African Film Festival held its 27th Edition in 2020 as a virtual event under the banner Streaming Rivers: The Past into the Present. In addition, also in 2020, the Documentary Filmmakers Association (DFA) of South Africa sponsored a Short Film Grant under the theme, "Also see Life, Love, Rifts and Rage in the Time of Covid-19". Grantees include Sihle Hlope (Lindela Under Lockdown) and Omelga Mthiyane (Umngcwabo | The funeral).

Following is a selection of related articles published on the African Women in Cinema Blog

Omelga Mthiyane: Lefu – The Funeral
Citoyenneté, Cinéma et Passeport sanitaire (CCNA – Cinéastes non-alignées Collectif)
Pavillon Afriques Chronicles presents "Strategizing the Post-Covid Era: Working Together to Elevate the African Continent Film Industry" - 28 January 2021

Fanta Régina Nacro : We are destined to come together to prevail against Covid-19 | Nous sommes condamnés à gagner ensemble contre le Covid-19

New York African Film Festival 2020 Goes Virtual with Streaming Rivers: The Past into the Present

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

African Women in the time of COVID-19 : 10 selected films announced

Conférence du Pavillon des Cinémas d'Afrique : Programme Tables Rondes : "Porter haut et fort la voix des femmes dans les cinémas d'Afrique" (Women's voices heard loud and clear in the cinemas of Africa)

African Women in the Time of COVID-19 : A Short Film Competition | Les femmes africaines aux temps de COVID-19 - Un concour de courts métrages

iFilm Conference: The Future of Women in African Cinema 2020 organized by the PanAfrican Film Consortium. May 29.

Reflections on Another Gaze presents: The Legacies of Sarah Maldoror (1929–2020) - 12 May 2020

Report by Beti Ellerson
Updated 17 January 2021

10 November 2020

Fanta Régina Nacro : We are destined to come together to prevail against Covid-19 | Nous sommes condamnés à gagner ensemble contre le Covid-19

Fanta Régina Nacro :  We are destined to come together to prevail against Covid-19 | Nous sommes condamnés à gagner ensemble contre le Covid-19 

Source: In French | En français

Image: Screen capture,

Confinée à Ouagadougou, la cinéaste et productrice burkinabè Fanta Régina Nacro partage son regard sur la crise sanitaire. Pour la réalisatrice, la solidarité et la conscience de notre humanité commune nous permettront de remporter la bataille contre le coronavirus. (27 Mai 2020)

Fanta Régina Nacro, filmmaker and producer from Burkina Faso reflects on the Covid-19 pandemic (May 2020) Translation from French.

Here I am confined to Ouagadougou. This pandemic plunged me into a feeling of sadness and terrible frustration, of not being able to experience the warmth of human contact and the expression of African solidarity during social events. The frustration of the contradictions and the discordance regarding the urgency for developing a Covid-19 vaccine, and the disregard towards the efforts of African researchers. Covid-19 made me think of three essential elements: the fragility of our world in terms of health, the inequality when dealing with this pandemic, the fragility of life, isolation from family, the fragility of the economy. We have seen the lack of solidarity especially in Europe towards health personnel, and in Africa the rediscovery of healthy living. There is the element of death, the impotence when confronting this illness, this feeling of fear. For me the most important confirmation is that we are all human beings, confronted with the same anguish, destined to come together in solidarity and reciprocity.

04 November 2020

Ebele Okoye, Animation filmmaker : University of Sussex Project Development Guest Lecture Series - 10 November 2020

Ebele Okoye
Animation Filmmaker
University of Sussex Project Development Guest Lecture Series
10 November 2020



Online through Zoom
Speaker: Ebele Okoye
Project Development Guest Lecture Series
Tuesday 10 November, 14.00

Ebele Okoye (who goes by the artist’s name “Omenka Ulonka”) is a two-time winner of the Africa Movie Academy Awards in the category Animation, her 28 minutes short ‘The Legacy of Rubies’, inspired by an African folk tale, has won many prizes including the best Animation at the prestigious Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) same year.

Referred to by many as the ‘mother of African animation’, Ebele says she is very passionate about imparting Animation knowledge, and pursues this teaching and giving workshops in different constellations which include The Bauhaus University, Weimar, Zanzibar International film festival, OpenToonz Animation Lab. Additionally, The Animation Club Africa and Shrinkfish Media Lab (SmedLAB), which she founded in 2009 and 2013 respectively. 

03 November 2020

Recent films - Françoise Ellong: "Enterrés" | "Buried" - Cameroun / Cameroon

Françoise Ellong
Enterrés | Buried
2020 - 88 mins - Cameroon/Cameroun


Childhood friends who were raised in the same orphanage meet for the first time in many years and start “a game” that unexpectedly brings out old demons.

Des amis d'enfance qui ont grandit dans le même orphelinat se réunissent pour la première fois depuis plusieurs années et s'adonnent à un "jeu" qui va, sans qu'ils ne s'y attendent, faire ressurgir d'anciens démons.

Bio : Françoise Ellong

Françoise Ellong is a screenwriter and film director on Benino-Cameroonian cinema born in Douala in 1988. In 2014, her first feature film W.A.K.A  received the Special Jury Prize (Khouribga 2013, Morocco) and the Dikalo Award of encouragement for a 1st feature film at the 2013 Pan-African Festival in Cannes.

Françoise Ellong est une scénariste et réalisatrice de cinéma Bénino-camerounaise, née à Douala en 1988. En 2014, son premier long métrage W.A.K.A a reçu le Prix Spécial du Jury (Khouribga 2013, Maroc) et le Dikalo Award d'encouragement pour une 1re œuvre de long-métrage au Festival Panafricain de Cannes 2013.

Read also | À lire aussi : 

Françoise Ellong: Interview | Entretien - African Women in Cinema Blog

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