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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31 January 2021

César 2021 - Josza Anjembe: Baltringue - Séléction officielle court métrage | Official Selection Short Film (France)

de/by Josza Anjembe
Séléction officielle court métrage
Official Selection Short Film
César 2021

Images: Facebook page


After two years in jail, Issa is about to be released when he meets Gaëtan, a young inmate who has several more months to serve.

Après deux années passées en détention, Issa s’apprête à recouvrer la liberté. Mais à quelques jours de sa sortie, il fait la rencontre de Gaëtan, un jeune détenu incarcéré pour plusieurs mois encore.


Josza Anjembe is a French filmmaker. In 2016 she directed the film  « Le Bleu blanc rouge de mes cheveux ». A film film that received numerous awards, notably the Bringing Borders au Palm Springs Film Festival Prize, the France Télévisions au Festival de Clermont-Ferrand award for female interpretation, the Festival Off-Courts Jury Prize. In addition, it was nominated for the César 2018 category "for Best Short Film".

Josza Anjembe est une réalisatrice française. En 2016, elle réalise « Le Bleu blanc rouge de mes cheveux ». Un film qui a reçu de nombreux prix notamment le prix Hp Bringing Borders au Palm Springs Film Festival, le prix d’interprétation féminine France Télévisions au Festival de Clermont-Ferrand, le prix du Jury au Festival Off-Courts. Il a également été nommé au César 2018 catégorie « Meilleur Court Métrage ».

30 January 2021

Cinidb.Africa Conversation Series: Jihan El-Tahri

Cinidb.Africa Conversation Series:
Jihan El-Tahri
Streamed live on 28 January 2021
Source: YouTube [

Jihan El-Tahri in conversation with Katarina Hedrén, film critic, film curator.
Jihan is an Egyptian-French director, producer, writer, visual artist and the General Director of Dox Box, a Berlin-based not-for-profit documentary support institution.


29 January 2021

African Women in Cinema: Stories of liberation, war, revolution, resistance, peace and reconciliation

African Women in Cinema: Stories of liberation, war, revolution, resistance, peace and reconciliation

At the inception of African cinemas, women have played a role in documenting Africa in war and conflict in some cases under perilous conditions that have put their lives in jeopardy. Sarah Maldoror (1929-2020) is best known for her activist filmmaking during the African liberation struggles; most notably Sambizanga, released in 1972. Anne-Laure Folly was inspired by the film, following Sarah Maldoror's footsteps thirty years later with her documentary Les Oubliees (1996) about women's lived experiences during and after the liberation war in Angola. Describing Sambizanga as one of the masterpieces of African cinema, Anne-Laure Folly regards Sarah Maldoror as a trailblazer. Sarah Maldoror's story in Sambizanga told from a woman's standpoint, was significant because of the prominent place it positioned women in the struggle for African independence. She asserts, "most importantly, the participation of women in liberation struggles must be shown, because wars will never end unless women participate in making it happen."

Algerian Horria Saihi wanted to highlight a different side of Algerian women involved in political struggles, other than those who are often seen crying at funerals, but rather those who fight. In the documentary Algerie en Femme (loosely translated, Algeria's women, 1996) Horria Saihi presents the political situation in Algeria at the time, a dramatic situation, where each day has its lot of assassinations, destruction, and massacres. The film portrays women of different social categories; peasant women who are illiterate, intellectuals and artists, as well women who take up arms to defend their own lives and the people in their villages: "women in arms and those who fight peacefully, so that life continues, so that Algeria continues to stand on its feet." Anne-Laure Folly looked for an "alternative discourse" not based simply on reason, filled with dates and facts. Treating the problem of war from women's perspectives going beyond analysis and preconceived notions of war and suffering towards lived experiences, "survival, dignity and a sense of hope."

Fanta Nacro's harrowing fiction film, The Night of Truth, traces the dramatic process of truth and reconciliation between two bitter enemies, whose leaders come together in a gesture to end of the conflict. The film is inspired by Fanta Nacro's family history, of her uncle who, accused of inciting a coup, was brutally murdered. Taghreed Elsanhouri's Our Beloved Sudan (2011) documents the breakup of the country that will become two: Sudan and South Sudan. She had this to say about the film: "Regarding the separation I feel we had enough time since independence in 1956 to figure out how to forge a unifying identity. We failed and the consequence has been partition. My concern is about whether we will have the maturity and the leadership to create two new stable nations or whether both new entities will become failed states with all the destructive fallout and suffering that such an outcome implies."

Salem Mekuria's documentary film Sidet (Forced Exile, 1991) focuses on the trials and tribulations of being in exile. The film depicts the experiences of three Ethiopian women who seek refuge in Sudan after leaving the unstable environment of their homeland in the 1970s and 80s due to political unrest and its consequences. Like Anne-Laure Folly, Salem Mekuria also views women's dialogue as an alternative discourse, going beyond western interpretations and accounts to reveal the experiences of a people who "remain buried under the busy rhetoric of disaster and relief." Tanzanian Flora Mmbugu-Schelling highlights the plight of refugee women in These Hands, (1992), a documentary film about the experiences of Mozambican women refugees who work in a Tanzanian quarry outside of Dar es Salaam. Having fled the turmoil and devastation caused by long years of civil war, the women go about their daily toil at the same time continue their cultural practices of singing, dancing, and mothering. In Asylum (2007), Rumbi Katedza focuses her lens on Sudanese refugees in the UK, which is considered a "safe" country, though for the refugees, the psychological effects of their experiences of trauma remain. She reveals that, "you are never safe from the prison that your mind can create for you". Her very brave documentary, The Axe and the Tree, was produced under difficult circumstances, and for security reasons had not been screened in Zimbabwe. She had this to say during an interview with me in 2012 regarding her experience with the film, her process, and audience reactions: “I was approached by producer David Jammy to direct a film about how a community that has experienced conflict and violence is dealing with the repercussions, and how or if they are able to move on. The producers and I decided to work with a group that was already working on a community-healing project, and 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.” Because of the controversial nature of the subject matter, while there have not been personal repercussions for her “the people in the film still live in volatile communities, where the circumstances that created violence in the first place still exist.

Zara Yacoub directs her attention towards the trauma of children who have lived through the experience of war in her docu-drama Les enfants de la guerre (tr. children of war, 1996). She highlights the troubling aftermath of war when international attention has long disappeared and the survivors, women and children, often the most devastated, are left to fend for themselves. This same desire to portray the intimate experiences of children who are victims of war compelled Wanjiru Kinyanjui to tell the story of Gatashya, a ten-year-old boy who managed to survive while his entire family was lost to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda where both Tutsis as well as Hutu sympathizers were massacred.  Filmed in 1996 in Kigali for a German television series, Wanjiru Kinyanjui researched the events for "Rights of Children" that revealed the horrendous experiences of children who watched their fathers and mothers being hacked to death. In the end, she questioned whether it would ever be possible to make a film that was suitable for children who have not gone through war, but all the same, it was horrific for all who viewed it.

Rama Thiaw uses her camera as a weapon: “I wanted the camera to replace the adversary, to face it head on.” Her films explore the inner workings of resistance, rebellion and struggle and what it means to be a socially, politically committed artist: “It is easy to do so when you have money and live in a villa somewhere, but when you have nothing, that is when the act of commitment takes on all of its meaning.”

Similarly, through cinema Pandora Hodge hopes to bring culture back to the country after the devastation of a 14-year civil war in Liberia. With her team of students, and the many enthusiastic volunteers, various venues throughout the local community are used for film screenings: "Through the cinema, [young Liberians] will be able to create a better future for themselves, their generation and their country. "

Concerned that women's experiences, knowledge and capabilities as peace-builders are not taken into account and are largely unnoticed outside the family context, UNESCO sponsored a pan-African Women's Conference on a Culture of Peace held in Zanzibar, Tanzania in 1999 entitled "Women Organize for Peace and Non-Violence in Africa". An objective of the initiative was to gender the issues of disarmament, peace, security and other legal and political matters; areas often considered "gender neutral". The United Nations International Day of Peace encourages sustainable peace for a sustainable future, "both within and among all nations and peoples". These efforts coincide with African women filmmakers' view of women's perspectives on war and peace as an "alternative discourse" to the masculinist rationalizations that are generally proffered. By focusing on the issues of war and conflict, of peace and reconciliation from a woman's perspectives, African women in cinema are joining the efforts of the cohort of women throughout the continent as they search for ways that challenge the perverse logic of violent conflict. Many of their stories go beyond the outward effects of war and violence to explore the psychological and social aftermath and their manifestations as it relates to the experiences of women and children; others explore the search for love, hope, dreams, a future.

Report by Beti Ellerson

Following are articles from the African Women in Cinema Blog regarding stories of liberation, war, revolution, resistance, peace and reconciliation:

Aäläm-Wärqe Davidian: Fig Tree (Afrika Film Festival Köln 2019)

Naziha Arebi : Freedom Fields (Afrika Film Festival Köln 2019)

"Papicha: Mounia Meddour in resistance mode" | "Papicha : Mounia Meddour en mode résistance" analysis/analyse by/par Falila Gbadamassi (Africine)

You Come from Far Away, a film by Amal Ramsis (Egypt)

Fatima Sissani : Résistantes, tes cheveux démêlés cachent une guerre de sept ans | your untangled hair hides a seven-year war (Algérie | Algeria)

Rama Thiaw’s Revolution: The Camera as a Weapon

FESPACO 2019 : Desrances by/d’Apolline Traoré (Burkina Faso)

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

Crowdfunding : Pandora Hodge - Kriterion Monrovia - Founder of Liberia’s First Art-House Cinema | Fondatrice du premier cinéma d’art et d’essai au Liberia

FESPACO 2017: Heirs of Vietnam | Heritiers du Vietnam by/de Arlette Pacquit (Martinique)

Judy Kibinge: Scarred: The Anatomy of a Massacre

Nassima Guessoum talks about her film "10949 femmes" (10949 women) of the Algerian revolution

Pocas Pascoal (Angola) : Alda and Maria | Alda et Maria

World Premiere: “The Flying Stars” by Ngardy Conteh George (Sierra Leone-Canada) and Allan Tong – 14 November 2014

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

"Même Pas Mal" (No Harm Done): Nadia El Fani's Double Combat

Rina Jooste : Visualising South African History Across the Divide

Annette Kouamba Matondo: The Duty of Memory and the Case of the Beach Disappearances

A Conversation with Rumbi Katedza

Taghreed Elsanhouri: "Our Beloved Sudan", a film about the partition of the country

Nadia El Fani and the Freedom of Conscience

Mariama Sylla Faye: Tirailleur Marc Gueye, ma plume, mon combat

Nadia el Fani, Ouled Lenine, and a time of revolution

Maria João Ganga's Hollow City

Anne-Laure Folly: African women's voices as alternative discourse. Reflections on the film Les Oubliées

27 January 2021

African Diasporas. Florence Bamba: Numéro 10 (Congo-France)

Florence Bamba

Numéro 10 (2020)
Congo-France - Fiction - 13m42s


Awa, a young law student who has a passion for soccer, is a regular among her neighborhood friends during practice. But her passion is not shared by everyone.

Awa, étudiante en droit, se passionne pour le football qu'elle pratique dans son quartier. Sa passion n'est toutefois pas du goût de tout le monde.



Florence Bamba grew up in France, in Sartrouville, in a neighborhood called "Cité des Indes". Her father is from Congo and her mother from Senegal. She studied performing arts at Saint-Denis University (Paris 8). She joined the "La Ruche" writing residence at the Gindou film theater.

Florence Bamba, a grandi en France à Sartrouville, dans le quartier « Cité des Indes ». Son père est d’origine congolaise et sa mère sénégalaise. Elle a un licence d’Arts du spectacle à l’université de Saint- Denis (Paris 8). Ensuite elle est intégrée dans la résidence d’écriture « La Ruche » au Gindou Cinéma.


Recent Films. Fama Reyane Sow: Anonymes (Senegal)

Fama Reyane Sow
Anonymes (2020)
Senegal - Drama - 13min


Anonymes spans the day in the life of a girl--her family, her friends, her job and her dreams. Through her inner voice the spectator discovers her world and thoughts, revealing the stories of her imaginaire. She traverses her daily routines, her day ending as it begins.

Anonymes raconte l'histoire d'une jeune fille le temps d'une journée, sa famille, ses amis, son travail et ses rêves. On découvre son univers et ses pensées à travers la voix qu'elle a dans la tête, et ses histoires imaginaires. Sans ne se douter de rien, elle vit sa routine quotidienne sans savoir comment va se terminer la journée.

Bio: Fama Reyane Sow

Co-founder of Khaleebi Prod. Her debut film Anonyme, premiered at the Dakar Court Film Festival in December 2020.

Co-fondatrice de Khaleebi Prod. Anonyme, son premier film, a été présenté dans le cadre du Dakarcourt en decembre 2020.


25 January 2021

Raising Awareness. Noelle Kenmoe's "Deux avril" (2 April), a film about children with autism in Africa

Raising Awareness. Noelle Kenmoe's "Deux avril" (2 April), a film about children with autism in Africa

Noëlle Kenmoe
Deux avril (2nd of April)
Cameroun | Cameroun - 79min - 2019

2 Avril traces the daily life of a couple, parents of an autistic child, raising awareness and challenging society, regarding the realities of this disability.

In Africa autistic children are marginalized and rejected because they are considered to be reincarnations of the devil, crazy and more. Hence, to be autistic in Africa is not only a handicap or a disorder, it is also a social condemnation.

However, autism is a neuro-developmental disorder which manifests itself before the age of 3 and which affects reciprocal social interactions, communication and behavior of a restricted, repetitive and stereotypical nature.

There is currently no cure for autism. But, for many children, the signs will improve with specific and appropriate management. As they grow up, some autistic people manage to lead a normal or near-normal life, and are even able to achieve socio-professional integration into society. But all of this comes at a cost.

En Afrique les enfants autistes sont encore marginalisés et rejetés car considérés comme des réincarnations du diable, des tarés et plus encore. Être donc autiste en Afrique n’est pas seulement un handicap ou un trouble, c’est aussi une condamnation sociale.

Or, l'autisme est un trouble neuro-développemental qui se manifeste avant l'âge de 3 ans et qui affecte les interactions sociales réciproques, la communication et le comportement à caractère restreint, répétitif et stéréotypé.

Aucun traitement ne permet à l’heure actuelle de guérir l’autisme. Mais, pour beaucoup d’enfants, les signes s’amélioreront avec une prise en charge spécifique et adaptée. En grandissant, certains autistes parviennent à mener une vie normale ou quasi-normale, et même avoir une insertion socio-professionnelle. Mais tout ceci a un coût.

Noelle Kenmoe à travers son long métrage "2 avril" à réussi à retracer le quotidien d'un couple parents d'un enfant autiste afin de sensibiliser et interpeller la société sur les réalités de cet handicap.

Bio: Noëlle Kenmoe

Actress, filmmaker, scriptwriter, producer.

Actrice, réalisatrice, scénariste, productrice

Source: Association Ndolo Pour Tous

21 January 2021

African Woman of the Moving Image: Practicing Beauty, Redefining Femininity, Re-imagining Representations of Womanhood

African Woman of the Moving Image: Practicing Beauty, Redefining Femininity, Re-imagining Representations of Womanhood

Focusing their camera on practices of beauty, African women of the moving image investigate, among other related issues, societal notions of femininity, as well as the politics of aesthetics, the importation and internalization of Eurocentric normative standards of women's beauty, experiences and mythologies around hair, the practice of depigmentation in order to attain a perceived beauty derived from light skin, that in Dr Hadja Maï Niang's view, glamorizes skin lightening, to the detriment of 'blackness'". Mame Woury Thioubou's inquiry into practices of beauty probes women's self-fashioning and the characteristics that embody notions of elegance. Problematizing aesthetics choices and expressions of beauty, she investigates the reasons why women resort to artifices to feel beautiful, and in so doing, to what need are they submitting.

Following are related articles from the African Women in Cinema Blog on discourses of beauty as practiced by women of African descent.

"Papicha: Mounia Meddour in resistance mode" | "Papicha : Mounia Meddour en mode résistance" analysis/analyse by/par Falila Gbadamassi

Chez Jolie Coiffure by/de Rosine Mfetgo Mbakam (Cameroon/Cameroun)

Cinéma au féminin (Kinshasa) : Meduse, Cheveux Afro et Autres Mythes | Medusa, Afro hair and other myths by/de Adèle Albrespy, Johanna Makabi

Comfort Arthur’s animation film “Black Barbie” deals with skin bleaching in Ghana and Africa

Pretty, a documentary series that focuses on the perceptions of beauty by women of the global African diaspora

Ng'endo Mukii’s animation/mixed-media film: Yellow Fever, about African women and skin bleaching

This Colour that Disturbs Me | Cette couleur qui me dérange : Khady Pouye sounds the alarm on the practice of xessal (skin bleaching) by Mame Woury Thioubou

Mame Woury Thioubou: Face to Face, Women and Beauty in St. Louis (Senegal)

Akosua Adoma Owusu’s Triple Consciousness

Report by Beti Ellerson

The title is inspired by Hudita N. Mustafa's PhD thesis, Practicing Beauty: Crisis, Value and the Challenge of Self-Mastery in Dakar, 1970-1994, Harvard University, 1998.

16 January 2021

Pavillon Afriques Chronicles presents "Strategizing the Post-Covid Era: Working Together to Elevate the African Continent Film Industry" - 28 January 2021

Pavillon Afriques Chronicles presents "Strategizing the Post-Covid Era: Working Together to Elevate the African Continent Film Industry" - 28 January 2021


Looking beyond the current situation, the focus will be on solutions to implement now and in the long run. About action, not just talk.

Date And Time
Thursday, 28 January 2021
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM CET

It's free! Register here to receive the Zoom link to the event.
The number of seats is limited

Angela Martins - African Union Senior Cultural Officer
Femi Odugbemi - Academy Director, Multichoice Group (West Africa)
Jackie Motsepe - KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission, COO (South Africa)
Jimmy Jean-Louis - Actor / Producer - Ambassador at large to Haiti
Marinda Stein - Filmmaker, Namibia Film Commission Board member

Hortense Assaga, journaliste
Karine Barclais, Pavillon Afriques, founder

15 January 2021

Recent films. Muneera Sallies: Twisted Christmas

Muneera Sallies
Twisted Christmas
South Africa
Comedy - 82min - 2020


Themes of reconciliation and family unity drive this local Christmas comedy. After losing everything, a wealthy family spends Christmas with their Muslim landscaper and his family. Together, they celebrate “Mubarak” Christmas and learn the true meaning of family.


Muneera Sallies is a South African director, producer and writer from Cape Town.

To view follow link to Showmax:

14 January 2021

À l’œuvre en cinéma! Des femmes en Afrique et au Moyen Orient : Programme journées d’étude des 29-30 janvier 2021

À l’œuvre en cinéma! Des femmes en Afrique et au Moyen Orient 

Programme journées d’étude des 29-30 janvier 2021


En lançant le projet « Les filières cinématographiques en Afrique et au Moyen-Orient au prisme du genre : Enjeux, questionnements et terrains » par le biais de l’appel à articles publié fin 2018, nous revendiquions une démarche innovante qui consistait à interroger au prisme du genre et dans une approche comparative, le fonctionnement des filières du cinéma dans leurs dimensions professionnelle, créative et culturelle. Notre volonté était de mettre en lumière des parcours individuels en interrogeant la méthode, et d’entamer une démarche patrimoniale de recueil de données sur des pays et/ou métiers qui n’en disposent pas (ou de manière parcellaire) afin de rendre compte de l’accès genré aux différentes activités de la production, mais aussi de la circulation et de la valorisation des films. L’enjeu de ces journées sera de valoriser les premiers résultats obtenus, à paraître prochainement dans À l’œuvre en cinéma : Des femmes en Afrique et au Moyen Orient, de faire un bilan des recherches menées, de réfléchir à la méthodologie, aux démarches privilégiées, aux difficultés rencontrées, afin d’envisager dans une discussion collective de cette expérience, les moyens de développer et d’approfondir les questionnements et les terrains, d’évoquer les points aveugles et faire émerger les axes de réflexion qui nous semblent les plus pressants. Ces journées bilan constitueront par là-même une étape cruciale du développement du nouveau projet « Création collective au cinéma en Afrique et au Moyen Orient : activités techniques et créatives au prisme du genre et des générations » qui sera lancé dès que les conditions sanitaires le permettront.


Pour toute information, contacter ou 

Pour participer aux différentes sessions, un formulaire d’enregistrement est à votre disposition, contactez-nous : Vous recevrez un mail avec l’ensemble de renseignements et le lien de connexion. 

Vendredi 29 janvier 2021

Matinée: Penser les héritages comme leur absence

Introduction : Patricia Caillé, Raluca Calin, Hülya Tanriöver 

9h-9h45 – Mot d’accueil : Hülya Uğur Tanriöver et Ayse Toy Par 

9h45 – 11h15 – Session n⁰1 –  Parcours singuliers: quel héritage ? – Modératrice: Hülya Uğur Tanriöver

Claude Forest (Paris Sorbonne Nouvelle, IRCAV), “Andrée Davanture, monteuse. Un œil à l’écoute”

Marie-Pierre Ulloa (Stanford University), “Mise en mots de la mise en scène : le cas Gitai-Sanselme”

Patricia Caillé (Université de Strasbourg, CREM), Heiny Srour, reconstitution d’un parcours aux marges du cinéma libanais

11h15-11h30 – Pause 

11h30 – 13h00 – Session n⁰2 – Revisiter l’histoire du cinéma : rendre compte de l’héritage laissé par les pionnières – Modératrice: Raluca Calin 

Anna-Marie Jansen Van Vuuren (Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria), Representing Suffrage and Female Agency within the South African Film industry: the Role and Influence of Director Katinka Heyns 

Alejandra Val Cubero (Universidad Carlos III, Madrid), Nujoom Alghanem: Filming in the United Arab Emirates 

Ons Kamoun (ESAC/IRMC, Tunis), Kahena Attia, un combat pour une inaltérable intelligence du montage

Après-midi: Femmes en activité dans les secteurs du cinéma

14h15 – 16h15 – Session n⁰3 – Des femmes dans les filières nationales: Enjeux de la transformation des regards – Modératrice: Patricia Caillé

Gülsenem Gün et Hülya Uğur Tanriöver (Festival FILMMOR, Université de Giresun), Les femmes qui “osent faire” leurs films en Turquie

Lambert Ndzana (Paris Sorbonne Nouvelle, IRCAV), La présence des femmes dans l’activité cinématographique au Cameroun 

Raluca Calin (Université d’Avignon, LCC), (R)évolutions tacites : trajectoires cinématographiques éthiopiennes

Florence Martin (Goucher College, Baltimore), Lamia Chraibi, parcours d’une productrice marocaine

16h15-16h30 – Pause

16h30-18h15 – Table ronde : Des femmes à l’œuvre en cinéma: Accéder et maintenir une activité en cinéma en Afrique et au Moyen Orient

Modératrice: Hülya Ugur Tanriöver

Naïma Bachiri, monteuse, Suisse et Maroc

Deniz Eyüboğlu, cheffe opératrice, Turquie

Christelle Magne, cheffe opératrice, Cameroun

Yağmur Misirlioğlu, première assistante de réalisation, Turquie

Océane Étincelle Nyetam, cheffe opératrice, monteuse, Cameroun

Samedi 30 janvier 2021

Matinée : Comment contester, intégrer et collaborer ?

9h00-10h30 – Session n⁰4 : Capacité d’agir et contestation de l’ordre établi

Modératrice: Ayse Toy Par

Salima Tenfiche (Université de Paris, CERILAC), La place des femmes dans le cinéma algérien contemporain, un indicateur d’affranchissement vis-à-vis de l’Etat.

Emna Mrabet (Université de Paris 8, ESTCA), Femmes réalisatrices en Tunisie : une tradition révolutionnaire ?

Stéphanie Pourquier-Jacquin (CNAM-Inseac, DICEN-Idf), Les réalisatrices qataries, vitrine d’un cinéma en devenir ?

10h30-10h45 – Pause

10h45-13h15 – Atelier de préparation au projet CREACOLCIN « Création collective au cinéma en Afrique et au Moyen Orient : activités techniques et créatives au prisme du genre et des générations » du réseau HESCALE qui sera mené au printemps et à l’été 2021. Réservé aux participant.e.s du projet

13h15-13h30 – Conclusions du colloque

Comité d’organisation  et responsabilité scientifique: Patricia Caillé (Université de Strasbourg, CREM EA 3476), Raluca Calin (Université d’Avignon, LCC), Aurore Renaut (Université de Lorraine, CREM EA 3476), Hülya Uğur Tanriöver (Université de Giresun, FILMMOR), Ayse Toy Par (Université de Galatasaray, MEDIAR)

07 January 2021

Comedy and Humor in the Works of African Women of the Moving Image

Comedy and Humor in the Works of African Women of the Moving Image

Malian actress Hélène Maïmouna Diarra notes the important role of the Koteba Theatre tradition of the country, which employs satire and burlesque comedy to make critical commentary regarding a variety of societal issues, such as power and gender.

After viewing the Malian film Taafa Fanga at FESPACO in 1997, Lucy Gebre-Eghziabher was convinced that humor has its place in African cinema, that films should not be only about sending messages and exploring politicized issues. During our interview she expressed delight that African films could be funny as well. She realized that there is also a role for comedy even when the topic has significant consequences, such as issues of power, the fight for gender equality, health, and economic survival. For instance, in her short Les pasteques du Cheikh (2019), Kaouther ben Hania's satirical comedy reveals the inner workings of power. Moreover, British-Sierra Leonean has a fascination for "the humor that comes from the many contradictions in our existence and I don't think that you have to be gloomy and preachy about life to make a point."

There is a universal comedy of representations of power, generational and gender conflicts that are easily employed in films with the specificities of each culture.

Fanta Régina Nacro uses humor to interrogate Burkinabé customs, and its relationship between tradition and modernity. In Le truc de Konaté (1998) she deals with the issues around the use of condoms for the prevention of AIDS, and subtly addresses the practice of polygamy. Similarly, Rumbi Katedza confronts social norms and the expectations of tradition with comedy and farce, pocking fun of customs that may be viewed as "outdated" in modern Zimbabwe. In our interview she had this to say about her 2011 film, Playing Warriors: "our lives are full of conflicts and contradictions, and this is what I show in the film, and I encourage audiences to allow themselves to laugh at those realities, reflect on them and challenge them."

Comedy and humor are often employed in web series and sitcom genres, as the lives and drama of the everyday continue from one episode to the next; with intrigue and suspense embedded in the short timeline of events. Akre Loba Diby Melyou guarantees that laughs will abound with the busy-body neighbor in her series entitled Blog. Mary-Noel Niba employs subtle humor in her series Mary and Jane about the good-natured sibling rivalry of two sisters in search of social mobility and job success in the urban city. Aminata Diallo-Glez's Three Women, One Village reveals the gender dynamics within a small village, reversing the plot of the previous comedy series, Three Men, One Village, this time with the women in charge. Dolapo "LowlaDee" Adeleke's wildly popular internet-broadcast films include humor and comedy in its dramatic plots. Similarly, Marguerite Abouet's animation film, Aya of Yopou City is well suited for comedy, while the every day dramas are played out with dancing, reconciliation, wit and humor.

In 2017, FESTICO, the Cameroonian-based International Festival of Comedy hosted a colloquium to explore the role of comedy and its impact on women of the moving image. Thus, highlighting the growing interest of African women towards humor and comedic expression in their work.

Report by Beti Ellerson

Following are related articles published on the African Women in Cinema Blog:

Dolapo Adeleke's Just in Time on Netflix

Afropolitaine la webserie 100% Afro

Mary-Noel Niba's Mary and Jane

Nicole Amarteifio: Before the Vows

 Kaouther ben Hania's : Les pasteques du Cheikh

FESPACO 2019: Blog de/by Akre Loba Diby Melyou (Côte d’Ivoire) 

FESPACO 2019: Caribbean Girl NYC (Une Guadeloupéenne à NYC) by/de Mariette Monpierre 

Festival International des Images Comiques (FESTICO) : L’impact de la femme dans la comédie | Women's Impact on the Comedy Genre - 2017 (Cameroun)

Issa Rae: Golden Globe Award 2017 Nominee - Musical or Comedy Insecure

Wanjiru Njendu launches Seed and Spark crowdfunding for “Reghost” and “Black Licorice” film projects 

Nigerian-American Yvonne Orji's First-Gen sitcom pilot web series

Awkward is the New Black: A documentary about Senegalese-American Issa Rae 

Aminata Diallo-Glez: 3 femmes, 1 village (3 women, 1 village) 

Victoria Marcellina Thomas: A Portrait

06 January 2021

A decade, going forward : (JCFA) Cinema Days of African Women of the Moving Image - Journées cinématographiques de la femme africaine

A decade, going forward : (JCFA) Cinema Days of African Women of the Moving Image - Journées cinématographiques de la femme africaine

The Journées cinématographiques de la femme africaine - JCFA (Cinema Days of African Women of the Moving Image)  was launched in 2010 under the auspices of FESPACO. The event takes place every two years alternating with FESPACO--thus providing African women stakeholders in cinema a visible presence. Its objective is to promote African women in the cinematic landscape, to examine the challenges that they face in the profession, and to network and establish lasting relationships with other festivals of its kind around the world. The JCFA takes place in the form of a gala though no prizes are awarded. The selected films, however, receive participation trophies called "the Sarraounia".

Burkinabé Laurentine Bayala, filmmaker, film activist and organizer, who also is one of the JCFA journalists who covers the festival events, had this to say:

"I think it's a great initiative that also promotes women's work…It an opportunity for women to discuss the many challenges in cinema. The festival has as objective to promote African films made by women."


2010 - The first edition, which launched the JCFA, took place from 3 to 7 March 2010 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

2012 - The second edition of the JCFA was held 3 to 8 March 2012 in Ouagadougou and Dédougou, Burkina Faso, around the theme "Women, cinema and professional training". In addition to the objectives highlighted in the theme, the goal of African women in cinema is to effect change in societal norms that impede their development, and to work towards a real future for African women in this milieu.

2014 - The third edition of the JCFA was held from 3 to 7 March 2014 in Ouagadougou and Banfora, host of the International Women's Day celebrations.  There were a variety of screenings, workshops, and symposia around the theme “Women’s Cinemas in Africa”.
Follow link for the announcement on the African Women in Cinema Blog:

2016 - The fourth edition of the JCFA, under the theme, "the actress in the creation of African cinema" took place in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso from 3 to 7 March 2016.
Follow link on the report by Laurentine Bayala on the African Women in Cinema Blog:

2018 - The fifth edition of the JCFA, held from 2 to 7 March 2018, in Ouagadougou, focused on the theme "the African woman professional meeting the challenges of the digital age". The event included film screenings, a panel on the theme and training workshops on acting, shooting and digital editing.
Follow links on African Women in Cinema Blog of the three-part report compiled by Editor in Chief Laurentine Bayala:
Report - Part III: Journées Cinématographiques de la Femme Africain de l'Image | African Women Image Makers Cinema Days 2018

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

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

2020 - The sixth edition of the JCFA, was held in Ouagadougou from 2 to 7 March 2020 under the theme, “Cinema, Gender and Fighting Violence Against Women”. The theme is a follow up of the revelations at the FESPACO in 2019 during which at a gathering of women the discussion of harassment and violence against women professional within the cinema industry.
Follow links on the African Women in Cinema Blog:
Of the announcement of JCFA 2020
At #Metoo and FESPACO

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