24 February 2021
New York African Film Festival 2021: Amina Weira discusses "La Colère dans le vent | Anger in the Wind"
23 February 2021
2021 marks the 30-year anniversary of the historic meeting of African women film professionals held at the 12th edition of Fespaco in Ouagadougou. In 1991, as part of the festival programme, the gathering was organized under the title "Women, Cinema, Television and Video in Africa”.
The principle objectives were: to establish an environment to exchange views, to create a framework for free expression, to elaborate an action program, to fast-track women’s integration at all levels of the cinematic process, to present a woman’s perspective of the world, to have power over their own images, to mobilize funds and human resources.
During this historic meeting the participants formulated strategies for the professionalization of African women of the moving image and for effective leadership as directors, producers, organizers, actors, critics and other filmmaking professionals. Hence, setting in motion the groundwork for what would become the visual media network called L'Association des femmes africaines professionnelles du cinéma, de la télévision et de la vidéo/The Association of Professional African Women in Cinema, Television and Video.
The momentum of this moment forged an enduring movement, cultivating an African women’s cinema culture throughout these past three decades; towards the empowerment of women in all realms on the cinematic landscape. The concretization of many of these ideas provided the requisite tools for their implementation on local, regional, continental and international levels. The fruits of these efforts are particularly visible in the institutions that form the future generations of professionals of visual media. Moreover, the recent initiatives from Africa of the past several years demonstrate both the potentially important role of the Internet, social media and new technologies, and the genuine effort to galvanize this energy in order to globalize the experiences of African women of the moving image.
Image: Poster of the 1991 Women's Meeting, from the African Women in Cinema Collection
18 February 2021
Aïssa Maïga: "Regard Noir" about representation of Black Women on the Screen | La representation des femmes noires à l'écran - March 16 on Canal+
En français : bfmtv.com Aïssa Maïga sort un documentaire [https://www.bfmtv.com/people/cinema/aissa-maiga-sort-un-documentaire-sur-la-representation-des-femmes-noires-a-l-ecran_AN-202102180161.html]
Activist and actress Aïssa Maïga passes behind the camera with her first film "Regard Noir", co-directed with Isabelle Simeoni. The film journeys to Brazil, the USA and France tracing the representation of black women on the screen. Broadcast on Canal+, the film debuts on March 16.
Read also on the African Women in Cinema Blog
Influential Women – Aïssa Maïga, Actress: "Read. Think. Create." An interview by Pamela Pianezza
Être actrice noire en France: (dé)jouer les imaginaires par/by LUCIE ANDRÉ [To Be a Black Actress in France: (un)playing imaginaries]
17 February 2021
Just in Time, written, directed and co-produced by Nigerian filmmaker Dolapo "LowlaDee" Adeleke, premieres on Netflix in March 2021. The comedy drama, shot in Nairobi, features Kenyan actress, Sarah Hassan who is the producer.
Plan B on YouTube [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1Hii5thnhI]
This Is It on YouTube [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erxLaRHHPhY]
16 February 2021
The CNA, Cinéma Numérique Ambulant Afrique (Mobile Digital Cinema-Africa) : facing the challenges of/face à la COVID-19
From the CNA Newsletter August 2020 (translation from French): Le Cinéma Numérique Ambulant Afrique (Mobile Digital Cinema-Africa) : facing the challenges of Covid-19.
Interviews with the CNA Afrique president Kadidia Sidibe, who is also president of CNA Mali and Stéphanie Dongmo, president of CNA Cameroon.
The CNA is an international network of not-for-profit associations. The CNA Afrique, headquartered in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, is present in 10 countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Central Africa and France). Committed to the rights of the artist (copyright laws) CNA Africa is dedicated to the distribution of (subtitled) African and European cinemas as it relates to Culture and Development.
Presentation of the structure and the different activities currently in progress.
Established in Mali in 2004 with a European Union-grant, the CNA Mali is a cultural association that presents films to populations, in both rural and urban areas (cities and villages, in public spaces or university campuses, etc.) regardless of the social status of the beneficiaries. Its motto is “CINEMA FOR ALL, CINEMA EVERYWHERE. "
What has been the impact of Covid-19 on your activities?
Our activities have been on pause since the start of Covid-19 in March. Gatherings of more that 50 people are prohibited, as a result our projects have been postponed or actually cancelled. We are obliged to limit our spending to essential expenditures only. If these measures continue to be enforced based on the evolution of the situation, a technical layoff will have to be imposed on half of the staff, and they will be given notice in time to adjust to the situation.
What strategies employed currently as a result of the health crisis?
There is not much work at the moment. We made proposals to our various partners but due to the [Covid-related] measures adopted by the authorities, there has been no favorable response at the moment. We have tried to be innovative but the feedback from donors is rather hesitant, not to go as far as saying non-existent.
What are some of the proposals to remedy the situation and to work better in this context?
Among other things, we have submitted scenarios for the production of short films to raise awareness regarding Covid-19. There are ongoing discussions but we are still waiting for something concrete. As for future projections, they are slow to come. Nonetheless, we are continuing to discuss possible research for solutions so that common projects can be implemented but that too seems to have not garnered results.
Interview with Stéphanie Dongmo
Presentation of the structure and the different activities currently in progress.
Created in January 2012, the CNA Cameroon is headquartered in Yaoundé. It organizes an average of 150 screenings per year for audiences who do not generally have access to the arts and culture.
Since September 2019, the CNA has led the “Cine-debate for peace” project with the support of "Culture at Work" and the co-financing of the European Union in the regions most affected by the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon, in particular the North-West, South-West, West, Littoral and Central. The first phase of this project consisted of the creation of "micro-sidewalks" in which the populations of the five regions of the project give their opinion on this crisis which has lasted for three years, and talk about how their lives continue to be affected. These "micro-sidewalks" were then broadcast in forty localities of the target regions, which triggered debates on cultural diversity, living together and peace.
The second phase entails the organization of three conferences on peace. The first in Yaoundé, the second in Douala and the third in Dschang. Professionals in the culture sector, community leaders, heads of organizations working in the field, religious leaders… will reflect on solutions to end the crisis and the construction of peace, beyond lines of division.
The second project we are working on is an awareness campaign on sexual and reproductive health in the Noun department, in western Cameroon, in partnership with the NGO Médecins du monde Suisse. This project was interrupted due to Covid-19, but we are working to relaunch it.
How has Covid-19 affected your activities?
Because of Covid 19 we were forced to stop all our activities. We can no longer meet deadlines, we are obliged to resort to amendments. For three long months, we could not work and our projection team came to a standstill.
What are strategies employed currently as a result of the health crisis?
We plan to organize screenings in movie theaters starting in August, with a maximum of 50 participants in order to adhere to the measures enforced by the Cameroonian government. We will respect social distancing by placing the spectators at least 1 meter apart, by requiring that masks be worn in order to participate in the activity and ensuring that everyone washes their hands when entering the space. We will also integrate Covid-19 awareness into our activities.
What are some of the proposals to remedy the situation and to work better in this context?
Digital technology and social networks have proven to be a powerful tool for communication and for maintaining social ties during this period. This should be taken into account in our future projects.
09 February 2021
2019 - Fiction - 84mins
Set in Merkato, a sprawling, open-air market in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Min Alesh? tells the inspiring story of 21-year-old Selam, whose perseverance transforms her life for the better. Having grown up amid poverty and hardships, Selam is determined to change her and her family’s circumstances through her passion for running. An international race offers her a chance to achieve her dream.
08 February 2021
The passing of Moufida Tlatli - Décès de Moufida Tlatli (1947 - 2021)
La réalisatrice scénariste et monteuse Moufida Tlatli est décédée, le 7 février, à l’âge de 74 ans, a annoncé la presse tunisienne. Née en 1947, Moufida Tlatli a étudié le cinéma à Paris, avant de travailler à la télévision française comme scénariste et directrice de production.
De retour en Tunisien en 1972, elle reçoit d’abord une distinction de mérite pour l’ensemble des années passées comme monteuse, avant de connaître le succès avec le film « Commentira awwalane », et de s’intéresser ensuite à la réalisation et signer son premier long métrage « Les silences du palais » en 1994.
Filmmaker, scriptwriter, film editor Moufida Tlatli died the 7th of February at the age of 74, the Tunisian press announced. Born in 1947, Moufida Tlatli studied cinema in Paris before working at the French television as screenwriter and director of production.
Upon on her return to Tunisia in 1972, she received a distinction of merit for the ensemble of her time as film editor, before attaining success with the film "Commentira awwalane" and later, she pursued her interest in directing, with her first feature film "Silences of the palace" in 1994.
Source: Image & Texte: El Watan
07 February 2021
New York African Film Festival 2021 - Visions of Africa: discussion with Gaston Kaboré, Ngozi Onwurah, Amjad Abu Alala and Hlumela Matika moderated by June Givanni
WEDNESDAY, FEB 10 AT 2PM
NYAFF Free Zoom Talk: Visions of Africa
To celebrate the 28th NYAFF and Black History Month, join the special panel discussion on the past, present, and future of African cinema with the filmmakers Gaston Kaboré (Wend Kuuni; Buud Yam), Ngozi Onwurah (The Body Beautiful, Shoot the Messenger), Amjad Abu Alala (You Will Die at Twenty) and Hlumela Matika (Tab). Moderated by curator and scholar June Givanni.
UPDATED TO INCLUDE DISCUSSION
06 February 2021
Cascade Festival of African Films 2021
This year, the festival will be held virtually. Read the FAQs about watching films in the virtual format.
The Cascade Festival of African Films is the longest running annual, non-profit, non-commercial, largely volunteer-run African Film Festival in the United States.
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.
Source-Text and Image: Cascade Festival of African Films
A spotlight on trailblazer Fanta Régina Nacro from Burkina Faso features several of her short films:
New York African Film Festival
Film at Lincoln Center's Virtual Cinema
04 February 2021
Malian filmmaker Hawa Aliou N’Diaye believes that she is possessed by a jinn. In this documentary, she interviews other women in her community who also believe that they are controlled by jinn, which in some cases claim to be their husbands. Delving into Malian traditions and myths, N’Diaye explores the ethereal dimensions of the world around her.
Source (Text and Image):
The 28th New York African Film Festival - Virtual Edition 2021 - Notes from Home: Recurring Dreams and Women's Voices
Notes from Home: Recurring Dreams and Women's Voices
February 4 to March 4
Featuring Fanta Régina Nacro Retrospective
Presented by Film at Lincoln Center (FLC), Maysles Cinema and AFF, the 28th New York African Film Festival explores the theme, Notes from Home: Recurring Dreams and Women's Voices, with a virtual program celebrating the shared aspirations that drive humanity through time and the voices of the women who push the culture forward while preserving treasured traditions.
The festival will be presented in FLC’s Virtual Cinema from February 4 to 14 and in the Maysles Virtual Cinema from February 18 to March 4.
To purchase tickets to view the films follow the link:
Source: Press Release
Festival Schedule: https://africanfilmny.org/festival/2021-schedule/
Watch the festival introduction by Executive Director and NYAFF Founder Mahen Bonetti
01 February 2021
Stories of the coming of age experiences of girls throughout their adolescence are among a range of compelling films by African women in cinema, visual media and screen culture. Discovering their bodies, sexuality, love; growing into their own identity; in search of independence from the impositions of family and society, these films span a range of intimate and dramatic storytelling.
Coming-of-age moments explore a diversity of themes: from traditional initiations to rituals passed on from generation to generation; from a traumatic life-altering event to soul-searching and self-discovery. This transition phase may be influenced by a life-changing circumstance that would change the trajectory of a girl's life such as the death of a parent, or other dramatic changes in the family, an encounter with a person who serves as a mentor, or an experience that transforms her outlook on the world. While these situations may take place at any point on the timeline of one's life, its influence during adolescence has a profound impact on an already-developing personality.
Safi Faye's Mossane (1996) was inspired by her daughter who at the time of the film's conception was 14 years old--moment that she describes as a magical age: "When you have a fourteen-year-old daughter her changes are visible to you; each photo is different from the others, yet the girl is always the same. There are transformations that a mother perceives in her daughter at that age. This is what I wanted to sculpt. I wanted to recreate a beauty that exists only at this age. Afterwards, she would be too old; before, she was too young. Before, she did not respond, and after that age of fourteen she complains: Mama I don't want this, I don't want that."
Safi Faye's Mossane offers a complexity of coming-of-age moments experienced by the eponymous character. Love, sexuality, rebellion, resistance, morality--all of which Mossane must confront to find her place, to discover who she is--torn between tradition and modernity, "rebellion and effacement".
Moreover, African women's films include emerging adolescent girls on the precipice of discovery and maturing adolescents at the eve of womanhood. Others explore rituals and ceremonies that mark the rites of passage inherent in the coming-age-experience. Ngozi Onwurah's Monday's Girls (1993) comes to mind, which portrays the parallel experiences of two young Waikiriki women of Nigeria as the community prepares for the iria women's initiation ceremony. Florence, embraces the ritual while Azikiwe resists.
In New Eyes by Hiwot Admasu Getaneh, 12-year-old Salem, while at the riverside, stumbles upon a couple making love. Upheaveled by the emotions that this encounter engenders she struggles to understand the sensual feelings and desires that emerge within her.
Other adolescent girls endure the harsh realities of life as they are thrust on their own to find their way alone. Alda and Maria (2012) by Pocas Pascoal, traces the journey of two sisters, 16 and 17 years old as they fend for themselves in Lisbon awaiting their mother who ultimately does not make the voyage from worn-torn Angola.
Machérie Ekwa Bahango's Makila (2018), follows the eponymous 19-year-old, who has lived in the streets of Kinshasa since she was 13 years old. Coming of age in a traumatic and violent existence driven by survival instinct, she decides to follow another path.
As I Open My Eyes (2015) by Layla Bouzid traces the evolving consciousness of 18-year-old character Farah throughout the film, as she opens her eyes to life.
Leïla Kilani's On the Edge (2011) captures the urgency of 20-year-old Badia's desperate search for a life that she can live on her own terms; her need to feel a void in pursuit of an elusive existence, always in a frenzy, ever close to the edge.
In Josza Anjembe's Le Bleu Blanc Rouge de mes cheveux (English title: French), 18 year-old Seyna, born and raised in France in a Cameroonian immigrant family, has a close bond with the country she loves. In acquiring French citizenship she is asserting her own identity, finding herself outside the boundaries of her family, which causes tension with her father.
Woman to Woman, by the mother-daughter filmmakers Véronique Doumbé and Malika Franklin focuses on issues relating to being or becoming a woman. While Véronique directs the camera towards mothers of teenagers girls, Malika draws from the rich and sometimes daunting experiences of daughters living and growing up in New York City.
Nana Hadiza Akawala's coming of age experience at the age of fourteen was inspired by Bibata, the family maid who was ten years older. And yet, she was Nana Hadiza Akawala's friend and confident, and her sudden departure left a tremendous void, shattering something deep inside her. Beyond class, power and age differences--was a friendship, and Nana frames her film (Bibata est partie, 2018) around her journey to find Bibata more than ten years later.
These stories are among the many films that explore the diverse experiences of emerging adolescents and soon-to-be adult women. Whether set in Africa or in diverse diasporic locations, the makers endeavor to portray realistic experiences of girls throughout adolescence on the path to womanhood.
Report by Beti Ellerson
Following are related articles from the African Women in Cinema Blog:
Maïmouna Doucouré talks about her film Mignonnes | Cuties
Mayye Zayed: Ash Ya Captain | Lift Like a Girl
28 jours: Jahëna Louisin (Togo)
Maïmouna: Mariam Donda (RDC)
Black Camera: Safi Faye's Mossane, a Song to Women
Bibata est partie | Bibata is gone
Fool God : a film by Hiwot Getaneh
Aalam Warque Davidian: Fig Tree
Meryem Benm’Barek-Aloïsis (Morocco) : Sofia
Papicha by Mounia Meddour : In resistance mode
Dhalinyaro by Lula Ali Ismail
Josza Anjembe: Le bleu blanc rouge de mes cheveux | French
Les silences de Lydie by /de Aissata Ouarma (Burkina Faso)
Malika by Machérie Ekwa Bahango
Tibeb Girls - Animation project by Bruktawit Tigabu (Ethiopia)
La Boxeuse | The Boxing Girl (2016) by/de Iman Djionne (Senegal)
Zinnaariya | The Wedding Ring by Rahmatou Keita
Leyla Bouzid, “A peine j'ouvre les yeux” | “As I Open My Eyes”
Woman to Woman by Véronique Doumbé and Malika Franklin
Hiwot Admasu Getaneh: New Eyes
Pocas Pascoal (Angola) Alda & Maria
Aya de Yopougon, an animation film by Marguerite Abouet