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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24 June 2022

African Women's filmmaking and film activism as Womanist Work

African Women's filmmaking and film activism as Womanist Work
Notes ongoing by Beti Ellerson

Feminisant =  doing womanist work

Safi Faye: Je ne suis pas du tout féministe. Je suis féminisante. Je defends le cas des femmes… I am not at all feminist. I am feministing, I defend the condition of women…

I interpret Safi Faye’s “feminisant”—from the French word “femme”, feminist, female”—as doing womanist work. Womanist, itself an expression coined by afro-descendant women in order to reconceptualize western feminism as defined by white women, which often does not reflect the realities of women of color. Hence this reflection is an exploration of womanist work in African women’s film practices.

Many concepts and terms in Africa women’s filmmaking practices and organizing principles embrace my idea of womanist work: in support of, in defense of the woman’s condition. As in the words of Anne-Laure Folly, framing African women’s experiences as “alternative discourse”.

Some examples include the names of women’s film organizations such as the Kenyan-based Udada, which means sisterhood in Kiswahili. Similarly, the women’s film festival Tazama, “to see”, is also from Kiswahili. In addition, the Cameroonian women’s film organization Mis me Binga literally means “The eyes of women” which I interpret in the context of cinematic discourse as “Women’s Gaze”. In still another example, Puk Nini, the title of Fanta Nacro’s 1996 film, she describes as “open your eyes, be vigilant”. Yewwu, Yewwi, the name of the Senegalese feminist organization, is defined in Wolof as, ‘to become aware in order to be liberated”.
Sarah Maldoror asserts that “African women must be everywhere. They must be in the images, behind the camera, in the editing room and involved in every stage of the making of a film. They must be the ones to talk about their problems”.

Annette Mbaye d'Erneville describes her objective as cultural producer in this way: "The goal is to allow women to express themselves, to be witnesses to their era and to reflect a realistic image of Africa in their own lives."

Assia Djebar’s used her camera as a means to envision the world of women: I thought to myself that the woman has been deprived of an image: She cannot be photographed, she does not even own her image. Since she is shut away, her gaze is on the inside. She can only look at the outside if she is veiled, and then, only with one eye. I decided then, that I would make of my camera this eye of the veiled woman.*
 
Filmmaker and producer Rama Thiaw** draws from Angela Davis’s thoughts to frame the Sabbar Artistiques initiative.
I think that an artist must help the political, cultural, social and collective evolution of her/his society. I firmly believe in this famous quote by Angela Davis: 'the success or failure of a revolution can almost always be gauged by the degree to which the status of women is altered in a radical, progressive direction'.

Traditionally, Sabbars are women's meetings accompanied by traditional Senegalese drumming. Here, based on the same principle, Sabbar Artistiques are women's workshops built around reflection, emotion and transmission. The aim is to create an environment of critical inquiry between African women from the continent and Afro­ descendant and black women from around the world.

*Benesty-Sroka, Ghila, "La Langue et l'exil", La Parole métèque, 21 (1992): p. 24, cited in Littérature et cinéma en Afrique francophone: Ousmane Sembene et Assia Djebar by Sada Niang ed. (Paris: Harmattan, 1996). Translation by Beti Ellerson.
**Excerpted from an interview with Rama Thiaw by Laure Solé in lepetitjournal.com.

Following is a selection of articles from the African Women in Cinema Blog that reflect African women's filmmaking and film activism as womanist work. The selection is continuing…

African women in cinema in conversation at FIFF Festival International du Film de Fribourg
https://africanwomenincinema.blogspot.com/2016/04/claire-angele-nadia-pocas-rama-inen.html

Beti Ellerson: ‘African Women in Cinema’ - Women’s Film Activism
http://africanwomenincinema.blogspot.com/2016/05/beti-ellerson-african-women-in-cinema.html

09 June 2022

Recent films. Babetida Sadjo: Hématome

Babetida Sadjo
Hématome
Belgique - 2021 - fiction - 18min10


Synopsis
Twenty five years later, Judith finally dares to break her silence and to find justice for the rape that she suffered as a child. She bitterly discovers that the trial will not take place. Thirsting for justice, she confronts the pedophile who shattered her life.

About Babetida Sadjo
Babetida Sadjo Belgian-based actress turned filmmaker from Guinea-Bissau interprets the role of Judith in her film Hematome. She had this to say about the film:

"This film was really for me a way of telling the victims who have not had the courage to speak that I hear them. I do hear them because it happened to me too. I have compassion with them. The justice of humanity does not always suffice. How does one continue to live, to continue to be a woman, to full experience her sensuality,  motherhood, without the constant shadow of this trauma?" (From the interview with Anne Feuillère et Harald Duplouis:  https://www.cinergie.be/actualites/babetida-sadjo)
 

06 June 2022

Fan Sissoko: On the Surface (World Festival of Animated Film)

Fan Sissoko: On the Surface
(World Festival of Animated Film)
6-11 June 2022

 
Source: http://www.animafest.hr/en/2022/film/read_all/on_the_surface

Animation - 2021 - Iceland/U.S./Mali - 4min
 
 
 
Synopsis
A young Black woman goes swimming in the Icelandic sea and reflects on her experience of raising a child in a country that feels nothing like home. As she enters the freezing water, she relives her traumatic pregnancy. Being in the wild and facing her fears is helping her heal.

Bio
Fan Sissoko is a French-Malian artist and filmmaker based in Reykjavik, with a background in design for social change. Her work explores themes of migration, motherhood, otherhood and neurodiversity. Her animated short film On the Surface was awarded a grant from Art With Impact, and screened at festivals around the world, including Clermont-Ferrand ISFF (France), Encounters (UK), Ottawa International Animation Festival (CA), Margate Film Festival (UK), Rex Animation Festival (SWE). It won the Heartwired Award at Our Heritage, Our Planet Film Festival (US).

Café court / Short Talk - Fan Sissoko from ClermontFd Short Film Festival on Vimeo.

03 June 2022

Festival de Cinéma Les Teranga 2022 (Thème: Prendre sa place de femme par le cinéma | Taking her place as a woman through cinema) Senegal


Festival de Cinéma Les Teranga 2022
Senegal

Thème:
Prendre sa place de femme par le cinéma
Taking her place as a woman through cinema 
 
3e édition du 29 juin au 2 juillet | 3rd edition 29 June - 2 July 
 
Invité d'honneur | Guest of honor 
Maroc | Morocco

Links


02 June 2022

Under the fig trees : de l'amour à l'ombre des figuiers | Love under the shade of fig trees - a review by Falila Gbadamassi (Afrincine.org)

Under the fig trees : de l'amour à l'ombre des figuiers
Love under the shade of fig trees 
a review by Falila Gbadamassi
published the 25/05/2022 at Africine.org: Link

The first feature film by Franco-Tunisian filmmaker Erige Sehiri, screened at the Directors' Fortnight Cannes 2022.
 
Translation from French by Beti Ellerson. An Africine.org/African Women in Cinema Blog collaboration.

It's harvest day for Fide and his gang composed of Melek, Sana his sister, and Mariam. But for these young Tunisians, finding themselves under the fig trees seems above all an opportunity to put their love life in perspective, or at least to try to (re)build it. The images of the work environment of this agricultural labor force alternate between conversations among the young women and their male alter egos. Hence, Melek finds an old love, Abdou, who had disappeared overnight. The vestiges of love can still be found in the eyes of the young woman. As for Firas and Sana, the relationship begins...

In this closed setting that constitutes a field of figs, Erige Sehiri paints portraits of women and men where a slice of life is played out under these trees. For some it is because this work is a necessary source of income. The gravity of the sequence where the workers receive their pay, plays out side by side with the lightness of another where the four heroines spruce up after a day's work. Then Erige Sehiri's camera scrutinizes their gestures and faces down to the smallest detail.

By filming these details up close, the filmmaker seems to want to offer the viewer a personal encounter with each and every one of her characters. Finally, this feature film by the Franco-Tunisian director relates a bittersweet chronicle about feelings of love, shrouded in a bit of summery slumber.
 

01 June 2022

South African Women in Cinema, Visual Media and Screen Culture

South African Women in Cinema,
Visual Media and Screen Culture
Report by Beti Ellerson

Notes continuing...
 
There are multiple racial, ethnic, religious, and historical signifiers of South African identity and this identification is reflected in the creative expression of the artists. Hence, the inquiry to know: Who are these women makers, cultural producers and workers? How do they negotiate these identities within the often contested terrain that continues to manifest itself decades since the emergence of a democratic and so-called rainbow nation?

The African Women in Cinema Project emerged in 1996, two years after the official end of apartheid, hence my initial focus was on the black women of South Africa and their experiences during this historic moment. Since the creation of the Centre for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema and the African Women in Cinema Blog in 2009 the endeavor has extended, to present the myriad multi-ethnic experiences of South African women, from African, Indian, Malaysian, European origins. Moreover, Audrey T McCluskey's book of interviews, The Devil you Dance with : Film Culture in the New South Africa, released in 2009 attests to the multiple identities of the country.

Masepeke Sekhukhuni, who was a director the Newtown Film and Television School in Johannesburg, noted the importance for black students to understand the implications of cinema/filmmaking practice in terms of identity. As filmmakers they would be shaping a new way of seeing and interpreting cinema and visual media.
 
Legendary screen and stage actor, producer, playwright Thembi Mtshali who played the role of Pat in Mapantsula (directed by Oliver Schmitz and written by Schmitz and Thomas Mogotlane, recalls in a interview with me in 1997 the impact of this social political film produced and released in 1988 during the apartheid era: "That was the first political movie made in South Africa, in the late eighties, during the state of emergency in our country. A lot was happening around us. I remember that the casting was very closed. During the interview, they wanted to understand what your political views were and, of course, they really had to be careful.  Everything was underground. It was done clandestinely.  Finally, we started filming. Most of the shots were done in Soweto, in this woman's house.  Most of the whites who were working with the film were liberals.  The whole thing was done right under the nose of the system, without them knowing it. Before they knew it, the film was outside the country. It was introduced at the Cannes Festival." She was conferred an honorary Doctor of Philosophy in Visual and Performing Arts from Durban University of Technology in May 2022.

Black visual activist Zanele Muholi focuses her lens—both still and moving image—on the experiences of black lesbians.

Embracing the technologies of the new millennium Jabu Nadia Newman’s web series “The Foxy Five” is an intersectional feminist exploration of the lives of its five black protagonists as they confront the myriad issues around gender, sexuality and race. At the same time, she describes the web series format as having the potential of radical feminist expression.

Zulfah Otto-Sallies (1961-2016) explored the lives and histories of the Cape Malay community in the Bo-Kaap society of Cape Town, especially as it relates to intergenerational relationships and attitudes towards tradition versus modernity and the diverse experiences of Cape Muslim society.

Maganthrie Pillay, of Indian descent, directed the pioneering feature film 34 South.

Filmmaker-scholar Jyoti Mistry, also of Indian descent, is a scholar and filmmaker.

The desire to network and empower women in the film and television sectors of South Africa is particularly evident from the grassroots, individual initiatives to the insertion of policies on the governmental level. Following is a selection of initiatives.

Women of the Sun founded in 2005, though no longer active, described its role as "an instrumental organisation promoting women in the film and television industry…provid[ing] vital services to women in the sector." Through its first ever African women film festival in 2010, its aim was to put "African women filmmakers on the map." The Women of the Sun Film Festival ran alongside the African Women Filmmakers' Forum hosted by the Goethe Institute; most of the women who attended the forum also screened works at the festival. Twenty-five women from more than fifteen countries, representing most regions of the continent and the diaspora, convened to discuss as a group the various issues that they had vowed to keep alive since their last respective meetings. The purpose of the event, according to the organizers, was to contribute to existing structures and build upon long-term strategies, thus working alongside African women filmmakers who are already leading the way. The publication Gaze Regimes: Film and Feminisms in Africa. Eds. Antje Schuhmann, Jyoti Mistry. Johannesburg: University of the Witwatersrand, 2015, was one outcome of the African Women Filmmakers' Forum.

Mzansi Women's Film Festival, created in 2014 "celebrates women filmmakers of South Africa, Africa and the World thus to encourage spirit of engagement, collaboration, co-create for a better and screen films about women and by women filmmakers." It's objective is to provide "a platform to empower women filmmakers by showcasing films by women and about women".

Sisters Working in Film and Television (SWIFT) South Africa, currently chaired by Zanele Mtembu, was launched in 2017, as a network of South African women whose focus is the empowerment and advancement of women in the visual media. The next year it partnered with the National Film and Video Foundation on the research for the publication, Gender Matters in the South African Film Industry". The National Film and Video Foundation, an agency of the South African Department of Arts and Culture endeavors to ensure gender parity in all aspect of art and cultural production.

The Durban FilmMart Programme 2021 featured the Film Panel, Africa in Focus: Womxn in Film. The objective of the initiative: to traverse issues of gender equality and safe working spaces, how to go about changing the structures of production and the infrastructure of the industry, while navigating spaces of sexism and other antiquated notions. The panel featured Edima Otuokon of the Ladima Foundation, Zanele Mthembu, current chair of SWIFT and Antoinette Engel of Black Women Disrupt. The conversation explores the newly-created initiatives that challenge the status quo and work towards a more equitable ways of working.

Filmmaker/artist/activist Seipati Bulane-Hopa held the post of Secretary General of FEPACI (Pan African Federation of Filmmakers from 2006 to 2013, the first woman to hold the position.

Similarly, Jackie Motsepe, who served on the all-women-helmed juries at Fespaco 2013, is a producer and film activist.
 
The complexities and ambiguities of discourses in/on South African cinema by some white South African women have often revolved around the vexed history of apartheid and their positionality as white people in the post-1994 South Africa. A few examples explored in the African Women in Cinema Blog: Filmmaker and historian Rina Jooste, an Afrikaans-speaking South African of European descent asserts her identity and claims her experiences as part of African history. She uses filmmaking as a tool to explore the complex layers of South African society with a focus on Afrikaner identity and the collective history of apartheid from both sides. Scotland-based scholar Lizelle Bisschoff acknowledges her white privilege as a White South African and attempts to negotiate that identity in her work and research on African cultural production. In her films and writing, Bridget Thompson examines her evolution as a filmmaker outside of the “white cultural Bantustan into the wider black world intellectually, politically, socially, culturally and spiritually."

While not claiming by any means to be exhaustive, as the country's activities are ever-growing, the African Women in Cinema Blog includes a small selection of voices that are indicative of South African's diversity and wide-ranging initiatives.

Seipati Bulane-Hopa: Fepaci (Pan African Federation of Filmmakers)
 
 
Moikgantsi Kgama's ImageNation

 
Zanele Muholi: Difficult Love

White Women of South Africa Negotiating Identities
Rina Jooste
https://africanwomenincinema.blogspot.com/2012/12/rina-jooste-visualising-south-african.html

31 May 2022

Women of the Screen from the African Diaspora of Canada

Women of the Screen from the African Diaspora of Canada


Cilia Sawadogo and Najwa Tlili were among the early African women filmmakers to make Canada their home to work and live. As a young university student Cilia, of German-Burkina heritage, came to Quebec to study, now decades later she is a professor at Concordia University where she teaches animation cinema. Njawa has made an important contribution to Quebecois screen culture, bringing a perspective that highlights the evolving diversity of Canadian society. She has been especially active at the Vues d'Afrique International Festival, an institution that has been at the forefront in promoting the African and Creole cultures of Canada.

In the past two decades other women have followed their footsteps, migrating from diverse African and Caribbean countries, as well as navigating between European African diasporas or connecting within the global francophonie. For instance, Dorothy A Atabong from Cameroon studied in the U.S. and Canada and navigates between the two locations. Also filmmaker, Lula Ali Ismaïl, based in Canada, has a foot in three continents, in Paris, Montreal and on diverse locations in Africa. Similarly, Malagasy cultural producer Tiana Rafidy followed a similar transnational trajectory. 

With the documentary Into the Light, Togolese filmmaker Gentille M Assih focuses her camera on the empowering life stories of Quebecois women of West African origin, as they attempt to break out of the cycle of domestic violence. Tunisian-born Najwa Tlili brought this phenomenon to light decades before with her film Rupture. She had this to say in the 1997 interview with me: "Rupture is a film that addresses the problem of conjugal violence lived by Arab women in Canada. While doing this film about conjugal violence, I discovered that the complexities of this inquiry are tied to the circumstances of immigration, and the host country and its culture..."

Notes continuing…by Beti Ellerson

Following is a selection of articles focusing on women of the African Diaspora of Canada published on the African Women in Cinema Blog:


Gentille M Assih - Sortir de l’ombre | Into the Light  
https://africanwomenincinema.blogspot.com/2021/04/vues-dafrique-2021-gentille-m-assih.html

Cilia Sawadogo - Presidentes des jurys FESPACO 2019 : Séries télévisuelles et de cinéma d’animation | TV serials and animation
https://africanwomenincinema.blogspot.com/2019/02/cilia-sawadogo-presidentes-des-jurys-fespaco-2019.html

Fespaco 2019 @CNA : Dhalinyaro by/de Lula Ali Ismail (Djibouti) – Village Cinéma Numérique Ambulant | “Digital Mobile Cinema”
https://africanwomenincinema.blogspot.com/2019/02/fespaco-2019-cna-dhalinyaro-byde-lula.html

IIFF 2018 - International Images Film Festival for Women : Sound of Tears, Dorothy A. Atabong, Cameroon/Canada
https://africanwomenincinema.blogspot.com/2018/08/iiff-2018-international-images-film_22.html

LAFF 2015 - Nadia Zouaoui : Post-9/11: Fear, Anger and Politics | Peur, Colère et Politique
https://africanwomenincinema.blogspot.com/2015/03/laff-2015-nadia-zouaoui-post-911-fear.html

FESPACO 2015 - Rachèle Magloire and/et Chantal Regnault : Deported | Expulsés
https://africanwomenincinema.blogspot.com/2015/02/fespaco-2015-rachele-magloire-andet.html

World Premiere: “The Flying Stars” by Ngardy Conteh George (Sierra Leone-Canada) and Allan Tong – 14 November 2014
https://africanwomenincinema.blogspot.com/2014/11/world-premiere-flying-stars-by-ngardy.html

Femmes de cinéma, cinéma de femmes | Women of cinema, cinemas of women de/by Djia Mambu, Africiné, Montréal
https://africanwomenincinema.blogspot.com/2014/04/femmes-de-cinema-cinema-de-femmes-women.html

FESPACO 2013 - Lula Ali Ismaïl : Laan | Les Copines | Girlfriends
https://africanwomenincinema.blogspot.com/2013/02/fespaco-2013-lula-ali-ismail-laan-les.html

Tiana Rafidy: Lorety sy Mardy
https://africanwomenincinema.blogspot.com/2011/03/tiana-rafidy-lorety-sy-mardy.html

Najwa Tlili: Reflections on her film "Rupture"
https://africanwomenincinema.blogspot.com/2010/06/najwa-tlili-reflections-on-her-film.html

26 May 2022

Marie-Clémentine Dusabejambo (Benimana) : La Fabrique 2022 - Les Cinémas du monde

Marie-Clémentine Dusabejambo: Benimana
Rwanda
La Fabrique 2022 - Les Cinémas du monde
Film project in development


Each year, the Fabrique des cinemas du monde selects film projects from around the world, during which the directors are invited to the Cannes Film Festival for two weeks. The activities include meetings, professional interviews and master classes, and the finalization of a script or completion of a budget.

Marie-Clémentine Dusabejambo, Rwandan filmmaker and producer, was among the participants with her film project, Benimana (Children of God)!.

She had this to say about the project: "It's a film that talks about intergenerational trauma and the need to deconstruct prejudices… portraits of women in Rwanda, of women who were victims of the Tutsi genocide, of survivors, of women who are members of the families of the killers. I especially wanted to work on memory: how it is experienced at the individual level." (During an interview with RFI special correspondent, Isabelle Chenu)

"Benimana is a reflection on how political decisions impact us individually and what it costs us to be part of the community," she stated during an interview with Falila Gbadamassi of France Télévisions Rédaction Afrique

Synopsis
The feature film relates the story of Veneranda as she confronts her past when she learns that her daughter, who was conceived as a result of the rape she suffered during the Rwanda genocide, is pregnant by her boyfriend, presumed to be a Hutu, the ethnic group responsible for the genocide. Convinced that her daughter was raped and afraid that her history will repeat itself through her daughter, she decides to end the pregnancy and the relationship.

DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT
BENIMANA is about intergenerational trauma and the need to deconstruct prejudices and resentments. The film’s characters, who are mainly women, go through successive moments of happiness, chaos and darkness in which love and hate, resentment and reconciliation are intertwined.They thus portray my country, Rwanda, in its effort to rebuild itself after the Tutsi genocide of 1994.

Sources:
lescinemasdumonde link
RFI link
Imagesfrancopones link
francetvinfo link
 

19 May 2022

A Celebration of Black Women in Film at the Cannes Film Festival

A Celebration of Black Women in Film at the Cannes Film Festival
NEWS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FOR US BY US, GLOBAL CHANGEMAKERS TO CELEBRATE BLACK WOMEN IN FILM AT FESTIVAL DE CANNES, IN RESPONSE TO GROSS UNDERREPRESENTATION IN COMPETITION, THROUGHOUT 75-YEAR HISTORY

LOS ANGELES - May 17, 2022 - Yolonda Brinkley, creator of Diversity in Cannes, the independent film movement promoting inclusion at the Cannes Film Festival, is pleased to announce Dear Cannes, Do Better: A Celebration of Black Women in Film at the Cannes Film Festival, Wednesday, May 25, 2022. Presented by Cheryl Polote-Wiliamson’s Cheryl Magazine and Williamson Media Group, the festivities kick-off today with the launch of #DearCannes, a digital social media campaign, encouraging the Festival de Cannes to dismantle the patriarchy, embrace inclusion and select more black women to compete in competition. The culmination is a day of #blackgirlmagic including the world premiere of The Invitation, a short film commemorating 75 years of The Links, Incorporated, the world’s most formidable organization for black women changemakers, directed by Wendy Eley Jackson.

“In 75 years, the Cannes Film Festival has selected only one black woman director in competition, With the plethora of talented black female voices sounding off at other global film festivals, awareness is no longer an acceptable excuse for the gross underrepresentation of black women directors in competition,”  comments Diversity in Cannes’ Yolonda Brinkley. “As they celebrate their jubilee as the world’s most prestigious film festival and welcome their first female president, I believe change is inevitable. In the interim, delay is denial, and I welcome the opportunity to align with Cheryl Polote-Williamson to celebrate black women in film, at the 75th Festival de Cannes.”
 
A collaboration between Entertainment Publicist and Diversity in Cannes Founder, Yolonda Brinkley, Cheryl Polote-Williamson, editor-in-chief, Cheryl Magazine, Filmmaker Wendy Eley Jackson and Karine Barclais, founder of Pavillon Afriques, Dear Cannes, Do Better: A Celebration of Black Women in Film is the direct result of women changemakers, empowered to build their own table at the world’s most prestigious film festival. No longer awaiting permission from the patriarchy, they’ve created an opportunity for established and emerging black women in film to amplify their authentic voices during the Cannes Film Festival, where they’ve been ignored for the past 75 years.

"After a year working with our production teams and reflecting on the vast examples of how African American experiences have been captured in film, we are honored to demonstrate our commitment to creators of color by taking a stand with Diversity in Cannes”, said Cheryl P. Williamson, Co-Founder of Williamson Media Group." With this body of work, we aim to provide Black women in film with an honorable professional foundation to amplify their voices, create space for their stories and illuminate a path to a sustainable career in film."

In addition to Dear Cannes: Do Better, the digital social media campaign, launching today in harmony with Festival de Cannes’ 75th anniversary, the celebration of black women in film is Wednesday, May 25, 2022. It will kick off with an invitation only breakfast and will extend into the Marché du Film at Pavillon Afriques and the Cannes Short Film Corner.

In solidarity, black women and their allies attending the Celebration of Black Women in Film are invited to wear any combination of black, white and yellow attire and are encouraged to upload their own videos in response to the realization that there’s only been one black woman selected in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in its 75 years. Use hashtags #dearcannes #diversityincannes when posting.

Schedule of Events
11:00: Breakfast (Invitation only)                                                                         
13:00: World Premiere: The Invitation Q&A  (Pavillon Afriques)
14:00: Cannes Conversation: Black Women Tell All
16:00: Cannes Short Film Corner: Black Women in Film (Palais F)
19:00: Cocktail Reception (Pavillon Afriques)
All are welcome. RSVP required by May 23, 2022

###

ABOUT DIVERSITY IN CANNES
Created in 2010 by Yolonda Brinkley, Diversity in Cannes is an independent filmmaker movement promoting inclusion at the Cannes Film Festival. The movement was established to promote the presence of underrepresented filmmakers sharing stories about marginalized populations during the Cannes Film Festival. Specifically, the grassroots initiative provides a platform for globally diverse filmmakers to promote their talents, present their work and expand their international network during the Cannes Film Festival.

ABOUT YOLONDA BRINKLEY
Yolonda Brinkley, a full-service marketing communications professional, is an Illinois MBA with extensive brand development, event production and public relations experience. She holds a BA from Clark Atlanta University & is fluent in French with international experience. A corporately trained marketer, Yolonda worked 10 years at Ford Motor Company, including assignments with the Lincoln Mercury and Aston Martin, Jaguar Land Rover brands. During her 10-year tenure, Yolonda established herself as a valuable resource within the branded entertainment community. As an entrepreneur, the momentum continues. Since 2008, Yolonda has managed events for the NAACP Hollywood Bureau (Image Awards), the Hollywood Black Film Festival and Filmmakers Alliance. She’s represented actors and filmmakers at global film festivals including Sundance and the Toronto International Film Festival. Yolonda constantly creates opportunities for herself and impacts the global entertainment industry as the creator of Diversity in Cannes, the independent filmmaker movement promoting inclusion at the Cannes Film Festival.


 

18 May 2022

PITCH O' FEMININ - Salon du cinéma au féminin 2 | Women's film fair 2 (On Move Magazine)

PITCH O' FEMININ
Salon du cinéma au féminin 2 | Women's film fair 2
On Move Magazine
 
 
Le pitch o’ Féminin est une activité ouverte aux étudiantes en cinéma et à toutes femmes étant à son premier projet cinématographique. Il s’agit  d’un concours qui vise à détecter la plus belle plume en matière de scénario et contribuer ainsi  à la promotion de ces jeunes talents dans l’exercice des métiers du 7ème Art. Pour cette édition, l’appel à candidature est ouvert aux porteuses de projets de court métrage et de capsule.

The Pitch o’ Féminin is an activity open to female film students and all those who are working on their first film project. This is a contest that aims to detect the most beautiful writing skill and thus contribute to the promotion of these young talents in a professional environment. For this edition, the call for applications is open to short film and shortcom.

[FR] Le salon du cinéma au féminin a ouvert depuis le mois d'Avril l'appel à candidature du concours pitch o féminin éditions 2. Pour candidater allez sur:  https://forms.gle/sQcan4n7ULrtsDLx5

[EN] The women film fair opened the call for applications of the Pitch o' feminin competition 2 edition since the month of Avril. To apply, go to: https://forms.gle/sQcan4n7ULrtsDLx5
 
 

17 May 2022

Africa - Women - Cannes 75e 2022

Africa - Women - Cannes 75e 2022


Kaouther Ben Hania (Tunisia), president of the Semaine de la critique Jury

Awards:
Erika Etangsalé: Lèv la tèt dann fenwar | In the Billowing Night by (Prix Doc Alliance 2022 - Doc Day) 


Cinéfondation Cannes 2022
Suzannah Mirghani: Cotton Queen (Sudan)
ArteKino Award

Un Certain Regard
Maryam Touzani: Le Bleu du Caftan (Morocco)

Quinzaine des Réalisateurs
Erige Sehiri: Sous les figues (Tunisia)
Prix EcoProd Award

La Fabrique Cinéma de l’Institut français
-Burkina Faso – Djéliya, Mémoire du Mandingue by Boubacar Sangaré, produced by Mamounata Nikiéma (Pilumpiku Production) - Feature Documentary
-Egypt – Aisha Can’t Fly Away Anymore by Morad Mostafa, produced by Sawsan Yusuf (Bonanza Films) - Feature Fiction
-Rwanda – Benimana directed and produced by Marie-Clémentine Dusabejambo (Ejo-Cine) / Feature Fiction

DEENTAL at Cannes
ACP women among the producers participating at the week-long training/workshop/meetings during the 2nd edition of the DEENTAL at Cannes from 18 to 24 mai 2022
-Khadija Mahfou (Cote d'Ivoire)
-Kady Traoré (Burkina Faso)
 
Cannes classics
Fatou Cissé: Hommage d’une lle à son père (Mali)

Cannes Cinema
Cannes cinéma (curated by Angèle Diabang, a series of shorts to be broadcast by Cannes Cinema beginning in September 2022 during the Cannes Cinema season in partnership with Ciné-Club, Voir et devoir, les Jeudis) or in the context of Rencontres Cinématographiques de Cannes.
Her selection of shorts:
-Hary Andriaminosoa  et Joel Rakotovelo: The unusual kinky quaint peculiar weird strange rum queer odd and bizarre day of a shadow man
-Saa Kessas: La Voie d’Henriette
-Djelika Mama Traoré: Ma Passion

-Toboe Audrey: N’tcholo
-Fatoumata Bathily: Taajabone

-Kevin Mavakala: La Star 
 
Masterclass (The African Pavillon)
Rahmatou Keita
25 May 
 
ALSO SEE:

14 May 2022

Ngozi Onwurah Retrospective & Q&A - Film London


Ngozi Onwurah Retrospective & Q&A - Film London

 
Tue 17 - Sun 15 May
 

Join TAPE Collective for a film retrospective and recorded Q&A with filmmaker Ngozi Onwura. The event offers an opportunity to hear Onwurah talk about her works integral to the British film canon. Filled with complex and insightful narratives that put the Black British experience at the forefront, Onwurah became the first Black British female director to have a film theatrically released in the UK with her feature debut Welcome II the Terrordome and Shoot The Messenger.

12 May 2022

African Women in Cinema Addressing Mental Health in Africa and the Diaspora

African Women in Cinema Addressing Mental Health
in Africa and the Diaspora
Report by Beti Ellerson
 
Notes continuing...
 
In Une fenêtre ouverte (An open window, 2005) Khady Sylla's camera is the mirror into which she gazes directly as she addresses the viewers, interrogating their own sense of sanity. She asks: "You look at yourself in a broken mirror. You see pieces of your face. Your face is crumbling. And whoever looks at you in the broken mirror, sees pieces of images of your face. Which of you will come to reconstruct the puzzle? Are you not, perhaps, on the same side of the mirror?" She continues the monologue with the disquieting admission of her own mental illness. The film is a space in which Khady Sylla tries to open for Aminta Ngomgui, the protagonist of the story, as well as for herself, and for the public, on the world of mental illness.

Similarly, Ledet Muleta, a psychiatric nurse in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area addresses the ways that mental illness is stigmatized in Africa and in African diaspora communities. The objective of her film project is to empower those who are affected, to build awareness and to find more effective solutions.

The purpose of Noëlle Kenmoe's film is to raise awareness and to challenge societal perceptions regarding the realities of another mental health issue, autism in children in Africa. Because of this disorder, they are often marginalized and rejected. Based on their behavior they are viewed as crazy, as reincarnations of the devil, among other damning perceptions. Hence, beyond being a handicap or disorder, autism becomes a social condemnation.

The issues around social exclusion are recurring themes in Nathalie Pontalier's film projects. In her film Le maréchalat du roi-Dieu (The Marshal of the God-king, 2012), the protagonist André Ondo Mba suffers from acute paranoid schizophrenia and has become deaf. For the past twenty years he writes on walls, facades, and other parapets of Libreville, the Gabonese capital. The contents of his messages often remain obscure to the viewers who venture there. His two sons who care for him attempt to navigate his world of the imaginary.

In the short fiction, Taajabone, Fatoumata Bathily highlights the debilitating effects of depression that traumatize a young woman, who is consumed with guilt after the death of her husband. While Aisha Jama, relates the coping mechanisms that a young Black Muslim woman employs to confront anxiety in the film Neefso (Breathe). Nora Awolowo challenges the perception of the elated mother after the birth of her child. In Baby Blues she tackles the hidden issue of postpartum depression.

Tracing memories at the onset of cognitive decline, a mental health issue that family's face throughout the globe as an elder reaches her or his golden age, though for many, even before, is an increasingly visible theme in films. Karima Saïdi focuses the camera on her own mother Aïcha who develops Alzheimer’s. She constructs a film portrait journeying with her mother back into her past. More broadly, Mmabatho Monthsho addresses the mulitple issues around cognitive decline especially in the context of caregiving, in the "hope of inspiring support and conversations about condition and the physical, psychological, and social burden on female family caregivers."
 
A selection of articles on the African Women in Cinema Blog regarding African women addressing mental health issues in Africa and throughout the African Diaspora:
 
#Alzheimers
Karima Saidi: Dans la maison | A Way Home

#anxiety
Aisha Jama: Neefso | Breathe

#autism
Noelle Kenmoe: Deux avril

#bipolar
Ledet Muleta: Chula
 

#postpartum #depression
Nora Awolowo: Baby Blues

#schizophrenia
Yveline Nathalie Pontalier : Le marechalat du roi-Dieu | The Marshal of the God-king

#mentalillness
 
Maïmouna Ndiaye: Le fou, le génie et le sage (The crazy, the genius, the sage)
 
Hawa Aliou Ndiaye : Kuma!
 
Mai Mustafa Ekhou: It's not over yet


10 May 2022

Wunpini Fatimata Mohammed. Globalisation and indigenous cinemas: a history of Ghanaian Dagbanli films


Wunpini Fatimata Mohammed
Globalisation and indigenous cinemas:
a history of Ghanaian Dagbanli films

Source: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13216597.2022.2073256

Abstract
While there has been extensive research on English language media in Ghana, there remains a huge gap in indigenous language media research. Through in-depth interviews with movie industry stakeholders, this article examines the history of indigenous language film in Northern Ghana, paying attention to the evolution of the movie industry and the various cultural flows that have shaped its development. Grounding the study in indigenous African knowledge systems, I present the history of the Dagbanli movie industry. I argue that to understand how the Dagbanli movie industry has been sustained for three decades, it is imperative to examine critically the industry’s history and the innovative strategies filmmakers have employed to keep up with changing trends in technology and aesthetics in the film industry. Filmmakers draw on Dagbaŋ culture (one of the major ethnic groups in Ghana) and film industries in the Global South to address the needs of their audiences while funding their films independently. From these findings, practical and theoretical recommendations are presented to contribute to improving filmmaking and research on indigenous language filmmaking in Ghana.

Wunpini Fatimata Mohammed is an assistant professor of global media at the College of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. She is co-editor of the book, African Women in Digital Spaces: Redefining Social Movements on the Continent and in the Diaspora (forthcoming 2022). Her research which focuses on feminisms, broadcast media, development communication, and political economy of communication have appeared in Communication Theory, Review of Communication, and the Howard Journal of Communications.

05 May 2022

Mamounata Nikiéma : élue présidente de la Fédération nationale du Cinéma et de l'Audiovisuel du Burkina Faso | elected president of the National Federation of Cinema and the audiovisual of Burkina Faso

Mamounata Nikiéma :
élue présidente de la Fédération nationale du Cinéma et de l'Audiovisuel du Burkina Faso |
elected president of the National Federation of Cinema and the audiovisual of Burkina Faso

Translation from French. See original French text published 04 Mai 2022 : Africine.org

Mamounata Nikiema, filmmaker and producer from Burkina Faso, was elected president of la Fédération nationale du Cinéma et de l'Audiovisuel du Burkina Faso (the National federation of cinema and the audiovisual of Burkina Faso) at the extraordinary assembly on Saturday April 23, 2022 in Ouagadougou for a four-year term.
 
She is very involved in the filmmaker networks in Burkina Faso (Africadoc Burkina, Guilde des scénaristes, Association des producteurs du Burkina Faso, Fédération Nationale du Cinéma et de l'Audiovisuel...). Moreover, for the past several editions, Mamounata has been actively involved at FESPACO as president committee or member during the past several editions.
 
In 2018, she launched the event, Cine‐équipement  and the digital cinema platform Sulunsuku (www.sulunsuku.com). With this illustrious background, Mamounata Nikiema received the title of Knight of the Order of Merit, Arts, Letters and Communication with Agrafe ''Cinematographie'', during the 27th edition of FESPACO.

30 April 2022

Women of the screen from the African diaspora of Belgium

Women of the screen from
the African diaspora of Belgium
 
Notes ongoing...by Beti Ellerson
 
Women of the screen from the African diaspora of Belgium include a cohort of afro-descendant women which include first-generation Belgium-born or raised of African parents, as well as those who have settled in Belgium after their studies or other sojourns in the country, and have since made it their home.

Monique Mbeka Phoba of Congolese-Kinshasa origins is a trailblazing filmmaker, cultural producer and activist, who has been mentor and inspiration to many. In addition she is involved in co-productions and African cinema organizational functions. Sisters Pauline Mulombe, filmmaker and Cecile Mulombe Mbombe, cinematographer are active in Belgium screen culture, especially in the promotion of African diasporans based in the country. Other Brussels-based women in cinema Congolese origin include Wendy Bashi, filmmaker and journalist, and host of the program Reflets Sud on TV5 Monde. She was a freelance journalist for the program Afrik'Hebdo broadcast on RTBF International (Belgian Francophone radio and television) and is also editor for Glo.be, the Magazine of the Belgian development cooperation. Similarly, journalist Djia Mambu, as film activist, is very involved in the promotion of African cinema throughout the globe, and advocates for positive and realistic representations of people of African origin. Marthe Djilo Kamga is founder and current coordinator of the Massimadi festival in Brussels, and her professional and person paths have revolved around her interest in questions of vulnerability, identity, and equal opportunity. Her interest in art and cultural production (film, performance, photography, etc.) empowers her to reappropriate images and public spaces for people in positions of invisibility. Reoccurring themes in her work are the coexistence of multiple identities and diverse modes of artistic and cultural expression. Kis Keya is the creator of Extranostro, the first Afro-Queer Francophone Web Series. Delphine Wil, born in Germany of a Belgian father and a Belgian-Congolese mother, is a filmmaker whose cultural diversity has shaped her path. She started her professional career as a radio journalist at the Radio Télévision Belge Francophone (RTBF) before moving to the audio-visual sector, in addition, she works in the information field in Francophone Africa. Belgium-based actress, stage actor and filmmaker Babetida Sadjo directed the autobiographical film, Bafata which follows her journey back to her childhood and her homeland, Guinea-Bissau, related as a personal tale in the form of a travel diary. Her fiction film Hematome (2021), in which she also interprets the protagonist, recounts the experiences of Judith, who twenty five years later, dares to break her silence that shattered her life in order to find justice for the rape that she suffered as a child.

Cameroonian Rosine Mbakam's Chez Jolie Coiffure, traces the migratory journey of Sabine who works in Matongé one of the most important commercial African neighborhoods in Brussels, where she manages Jolie Coiffure Salon. The film provides the spectator a glimpse of this vibrant Belgian multicultural neighborhood. Also by Rosine, Tu seras mon allié (You will be my ally, 2012) follows the saga of Domé, a 35 year-old woman from Gabon accused of falsification of documents at the Brussels airport.
 
In the short drama, Tout le monde a des raisons d'en vouloir à sa mère (Everyone has Reasons to be Angry with their Mother) filmmaker Pauline Mulombe reveals the myriad realities of three young Afro-Belgian sisters living in Brussels. In the span of two days the film portrays their diverse experiences as they are forced to face their many hang-ups and their darkest secrets. Their African mother, confronted with the opposing forces of Western culture, must deal with her daughters’ realities.

Following is a selection of articles focusing on African women of the Belgium Diaspora published on the African Women in Cinema Blog:

Babetida Sadjo: Hematome
https://africanwomenincinema.blogspot.com/2022/06/babetida-sadjo-hematome.html

23 April 2022

Aseye Tamakloe: When Women Speak (Ghana)


Aseye Tamakloe
When Women Speak
Ghana
Documentary - 2021 - 90mn

When Women Speak, it's about Struggle, Sacrifice, Sisterhood and Freedom. A film by Aseye Tamakloe. Sixteen Ghanaian share their experiences of activism throughout the years.
 
The film is included in the New York African Film Festival 2022 official selection.

Twitter Image: @WhenWomenSpeak

A webinar was held in celebration on Women's History Month 2022 hosted by African Women's Development Fund based on the documentary film.
 

22 April 2022

22 – 04 : International Mother Earth Day | Journée internationale de la Terre nourricière

THE AFRICAN WOMEN IN CINEMA BLOG CELEBRATES | CELEBRE
International Mother Earth Day
Journée internationale de la Terre nourricière

my metaphor about "Pumzi" is life and sacrifice and that we ourselves have to mother mother nature
 
ma métaphore sur "Pumzi" est la vie et le sacrifice et que nous devons nous-mêmes nourrir la terre nourricière
 
--Wanuri Kahiu
 



13 April 2022

African Women's Cinematic Storytelling through Sports: Empowering women and girls, raising awareness

African Women's Cinematic Storytelling through Sports:
Empowering women and girls, raising awareness
Report by Beti Ellerson

Sport has demonstrated its enormous capacity to propel women and girls’ empowerment. It mobilizes the global community and speaks to youth. It unites across national barriers and cultural differences. It is a powerful tool to convey important messages in a positive and celebratory environment – often to mass audiences. In addition, it teaches women and girls the values of teamwork, self-reliance and resilience; has a multiplier effect on their health, education and leadership development; contributes to self-esteem, builds social connections, and challenges harmful gender norms.

Many actors in the sport ecosystem are making significant strides to advance gender equality. For example, organizations are developing their sport at the grassroots level for women and girls; implementing gender equality strategies; creating their safeguarding policies; increasing the participation of women in leadership and at all levels of the profession; increasing resource allocation for women’s sports; doing better and more media coverage; marketing free from gender bias and promoting women’s achievements.

Furthermore, sport in its most basic form encourages balanced participation and has the capacity to promote gender equality (Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls). Through sport and physical activity, women and girls can be empowered and benefit from the positive impact that sport has on health and psychosocial conditions.

Female participation in sport also challenges stereotypes and social roles commonly associated with women. Sport can help women and girls demonstrate their talents and achievements to society by emphasizing their skills and abilities. This, in turn, improves self-esteem and self-confidence in women participants. Sport also offers opportunities for social interaction and friendship, which can raise awareness of gender roles among male counterparts and convey social and psychological benefits to both individuals and groups.


Source: https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2020/3/news-sport-for-generation-equality

African women in cinema are active participants in the empowerment and promotion of women and girls in sport as they direct their cameras towards the collective stories through documentary and fiction of the journeys of women and girls through sport.

Florence Ayisi's Zanzibar Soccer Queens offers a fascinating insight into women and sport in the majority Muslim population of Zanzibar, especially as it relates to culturally defined roles for women and their bodies.

Similarly, Oufsaiyed Elkhortoum (Khartoum Offside) by Marwa Zein, focuses on the dreams of Sara and her sport-loving friends who hope one day to form a Sudanese national soccer team and participate in the FIFA Women's World Cup, despite the fact that this image does not fit the Muslim society’s traditional image of a woman.

In the same way, Naziha Arebi's Freedom Fields traces the hopes of a team of women in post-revolution Libya, as soccer is the metaphor for empowerment and struggle.

Mayye Zayed's Ash Ya Captain | Lift Like a Girl is a coming of age story of 14-year-old Zebiba as she goes from victories to defeats, in pursuit of her dream to become a professional weightlifter.

Similarly, La Boxeuse | Boxing Girl by Iman Djionne follows the adventures of 17-year-old Adama after finding a pair of red boxing gloves.

Jessie Chisi's boxing story, Between Rings: The Esther Phiri Story focuses on her cousin a champion woman boxer, "torn between marriage and career because she could not have both worlds as one conflicted with the other".

In addition, women pursue nontraditional area such as motorcycling, which is the focus on Joan Kabugu's Throttle Queens.

Morever, women's sport's movies include the stories of triumph by boys and men who pursue sport despite physical challenges. For instance, Yveline Nathalie Pontalier's film project about a team of deaf soccer players and Ngardy Conteh's documentary about an amputee soccer team of child survivors of the civil war in Sierra Leone.

These and other cinematic stories are among the posts on the African Women in Cinema Blog highlighting African women's storytelling through sports:

Boxing. Iman Djionne: La Boxeuse | Boxing Girl
https://africanwomenincinema.blogspot.com/2020/02/festival-films-femmes-afrique-2020_17.html
 
Weightlifting. Mayye Zayed: Ash Ya Captain | Lift Like a Girl
https://africanwomenincinema.blogspot.com/2020/08/mayye-zayed-ash-ya-captain-lift-like.html
 

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