Women, Leadership and CNA Afrique
Cinema Numerique Ambulant - Travel Digital Cinema
The African Women in Cinema Blog has followed the events of CNA Afrique especially as it relates to women's presence within the structure. Hence, the Blog endeavors to highlight women’s leadership as well as document the numerous activities related to women. Below is a summary of the articles that have been published.
Rosalie N'Dah who led CNA Afrique from its creation in 2008 to 2015 had this to say about the objectives of CNA Afrique:
The first objective of the Cinéma Numérique Ambulant, known as CNA, is to promote African cinematographic heritage in all of its diversity. It was actually introduced in Africa for the first time in Benin in 2001. During the last twelve years it has progressively expanded to Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Cameroon and Togo. CNA has become a network of associations and the coordination structure, CNA Afrique, is headquartered in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
The CNA is an important cultural tool for communication and entertainment, bringing African films to African populations marginalized by their geographic or socio-economic isolation. It also provides immediate accessibility to the public, giving it both a popular aspect and an educational value. The CNA opens up possibility and access to a collective imaginary, a source for reflection, and oral testimony and dialogue among the populations regarding different traditional practices and their evolution.
Kadidia Sidibé, elected in 2015 gives her vision of CNA under her leadership
Malian Kadidia Sidibé was elected president in 2015, she had this to say about her objectives during her term: "My priorities are to give a new dynamic to the CNA, at the same time to work for peace and cohesion. I call on the leaders of CNA and of countries, to come together in solidarity. We need to consult each other and collaborate to find sustainable solutions in a peaceful environment," she says.
CNA in partnership with AfricaDoc, has a presence at Fespaco 2013 with an evening dedicated to creative documentary filmmaking by women. Rosalie Ndah, president at the time, had this to say:
A woman-directed documentary may show something special and different from what one may find in a film directed by a man. Representations by women are to be encouraged in all sectors of activity in order to better develop society. It is for this reason that the CNA is actively engaged in increasing the visibility of works by women filmmakers and for the dissemination of creative documentaries.
This year, Fespaco is putting women in the spotlight. A remarkable occasion: all of the juries are presided by women. The large festivals, in fact, are only marginally accessible to women, and this does not happen only in Africa. Last year there was a petition by woman filmmakers to pressure the Cannes Festival to have more films by women in the selection for the Palm d'or.
Even in the history books of African cinema, there is very little mention of women. In spite of the official discourse which pays tribute to women, there is very little impact. Hence the proliferation of women's film festivals. Moreover, until now cinema has been viewed as a man's profession. And the fact that in Africa there are such great difficulties to make a film and to earn a living from it, does not encourage women to enter into it.
Juliette Akouvi Founou, The president of L'Association Togolaise du Cinéma Numérique Ambulant (ATCNA), the Togolese association of mobile digital cinema talks about the 31 May 2013 event, which is a gala evening highlighting the association's activities.
It involves a review of the activities of CNA Togo which has three components: a photo exhibition of the activities; a screening of short films about CNA Togo and the screening of the fiction film by Abalo Kilizou entitled, Venu de France (Coming from France). The purpose is to promote a Togolese film, and African cinema in general, which is the objective of the CNA associations.
Burkinabe artist Adjaratou Ouédraogo organized the project “Toiles et projection”
In November 2013 the CNA Togo (Cinéma numérique ambulant) will organized a screening with a children’s club called “The planet is ours”. Facilitated by Burkinabe artist Adjaratou Ouédraogo, the project is titled “Toiles et projections, regard croisés de jeunes spectateurs sur le cinema” (Canvas and screenings, shared perspectives of young spectators on cinema). The objective is to encourage fun-filled and interactive reflections on the place of the other (spectator, neighbour, foreign) in the context of the shared leisure activity of cinema.
FestIC 2018 - Festival des Identités Culturelles (Festival of Cultural Identities), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso - 1st Edition
CNA The Mobile Digital Cinema Africa launches the Festival of Cultural Identities, abbreviated FestIC. The first edition of this event will be held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from 4 to 10 November 2018 under the theme: "Cultural Identities in an Urban Environment".
This festival aims to promote films that highlight specific cultural identities. It draws on the experience of the practice of CNA The Mobile Digital Cinema as an exhibition/distribution structure for African cinemas in rural Africa.
In the August 2020 Newsletter: The CNA, Cinéma Numérique Ambulant Afrique (Mobile Digital Cinema-Africa) addressed the challenges it faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Excerpts of interviews with the CNA Afrique president Kadidia Sidibe, who is also president of CNA Mali and Stéphanie Dongmo, president of CNA Cameroon.
From interview with Kadidia Sidibe
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.
From interview with Stéphanie Dongmo
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.
La femme dans l'Afrique moderne - Women in Contemporary Africa
In April 2021 the Togolese Association of CNA (Mobile Digital Cinema) launched a call for candidates for a writing residency for short films targeting young francophone women creatives-filmmakers.