The purpose of the African Women in Cinema Blog is to provide a space to discuss diverse topics relating to African women in cinema--filmmakers, actors, producers, and all film professionals. The blog is a public forum of the Centre for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema.

Le Blog sur les femmes africaines dans le cinéma est un espace pour l'échange d'informations concernant les réalisatrices, comédiennes, productrices, critiques et toutes professionnelles dans ce domaine. Ceci sert de forum public du Centre pour l'étude et la recherche des femmes africaines dans le cinémas.


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Director/Directrice, Centre for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema | Centre pour l'étude et la recherche des femmes africaines dans le cinéma


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26 January 2022

Recent Films. Vigil Chime: The Touched One

Recent Films. Vigil Chime: The Touched One

"...I wanted to tell a story about forgiveness. That a grave wrong could be done to someone and have her recover to forgive the very people that had wronged her. That is powerful."---Vigil Chime
Vigil Chime
USA (Nigeria)
The Touched One
2022 - Feature - Horror/Supernatural
The Touched One follows Chinaza, a woman anointed by a sacred ram to do good deeds, as she goes in search of a gang of men who did her wrong in order to correct them of their evil ways. One morning, Chinaza and two others board a local bus. Four men posing as passengers promptly abduct and take them deep into the woods for blood sacrifice. Chinaza is resigned to her fate when a mysterious ram appears and sets her free. Grateful to be alive, she pets it. Safe at home, she discovers that the hand with which she pet the ram corrects anyone she touches of their sinful ways. She is thus convinced this is the reason she is the sole survivor of the tragedy. Thereafter, she determines to find the kidnappers to guide them onto a righteous path. The families of the two other victims who did not make it that day have other ideas to exact their own brand of street justice on the men.

About Vigil Chime
Vigil Chime is a Nigerian-American screenwriter, director and novelist. She was the recipient of the Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship in 2017.

21 January 2022

African women's cinematic journeying: searching, rediscovering, becoming...rebirth

African women's cinematic journeying
…searching, becoming...rebirth by Beti Ellerson

African women of the screen navigate frontiers, negotiate relocations, displacements, re-emplacements, redefine home. Whether in African or extra-African environments, they inscribe these imaginaries in their films. Some relate fantastical possibilities, others autobiographical journeying, both of which problematize evolving identities on the timeline of their life stories. Hence, traveling, sojourning and relocating across myriad environments involve re-fashioning or ultimately expanding the identities of African women's cinemas.

These cinematic journeys, imaginary or real, follow itinerate paths, pauses and reshifts, stops and recovery. Hence, an exploration of African women's exilic peregrinations or peripatetic voyaging on re-imagined, (re)discovered, (re)discovered lives, landscapes.

Notes to continue…

A selection of articles on the African Women in Cinema Blog about African women's cinematic journeying (with ongoing updating):

Christiane Kouraogo: The Retour

Baya Medhaffar: Festina | Lente

Souad Douibi: M9kawda

Rim Temimi: Manco Moro

Samantha Biffot: Mami Wata Series

Nina Khada: Je me suis mordue la langue

Matamba Kombila: Mundele n: blanche, étrangère

Nana Hadiza Akawala: Bibata est partie (Bibata is gone)
Ng'endo Mukii's Kitwana's Journey, animation film

Laurentine Bayala: Au fantôme du père (To the Ghost of the Father)

Beti Ellerson: On-Screen Narratives, Off-Screen Lives

Beti Ellerson: Traveling Gazes

Astrid Ariane Atodji: Suffering is a school of wisdom

Eliaichi Kimaro: Tracing her Tanzanian Roots

Claude Haffner: Footprints of my other

Theresa Traore Dahlberg: Taxi Sister

Iman Kamel: Beit Shaar | Nomad's Home

Sarah Bouyain: Notre etrangere | The Place in-between

Gendered Representations of Africans in the French Hexagon

20 January 2022

Nikyatu Jusu's Nanny at Sundance Film Festival 2022

Nikyatu Jusu's Nanny at Sundance Film Festival 2022

2022 - 97min - Horror/Thriller

Sierra Leoneon-American filmmaker Nikyatu Jusu's Nanny, screens in the official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition section at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.

Aisha, an immigrant Nanny, piecing together a new life in New York City while caring for the child of an Upper East Side family, is forced to confront a concealed truth that threatens to shatter her precarious American Dream.

Mariama Diallo's "Master" at Sundance Film Festival 2022

Mariama Diallo's Master at Sundance Film Festival 2022

2022 - 91mins - Horror, Fiction
Senegalese-American director Mariama Diallo's film Master, screens in the official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition section at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.

Three women strive to find their place at an elite New England university. As the insidious specter of racism haunts the campus in an increasingly supernatural fashion, each fights to survive in this space of privilege.

Her filmography includes: Hair Wolf (2018), Random Acts of Flyness (2018)
Sketch (2016)

19 January 2022

Berlinale 2022: Akuol de Mabior: No Simple Way Home

Akuol de Mabior's No Simple Way Home premieres at the Berlinale - Berlin International Film Festival (10 - 20 February 2022)
Akuol de Mabior
No Simple Way Home
Documentary - South Sudan | Kenya - 2022

As South Sudan hangs in the balance of a peace agreement, a mother and her two daughters return from exile. While the mother becomes central to a new government, her daughters struggle to come to terms with what it means to call South Sudan home. 

…an intergenerational conversation between my mother and me. In the opening scene, she [sits], alone, on the edge of her bed in a nightgown. Since my father passed away in 2005, she has been sharing her dreams and nightmares with me — her hopes and fears for our family, our people and our country. It’s always in the early hours of the morning when her heart is heaviest. This part of the film uncovers her greatest fear, which is that my father along with millions of South Sudanese people died in vain, and her deepest yearning, which is for her children to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives at home in South Sudan. (Source:

18 January 2022

Recent films. Patricia Kwende: L'enfant de l'autre (n'est pas ton esclave) | The child of another (is not your slave)

Recent films. Patricia Kwende: L'enfant de l'autre (n'est pas ton esclave) | The child of another (is not your slave)

During my childhood my grandmother told me lots of stories. I enjoyed reading, I read lots of tales, which gave me the feeling of traveling, going places. These images related in these stories nourished my interested in the visual image. These stories coincided with the visual, and later, my desire to make films 
--Patricia Kwende ( 17 January 2022)
Patricia Kwende
L'enfant de l'autre (n'est pas ton esclave) | The child of another (is not your slave)
2021 - 13min - Fiction

Elodie, who goes to Europe to study, lives with her uncle. However, his wife treats Elodie like a slave.
Elodie vient faire des études en Europe. Elle s’installe chez son oncle et la femme de ce dernier la réduit en esclavage.

Patricia Kwende, scriptwriter and filmmaker, has won several awards at prestigious festivals and her films have been selected at several prominent festivals, notably Cannes. She manages Delphy Production, focusing on quality short films that highlight current issues and important societal themes--at the same time adding a touch of difference.

Patricia Kwende, scénariste et réalisatrice, a été primée plusieurs fois dans des festivals prestigieux et ses films ont été sélectionnés dans des festivals de renommés tels que le festival de Cannes. Elle dirige la société Delphy Production qui propose des courts métrages de qualité, visant des sujets actuels et des faits marquants de la société, tout en y ajoutant une pincée de différence.

11 January 2022

Découvrez le cycle Tigritudes, panorama du cinéma panafricain | Discover the Tigritudes cycle, a panorama of pan-African cinema (12.1-27.2) au Forum des images - Paris

Discover the Tigritudes cycle, a panorama of pan-African cinema (12.1-27.2) at the Forum des images - Paris
From 12 January to 27 February, via 125 films and 40 countries the program browses through the history of pan-African cinema since 1956! Conceived by directors Dyana Gaye and Valérie Osouf, in collaboration with the Forum des Images, "Tigritudes" is nurtured by encounters between artists and intellectuals and highlights the richness of forms and the issues linked to the cinematographies of Africa, too often overlooked.
Découvrez le cycle Tigritudes, panorama du cinéma panafricain (12.1-27.2) au Forum des images - Paris

Du 12 janvier au 27 février, ce programme parcourt l'histoire du cinéma panafricain depuis 1956 à travers 125 films et 40 pays ! Conçu par les réalisatrices Dyana Gaye et Valérie Osouf, en collaboration avec le Forum des images, "Tigritudes" se nourrit de rencontres entre artistes et intellectuel·les et met en lumière la richesse des formes et les enjeux liés aux cinématographies d'Afrique, trop souvent méconnues.
Épisode 10 – Tigritudes : Madeline Anderson, Safi Faye, Leïla Kilani
Summary: During the Trigitudes programing at the Forum des images, the cineaste Valerie Osouf, who conceived this program with the cineaste Dyana Gaye, focus on three films by filmmakers of panAfrican cinema: Integration Report 1 de Madeline Anderson (1960), Lettre paysanne de Safi Faye (1975) et Sur la planche de Leïla Kilani (2011).

The struggles in the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, the daily lives of the peasants in a small Senegalese village, the dreams of a young woman working in a shrimp factory in Tanger: three instances of personal, political, social struggles which are at the heart of this subjective anthology and panAfrican chronology which takes place until 27 February at the Forum des images à Paris.

Speakers: Valerie Osouf and Dyana Gaye

Épisode 10 – Tigritudes : Madeline Anderson, Safi Faye, Leïla Kilani
Résumé : À l’occasion de la programmation Tigritudes au Forum des images, la cinéaste Valérie Osouf – qui a conçu cette programmation avec la cinéaste Dyana Gaye – évoque trois films de réalisatrices du cinéma panafricain : Integration Report 1 de Madeline Anderson (1960), Lettre paysanne de Safi Faye (1975) et Sur la planche de Leïla Kilani (2011).
La lutte concrète du Mouvement des Droits Civiques aux États-Unis, le quotidien des paysans d’un petit village sénégalais, le rêve d’une ouvrière d’une usine de crevettes à Tanger : trois instantanés des luttes politiques, intimes, sociales qui sont au cœur de cette anthologie subjective et chronologique panafricaine qui se déroule jusqu’au 27 février au Forum des images à Paris.

Invité : Valérie Osouf, cinéaste et co-programmatrice, aux côtés de la cinéaste Dyana Gaye, de la programmation Tigritudes

08 January 2022

The sister-friend genre, women buddy films and some "chick flicks" by African women

The sister-friend genre, women buddy films and some "chick flicks" by African women by Beti Ellerson
Notes to continue...
"For women, the need and desire to nurture each other is not pathological but redemptive, and it is within that knowledge that our real power is rediscovered." Audre Lorde
In the documentary Les gracieuses by Fatima Sissani, six friends: Myriam, Sihem, Khadija, Kenza, Rokia and Leïla, who have known each other since childhood, continue to live in the same housing estate where they grew up in the greater Paris region.  "They have never left each other. A closely-bonded relationship. They talk about, joyfully and head-on, this almost amorous friendship and also about identity, class relations, spatial and social relegation...I saw them grow up and push the limits of solidarity further and further. They have always been there for each other, in difficult times, and also during the key events of their lives. And that feeling--amorous and collective--moves me a lot."
These real-life friends, "the gracious ones", reflect the many women-friendship stories related in the films by African women.
In women's buddy films, friendships between women and support among the women protagonists are the driving force of the narrative. Such as Rumbi Katedza's Playing Warriors, Tiana Rafidy's Lorety sy Mardy, Aldewolem by Yetnayet Bahru or Aya de Yopougon, an animation film by Marguerite Abouet. In her first film Laan (Girlfriends), Lula Ali Ismail relates the experiences of Souad, Oubah et Ayane, three childhood friends who live in the capital, Djibouti. Similarly, in Dhalinyaro, the friendship between three girls is the center of the story. Deka, Asma and Hibo, three 18 year-olds are about to take the baccalaureate exam. Their lives, though from different socio-economic backgrounds, are intertwined. Their strong friendship carries them together through their transition into adulthood. Similarly, in the animation film project Tibet Girls by Bruktawit Tigabu, "three African adolescent super heroines take the audience on a fun, imaginative and educational journey as they thrive to understand the changes that are happening to them and the struggles girls face everyday."

The “sister-friends genre” which focuses on a cohort of women uniting under a variety of themes, plays a role in the construction of the Foxy Five Web Series from South Africa: Womxn We, Blaq Beauty, Unity Bond, Femme Fatale, and Prolly Plebs. The series creator, Jabu Nadia Newman describes Foxy Five as an example of the web series as Radical Feminist Practice, exploring what intersectional feminism would look like on screen. In Apolline Traoré's Frontiers, four women travelers forge friendships resulting from the challenges and trepidations during their journey together.
The emergence of a “sex and the city” genre in African women’s filmmaking is a sign of the times where women get together and talk about themselves and relationships, "where women talk about their own bodies rather than being talked about." An African version of "Sex in the City": "chick flicks" featuring friends in their pursuit of love and romance, is a dominant theme in Nicole Amarteifio's An African City. After their return to Ghana, Nana Yaa, Sade, Ngozi, Makena and Zainab confide in each other about life and love.

Selection of articles on the African Women in Cinema Blog about sister-friend movies, women buddy films and "chick flicks" by African women

Dhalinyaro by/de Lula Ali Ismail (Djibouti)

The Foxy Five Web Series. Created and Directed by Jabu Nadia Newman (South Africa)

Tibeb Girls, an animation project by Bruktawit Tigabu (Ethiopia)

Frontières by Apolline Traoré : “Four women tackling African integration”

An African City directed by Nicole Amarteifio

Aya de Yopougon, an animation film by Marguerite Abouet

Lula Ali Ismaïl: Laan | Les Copines | Girlfriends
Rumbi Katedza : Playing Warriors 

Tiana Rafidy: Lorety sy Mardy

A Conversation with Yetnayet Bahru

07 January 2022

Christiane Kouraogo: Le Retour, une fable initiatique très Western | The Return, a rite of passage tale, very Western - critique by/par Ansoumana Dasylva (

Christiane Kouraogo: Le Retour, une fable initiatique très Western
The Return, a rite of passage tale, very Western
Critique by/par Ansoumana Dasylva

Isabelle Christiane Kouraogo
Le Retour (The Return)
Côte d'Ivoire - 17min - fiction

Critique by/par Ansoumana Dasylva
Source: (publ. 06 jan 2022)
Translated from French by Beti Ellerson, an African Women in Cinema Blog collaboration with
Version originale en français: (

Salimata, a Senegalese woman studying in Morocco, decides to return to her country to see her mother who is in critical condition. What does this perilous journey, upon which she embarks with little means, have in store for her?

Passionate about cinema and digital technology since her childhood, Isabelle Kouraogo, from Côte d'Ivoire, pursued directing. After starting her career in television, and wanting to devote herself to cinema, she studied at the École Supérieure des Arts Visuels de Marrakech (ESAV). 
This is perhaps what inspired her film Le Retour, where we find a young Senegalese woman who hitchhikes from Morocco to cross the Mauritanian border to be with her mother who is ill. During this return to her country, a journey upon which she embarks with no financial resources, she confronts the fear of unknown drivers, starting with Rachid who gives her a ride in his van, initiates a conversation and begins to make ambiguous proposals. On a winding and deserted road, a sort of rodeo of feelings, both wary and sad, emerge within Salimata.

She has courage and determination. But between the skeleton pendant which hangs in the truck and the revolver spotted in the glove compartment, there is a feeling of death that threatens her. Isabelle Kouraogo draws on the codes of both the western and Hitchcockian suspense to orchestrate the confrontation between the two protagonists, who for the most part remain in the closed environment of the driver's cabin, up until a tense altercation. It is then that a decisive reversal occurs which makes Le Retour a rite of passage tale right to the end, which is also very western. 

Tense, poignant, fascinating and very sober, the film keeps us in suspense, providing us with a subtle reversal that highlights the contribution of Black cultures in a society that is losing its moral values.

06 January 2022

Women, Leadership and CNA Afrique - Cinema Numerique Ambulant - Traveling Digital Cinema


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.

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