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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30 April 2022

Women of the screen from the African diaspora of Belgium

Women of the screen from
the African diaspora of Belgium
Notes Beti Ellerson
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. Similarly, journalist Djia Mambu, as film activist, journalist and critic, is very involved in the promotion of African cinema throughout the globe, and advocates for positive and realistic representations of people of African origin. 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. They teamed together to make the short drama, Tout le monde a des raisons d'en vouloir à sa mère (Everyone has Reasons to be Angry with their Mother) the film 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.  

The number of Belgium-based women in cinema has expanded as opportunities to live and work become increasingly attractive. Wendy Bashi, filmmaker and journalist, is 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, the Magazine of the Belgian development cooperation. 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.

Senegalese journalist and filmmaker Katy Lena Ndiaye, who lives and works in Brussels, produced the program Reflets du sud on French channel TV5 Monde and the Belgian public television RTBF. In Traces, Footprints of Women, her first documentary, Katy Lena Ndiaye gives voice to women in a village in Burkina Faso, near the border with Ghana. Her second documentary, Awaiting for men, was presented out of competition at the 22nd edition of the International Francophone Film Festival of Namur in 2008.  Cameroonian Rosine Mbakam, who came to Belgium to continue her studies, has focused her work on the experiences of women who immigrate to the country. Her debut film, Tu seras mon allié (2012), follows Domé’s interminable anguishing passage after being intercepted at the airport in Brussels. Chez Jolie Coiffure (2019) 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. Similarly, Delphine’s Prayers (2021) follows the trajectory of Delphine, a young Cameroonian woman in search of a better life in Europe for herself and her daughter—she ends up marrying a Belgian man three times her age, but only finds a spiraling descent into the perpetual violence of a postcolonial world. In 2016, she focused the camera on herself, during a return to the source. In the film the The Two Faces of a Bamiléké Woman, back in Cameroon after  she and her mother come together to share their different and intersecting lives. Rosine teaches cinema at the KASK & Conservatorium / School of Arts in Gent. In March 2023 she initiated a Focus program entitled: Thérèse Sita Bella, Safi Faye et l'évolution de la pratique cinématographique des femmes africaines | the evolution of African women’s cinematic practice. Her film Mambar Pierrette, also set in Cameroon about the experiences of the neighborhood dressmaker, was selected in the category Quinzaine des cineastes at Cannes 2023.

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

23 April 2022

Aseye Tamakloe: When Women Speak (Ghana)

Aseye Tamakloe
When Women Speak
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.

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.


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.

Moreover, 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
Weightlifting. Mayye Zayed: Ash Ya Captain | Lift Like a Girl

12 April 2022

Wendy Bashi: Libende Boyz (Vision du Reel 2022)

Wendy Bashi: Libende Boyz (Vision du Reel 2022)

Wendy Bashi
Libende Boyz
DR Congo/Belgium
2022 - Documentary - 46 min
The Libende Boyz, young rappers from Beni, in the DRC, try at all costs to make a form of artistic expression, even in a context where everyone fears for their lives on a daily basis. Filmmaker Wendy Bashi creates a rich portrait of a resilient youth overflowing with dreams who wants to transform Beni into the new capital of rap.

Les Libende Boyz, jeunes rappeurs de Beni, en RDC, essaient coûte que coûte de faire exister une forme d’expression artistique dans un contexte où chacun craint quotidiennement pour sa vie. La réalisatrice Wendy Bashi signe le riche portrait d’une jeunesse résiliente et débordante de rêves qui veut transformer Beni en nouvelle capitale du rap.

Source: Vision du Reel 2022 (Belgium) Link


11 April 2022

African Women in Cinema addressing the effects of globalization, glocalization, internationalization and other global matters

African Women in Cinema addressing the effects of globalization, glocalization, internationalization and other global matters

"…we have to make sacrifices in order to live in this world…we have to know that our own behavior will affect generations to come.”--Wanuri Kahiu

"This performance protests against the deterioration of the ozone layer due to the greenhouse gas emissions, the main chemo-physical element responsible for the overheating of the blue planet, which should always be green, without air pollution, and free of ultraviolet (UV) radiation."--Julie Djikey
"Unemployed, without hope, and many looking to leave the country for want of better options… Young men are swelling the ranks of gangs that sow violence in Zinder, my home town, in Niger….They style themselves after black American hotshots from the ghettos: heavy chains around their necks, T-shirts bearing images of Hollywood stars, strutting around in low-slung faded jeans. They make themselves known in various spectacular, and sometimes tragic, ways, feeding the climate of fear and hysteria in Zinder."--Aicha Macky

Migrancy and displacement: African women of the moving image have a particular concern for the plight of the migrant, heightened by the dramatic impact of migrancy and its consequences and effects in many African countries.

Links to articles on the African Women in Cinema Blog addressing global matters and their impact on Africa and Africans
Traveling gazes: Glocal imaginaries in the transcontinental, transnational, exilic, migration and diaspora cinematic experiences of African women

08 April 2022

The Independent Black Filmmakers Collective Presents: The Game Changers in an Evolving Film and TV Industry: Tsitsi Dangarembga & Xoliswa Sithole In Conversation

The Independent Black Filmmakers Collective Presents: The Game Changers
Tsitsi Dangarembga & Xoliswa Sithole In Conversation

The filmmakers discuss the role, status, history of women in the film industry, film financing, and possibilities of regional collaboration

Apr 11, 2022 04:00 PM in Johannesburg

A Conversation with Tsitsi Dangarembga and Xoliswa Sithole moderated by Maganthrie Pillay. Zoom recording of event @
Zoom registration:

07 April 2022

Sonia Chamkhi, new director general of the Carthage Film Festival | nouvelle directrice générale des Journées Cinématographiques de Carthage (JCC)

Sonia Chamkhi, new director general of the Carthage Film Festival | nouvelle directrice générale des Journées Cinématographiques de Carthage (JCC)

Source: Translation from French. En Français ci-après.

The Ministry of Cultural Affairs has just announced the appointment of the academic and filmmaker Sonia Chamkhi, as director of the 33rd edition of the Carthage Film Festival (JCC). She succeeds Ridha Behi.
Sonia Chamkhi holds a doctorate in cinema, audiovisual and television from the Université Panthéon-Sorbonne and teaches image design and audiovisual practice at the Institut supérieur des beaux-arts de Tunis. She is also a lecturer at the École supérieure de l'audiovisuel et du cinéma (Tunisia). 

Since 2002, she has directed several fiction films  (Normal in 2002, Borderline in 2008 et Narcisse in 2015)  and documentaries (Douz, la porte du Sahara in 2003, L'Art du mezoued in 2010 and Militantes… in 2012).

She is the recipient of awards for the best fiction feature film, International category of FESTICAB (Burundi, 2016) and FESTILAG (Côte d'Ivoire, 2018) for Narcisse. Her films have been selected in numerous international competitions including the Cannes Film Festival, JCC Carthage, the Dubai International Film Festival, the African, Asian and Latin American Film Festival of Milan, the Pan-African Film and Television Festival in Ouagadougou (FESPACO) and the Créteil International Women's Film Festival. They have also been broadcast by TV5 Monde, France 3 Corse, the BBC, 2M and Tunisian Television 2. 

A researcher and literary author, she has written two essays on Tunisian cinema, entitled "Cinéma tunisien nouveau : parcours autres" (New Tunisian cinema: other paths) in 2002 and "Le cinéma tunisien à la lumière de la modernité : études critiques de films tunisiens (1996-2006)," (about Tunisian cinema and modernity) in 2009, and two novels, Leïla ou la femme de l'aube in 2008 and L'Homme du crépuscule in 2012. Her first novel won the Zoubeida Bchir for a woman creative in 2008, the Comar prize for first novel and honorable mention of the Noma prize for publication in Africa in 2009.
She is a member of the Parlement des écrivaines francophones. 

In 2020, she was appointed Director General of the Centre national du cinéma et de l'image.


Sonia Chamkhi, nouvelle directrice générale des Journées Cinématographiques de Carthage (JCC).

Le ministère des Affaires culturelles vient d'annoncer la nomination de l'universitaire et réalisatrice Sonia Chamkhi, directrice de la 33ème édition des Journées cinématographiques de Carthage (JCC). Elle succède ainsi à Ridha Behi.

Sonia Chamkhi est titulaire d'un doctorat en cinéma, audiovisuel et télévision de l'université Panthéon-Sorbonne et enseigne le design image et la pratique audiovisuelle à l'Institut supérieur des beaux-arts de Tunis. Elle est également maîtresse de conférences à l'École supérieure de l'audiovisuel et du cinéma (Tunisie).

À partir de 2003, elle réalise diverses fictions (Normal en 2002, Borderline en 2008 et Narcisse en 2015) et des documentaires (Douz, la porte du Sahara en 2003, L'Art du mezoued en 2010 et Militantes… en 2012).

Récipiendaire des trophées du meilleur long métrage de fiction, catégorie Internationale du FESTICAB (Burundi, 2016) et du FESTILAG (Côte d'Ivoire, 2018) pour Narcisse. Ses films sont sélectionnés dans de nombreuses compétitions internationales dont le Festival de Cannes, les Journées cinématographiques de Carthage, le Festival international du film de Dubaï, le Festival du cinéma d'Afrique, d'Asie et d'Amérique latine de Milan, le Festival panafricain du cinéma et de la télévision de Ouagadougou ou le Festival international de films de femmes de Créteil. Ils ont été également diffusés par TV5 Monde, France 3 Corse, la BBC, 2M et la Télévision tunisienne.

Chercheuse et auteure littéraire, elle a écrit deux essais sur le cinéma tunisien, intitulés Cinéma tunisien nouveau : parcours autres en 2002 et Le cinéma tunisien à la lumière de la modernité : études critiques de films tunisiens (1996-2006) en 2009, et deux romans, Leïla ou la femme de l'aube en 2008 et L'Homme du crépuscule en 2012. Son premier roman remporte le prix Zoubeida Bchir de la création féminine en 2008, le prix Comar du premier roman et la mention d'honneur du prix Noma de publication en Afrique en 2009.

Elle est membre du Parlement des écrivaines francophones.

En 2020, elle est nommée directrice générale du Centre national du cinéma et de l'image.


06 April 2022

Fundraising, crowd funding for "Neighborhood Alert" a film by Ngozi Onwurah

Fundraising, crowd funding for "Neighborhood Alert" a film by Ngozi Onwurah

Inspired by a true story, NEIGHBORHOOD ALERT is a film about a mother who makes an extraordinary decision to ensure the safety of her son. Directed, by award winning writer and director, Ngozi Onwurah, this film will force viewers to examine how they contribute to the violence that harms Black people as they navigate their daily lives.

CashApp: $NAFilm

Contribute to Indiegogo crowd funding:

04 April 2022

L'Algérienne Yamina Bachir Chouikh, la réalisatrice de "Rachida", est morte à 68 ans | Algerian filmmaker Yamina Bachir Chouikh, 68, has died

Image: Cannes 2002 Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP
La réalisatrice de "Rachida", l'Algérienne Yamina Bachir Chouikh, est morte à 68 ans
Algerian filmmaker Yamina Bachir Chouikh, 68, has died

Yamina Bachir Chouikh est morte dimanche 3 avril à Alger
Yamina Bachir Chouikh died on Sunday 3 April in Algiers.

Image: Cannes 2002 Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP

Algerian filmmaker Yamina Bachir Chouikh, known for her film Rachida, denouncing the violence of years of terrorism, died on Sunday 3 April in Algiers, following a long illness, announced the Lumières film association.
Editor by training, Yamina Bachir,  became known internationally for her first feature film Rachida (2002). The film related the experiences of a young teacher in a working-class district of Algiers, struggling with terrorism during the "Dark Decade" (1992-2002) and denounced a "culture of hatred and violence".

"Rachida" presented at Cannes

The feature film co-produced by Arte, StudioCanal and Ciné-Sud Promotion, released in France in January 2003, was noticed at several festivals and won awards in Amiens (France), Namur (Belgium) and Marrakech (Morocco). It was presented at Cannes in the Un certain regard section

In 2010, Yamina Bachir Chouikh made a documentary, Hier, aujourd'hui et demain (Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow) on women's engagement during the Algerian war.

Born on March 20, 1954 in Algiers, she made her debut as an editor at the Center national du cinema algérien (Centre national du cinéma algérien) in 1973. She worked as a scriptwriter on Omar Gatlato by Merzak Allouache (1976) and Vent de sable by Mohamed Lakhdar-Hamina (1982).

She was the wife of filmmaker Mohamed Chouikh (La Citadelle, L'Arche du désert), of which she had edited most of the films, and the mother of filmmaker Yasmine Chouikh (Jusqu'à la fin des temps). She was buried Sunday in Algiers.


La réalisatrice algérienne Yamina Bachir Chouikh, connue pour son film Rachida dénonçant la violence des années de terrorisme, est décédée dimanche 3 avril à Alger, des suites d'une longue maladie, a annoncé l'association de cinéma Lumières.

Monteuse de formation, Yamina Bachir, 68 ans, s'était faite connaître à l'étranger grâce à Rachida (2002) son premier long métrage. Le film mettait en scène une jeune institutrice dans un quartier populaire d'Alger, aux prises avec le terrorisme pendant la décennie noire (1992-2002) et dénonçait une "culture de la haine et de la violence".

"Rachida" présenté à Cannes

Le long métrage coproduit par Arte, StudioCanal et Ciné-Sud Promotion, sorti en France en janvier 2003, avait été remarqué dans plusieurs festivals et primé à Amiens (France), Namur (Belgique) et Marrakech (Maroc). Il avait été présenté à Cannes dans la section Un certain regard

En 2010, Yamina Bachir Chouikh avait réalisé un documentaire, Hier, aujourd'hui et demain, sur l’engagement des femmes pendant la guerre d'Algérie.

Née le 20 mars 1954 à Alger, elle avait fait ses débuts de monteuse au Centre national du cinéma algérien en 1973. Elle avait travaillé comme scripte sur Omar Gatlato de Merzak Allouache (1976) et Vent de sable de Mohamed Lakhdar-Hamina (1982).

Elle était l'épouse du réalisateur Mohamed Chouikh (La Citadelle, L'Arche du désert), dont elle avait monté la plupart des films, et la mère de la réalisatrice Yasmine Chouikh (Jusqu'à la fin des temps). Elle a été inhumée dimanche à Alger.

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