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 December 2022

(Re)Discover Amina Barakat, Moroccan journalist and film critic

(Re)Discover Amina Barakat, Moroccan journalist and film critic

En Français (Source & Image):

Amina Barakat, Moroccan film critic and journalist, received her training from the Higher Institute of Journalism in Rabat, audio-visual press program in 1984. From 1985 to 2003, she was a journalist for the daily Al Anbaa, the portal and magazine al Machhad from 2003 to 2005, and responsible for the internal bulletin of the Ministry of Communication from 2006 to 2008. In addition, she was consultant of communication to UNESCO, a permanent correspondent of the International Press Agency (IPS), and contributor to the rubric in Arabic, “Al Yaoum Athamen" for the Alam. 

Amina Barakat also collaborates with the Moroccan television production services, the French-language magazine Femmes du Maroc (Women of Morocco), the Nissae Al Maghreb magazine in Arabic. She collaborates with the Arabic-language daily Assahra Al Maghribiya, the francophone daily newspaper Aujourd'hui le Maroc, the Women's feature service. She is a member of the editorial staff of the website, an active member of the Arab-language website Cinémac, the African film critic website Africiné, among numerous other associative activities.

Several articles by Amina Barakat translated from French appear in the African Women in Cinema Blog:

Amina Barakat speaks with Azza El Hosseiny at the Khouribga Film Festival in Morocco (Africine)

Amina Barakat speaks with Marwa El Sharkawy at the Khouribga Film Festival in Morocco (Africine)

Amina Barakat: Naissance de la Fédération panafricaine des festivals de cinéma et de l'audiovisuel | The Birth of the Pan-African Federation of Film and Audiovisual Festivals

Aida Bouya: une réalisatrice sur les traces de ses aïeuls hassanis | a filmmaker in the footsteps of her Hassani ancestors par/by Amina Barakat

Compte-rendu de la 6ème édition du Festival International du Film de Femmes de Salé par Amina Barakat (Rabat)

Asmae El Moudir: Filmmaking has been my dream since a child

28 December 2022

Aida Bouya, une réalisatrice sur les traces de ses aïeuls hassanis | a filmmaker in the footsteps of her Hassani ancestors par/by Amina Barakat (

Aida Bouya
une réalisatrice sur les traces de ses aïeuls hassanis
a filmmaker in the footsteps of her Hassani ancestors
par/by Amina Barakat

Aida Bouya, une réalisatrice sur les traces de ses aïeuls hassanis 

"Le cinéma est un mode d'expression qu'il faut exploiter dans le bon sens"

rédigé par Amina Barakat

publié le 14/12/2022

Aida Bouya, a filmmaker in the footsteps of her Hassani ancestors

"Cinema is a mode of expression that must be guided by common sense”

Interview by Amina Barakat

Published 14/12/2022

Translation from French by Beti Ellerson. African Women in Cinema Blog in collaboration with Image:

En Français:

Filmmaker Aida Bouya is a born-and-bred Sahrwai from the regions of southern Morocco. On the strength of her deep-rooted expectations, she breaks the chains that confines her to the rites of a conservative society—to explore other universes. In so doing, she chooses a domain that takes her elsewhere. This universe is none other than the 7th art. Her first step towards this glimmering space was her participation in the 1st edition of the festival du patrimoine arabe (Arab heritage festival) which took place in 2020, in Cairo, Egypt.

Her objective of course, is to win the prize for the 1st oeuvre. A captivating documentary, informative and well developed, drawing from the specificities of the region of the Sahara of southern Morocco. From a selection of sixty-three films from several Arab countries, celebrating an Arab heritage that protects its identity and safeguards its history, her work was noteworthy.

Aida is one of the few Sahrawi women who has dared to go behind the camera, watching out for opportune moments to capture images specific to the Sahara, with all that distinguishes it. Employing her 3rd eye, she operates with sensitivity; at a time when the presence of women in the media space was still very reticent because of the mentality of a patriarchal society, which still believed in the difference between men and women, based on a sexist segregation. 

Le coussin de massage, her first documentary, attracted several festivals, which was a motivating factor that pushed her to continue to pursue a career in this area. 

To find out more about this filmmaker with the famous piece of colored fabric, a symbol of the clothing of the desert, Africiné asked her these few questions.

Why did you choose to go behind the camera, in a rather male-dominated profession, especially in a society such as the Sahara?

My choice is the result of an experience I had working in the media and my participation in various training sessions at the International Center for Journalists in Washington, DC. Afterwards, I received a prize concerning street children and single mothers, in an investigative survey program which deals with these kinds of situations that are only getting worse in the many societies weakened by poverty. Hence, my relationship with the camera has become a passion. Giving a sense of place to the ideas that germinate and circulate in my mind, I became increasingly interested in cinema, evolving into this wonderful magical space and decided to make it my profession.

Armed with a very strong personality which allows her to manage her life according to her own wishes, the image of the Sahrawi woman is unique. Do you have any red lines that should not be crossed when dealing with these subjects?

First, the Sahrawi woman is like all Moroccan women, except that she has a charisma that is particular to her, that sets her apart. She is highly respected and always has her say in the matter. She enjoys notoriety; she has a privileged place in the society where she lives and evolves as a mother, wife and active member. Hence, it is present in all areas, so why not cinema, even if it has only been recently adopted by the Sahrawis of the region. Moreover, I am impressed by its presence which prods me to go beyond the actual events in order to highlight its relationship with the sacred of the still conservative Sahrawi society, and to ensure respect for life and safeguard it from the reverberations that may come when dealing with taboo subjects.

Everywhere there are topics that attract the attention of social media, such as the circumcision of little girls, force-feeding [the practice of making women eat a lot of food, editor's note], divorce which makes women increasingly desirable. Do these subjects concern you, as a filmmaker, as a woman?

On the contrary, I think that to have the audacity to deal with these themes shows strength and credibility which gives a lot of importance and interest to the subject. Also, I prefer to have the freedom to deal with all that characterizes a society, whether positive or negative. Therefore, I believe that cinema is a mode of expression that must be guided by common sense.

What film genre are most attracted to most: fiction, documentary?

Currently what interests me the most is documentary filmmaking. Because I like the inspiration that I get from reality and the environment in which I evolve. In addition, it is a space very rich in materials and which helps me to enrich my creative capacities. The universe of the documentary is very vast and open, without the limitations of time or space. This allows me to work beyond the constraints that are imposed when having to comply with a rigid script and a well-defined cast.

How do you feel having received the award for the first oeuvre for your documentary Le coussin de massage?

It is an honor for me to receive this award. Especially since there was very strong competition. It gives me more energy to continue to create.

Do you think that international festivals contribute to the promotion of women's cinema?

Today, we notice that women's cinema is very present in festivals and very appreciated by stakeholders in the industry. The filmmakers benefit from meetings with professionals and can exchange their experiences. It is also a chance to show their work, discuss their ideas and alleviate any perceived difference between them and their colleagues in the field.

As a filmmaker do you believe in the notion of a woman’s cinema?

The important thing is that the woman is behind the camera, that she works in such a manner that she is able to defend her cause and be heard. So a woman’s cinema is there. I can only be optimistic on this point. And to be clear: I would say that a film cannot be released without the presence of the woman, whether in front of or behind the camera. 

Le coussin de massage | Leather Board
12’ - Morocco - 2017 - Documentary


Leather Board highlights the experiences of Salka, mother, widow, leather board maker. Which shares a day in her life, touching on many of the private and personal aspects that characterize Moroccan Saharan women.

Source and image:

Watch Leather Board on Vimeo

Sahara Lab: Leather Board (Aida Bouya) from cohenimages on Vimeo.

The graduation film Leather Board was produced by the Sahara Lab: a Moroccan educational and media NGO whose mission is to identify, encourage and train emerging film and media makers to tell their own stories about Morocco’s diverse, desert culture and its people from Ouarzazate to Dakhla, from Guelmim to Smara.

20 December 2022

Artemisa Ferreira, interview with Cape Verdean filmmaker by Bassirou Niang (Africiné)

Artemisa Ferreira, young Cape Verdean filmmaker

"In Cape Verde, companies still do not have confidence in film projects"
Interview by Bassirou Niang, journalist at Africiné Magazine

Source: Publ: 14/12/2022
Translated from French by Beti Ellerson, an African Women in Cinema Blog collaboration with
Photo © Josiana Cardoso
Artemisa Ferreira a young filmmaker who lives and works in Praia, Cape Verde, holds a Masters in Film and Television Directing. When she walked through the gates of the university her goal was not to fall into the world of cinema. However, that was her destiny. In retrospect, for her it was the best decision she could have made in her life. "I loved watching films, discussing them, reflecting on the how the scenes are put together. “On the first day of class I realized that I was where I needed to be.”

Talk about you film projects so far.

For my graduation project, I presented a short documentary called Identidade Repartida [in 2013]. It was more specifically a reportage that talks about the identity of the descendants of Cape Verdeans who were born in Portugal in order to better understand their experiences around identity and their true nationality. The majority of descendants of Cape Verdeans suffer from an identity problem. This led me to delve into the issue and carry out my final project for the Masters on the subject.

Identidade Repartida from artemisa ferreira on Vimeo

In addition, I made the 1-minute short, Oji (" Today ") [directed in 2015, receiving multi-awards], presented during the Oia festival in 2022. The inspiration for the film developed from the phenomenon of fake love relationships on Facebook. We say "I love you!" on Facebook, but once face to face, we ignore each other. In family relationships, there is distance, and strangely enough, it's like on social media where we can't create a real human connection.

And finally, I have just completed my first feature documentary [Os 47's - Depoimentos que ficaram] which relates the problems of drought and famine in Cape Verde in 1940. Drawing from the testimonies, it recounts the hardships that the people endured. Cape Verde lost around 40% of its population to famine in the 1940s. On 14 October 2022, the film premiered in Praia.

Film projects in progress? 

I'm working on my next documentary which focuses on the singer and diplomat Renato Cardoso. He contributed to the ascendancy of Cape Verdean music, but he died in circumstances that have never been elucidated. Currently, I am in the process of looking for funding.

I am also writing a screenplay for a fiction with a strong psychological dimension, since it addresses the duality with the intimate. In addition to directing, screenwriting is another passion.

Do you work in partnership with other directors from foreign countries?

Not yet, but I plan to do so in the near future.

Do you have difficulties in carrying out your profession as a filmmaker?

Not at all ! I love being a filmmaker, and when you love something, the difficulties are just details for you. Filmmaking allows one to duplicate oneself, but also create a new world, denounce what is not right, to educate, to raise awareness, and I like that a lot. The difficulty I may have is not being able to get the funding needed in time to complete my work. In Cape Verde, at the moment, we cannot live from cinema. You have to find additional activities to earn a living.

Exactly, how are you able to obtain funding?

I send requests everywhere, including to sponsors. All the films I've made so far, I've made with my salary. I have even accumulated debt that I must repay. Now, the Ministry of Culture and Creative Industry has created the NuNac (The National Center for Cinema of Cape Verde) which will be able to give financial assistance to projects. For the production of my documentary Os 47's - Depoimentos que ficaram (" 1940s, the testimonies that remained "), my friends assisted me as best they could. As I had no funding, I did all the production work (sound, image, post-production); which can be the cause of technical shortcomings, especially in sound quality.

What is you view of cinema in Cape Verde?

In Cape Verde, we are at the beginning stages of our cinema and we do not have the technical conditions that allow us to do exactly what we want to do.

The biggest problem for cinema in Cape Verde is to find funding. Companies still don't have confidence in film projects. They still don't see the value of cinema or what can be gained from it. On the other hand, we have the physical and nature settings for filming. Many young university graduates are beginning to take their first steps in cinema. But, the conditions for professional fulfillment must also be there.

There is some consolation in that we do have some international film festivals in our country, which help to draw attention to local production. Also, many of our colleagues have already started working on international co-productions. And all this demonstrates the value of the work that is done on site. I think the production and financing conditions will be met soon and this will have a positive impact on the quality of the films.

Interview conducted by Bassirou Niang

19 December 2022

Association des Femmes du Cinéma et de l'Audiovisuel au Togo (Afeciat) - Rencontre de partage des femmes cinéastes | A sharing space for women filmmakers 23 Dec 2022

Association des Femmes du Cinéma et de l'Audiovisuel au Togo (Afeciat)
Women's Association of Cinema and Audiovisual of Togo.

 Rencontre de partage des femmes cinéastes
A sharing space for women filmmakers

23 Dec 2022

Plate-forme des actualités de l'Association des Femmes du Cinéma et de l'Audiovisuel au Togo. C'est un creuset de talents, rêves et visions afin de affirmer dans l'industrie cinématographique naissante du pays.

A platform of current events of the Women's Association of Cinema and Audiovisual of Togo. It's a melting pot of talent, dreams and visions affirming the country's evolving film industry.

13 December 2022

Women Digital Resilience Training - Association of Media Women in Kenya

Women Digital Resilience Training
in conjunction with Association of Media Women in Kenya, DW Akademie, German Cooperation

13-15 December 2022

DW Akademie has kickstarted a three-day training for journalists, human rights defenders, and women leaders in advancing the resilience of women in online spaces under the @WomenAtWebEA project.

Panel members:
Lorna Sempele, Moderator, Communications Consultant
Patience Nyange, Executive Director, Association of Media Women in Kenya (AMWIK)
Josephine Mirembe, Communications Consultant
Robi Koki, Communications and Media Expert

In Kenya, DW Akademie works with local partners to combat hate speech, promote accurate and independent reporting, and help make media house financially sustainable - especially in times of the pandemic.

07 December 2022

Olive Nwosu: Egúngún (Masquerade) Dakar Court 2022

Olive Nwosu: Egúngún (Masquerade) Dakar Court 2022

Nigeria/United Kingdom - Fiction - 15 minutes - 2021

In search of healing, a young woman returns to Nigeria, to her ancestral village. To bury her mother. There she finds a woman, an old lovethat is rekindled.

Olive Nwosu, about Egúngún in her own words:
Egúngún came from my need to examine my own feelings about the concept of “home”. When traveling, I lived under myriad identities, and I am tormented by this recurrent question: this perception of different lives lived, and the possibilities of lives. How fate leads us on a single path, excluding other versions of ourselves: there is undeniably, the injustice, the randomness, and the beauty of it all. It corresponds to the disguise of the Egúngún, when the ancestors return into a subconscious space to remind us of their existence, and in so doing we come face to face with a great deal of subliminal things, which we don't really know—the wounds of the past, the fractures of the present—so that we can confront them. In this sense, I would say that the film is a meditation on memory, identity, duty. About the many versions of ourselves that haunt us and heal us. And I hope, that by some sort of acceptance—of the Past, of the Self, of the Ego—after so much time spent in camouflage, that one can now feel. [Translation from French.]

04 December 2022

JOURNEY(S): A docupoem anthology by Saaret E. Yoseph

A docupoem anthology by Saaret E. Yoseph

JOURNEY(S) is a narrative trip between distant sister cities—Addis Ababa, Ethiopia & Washington, DC. The experimental docupoem anthology combines interview excerpts of oral history with original poetry to explore identity, migration, memory and the meaning of “home.” 

Inspired by poet Ntozake Shange’s acclaimed choreopoem For Colored Girls, director/producer Saaret E. Yoseph sifts through her own cultural biography, creating a short-form audio series that follows the stories of Ethiopian women, who arrived in the District prior to or during the 1980s. 

An eclectic collage of language and movement, each episode of JOURNEY(S) will be roughly 5-8 minutes long and paired with a video portrait dedicated to the Black feminine gaze. Visual source materials will be spliced and reimagined, including advertisements, newspaper headlines and pictorials from the 60s, 70s and 80s, ripped from the pages of history and transformed for the anthology, in order to speak to the collective experiences of Black transnational women across the African diaspora.

Source: Zoom

01 December 2022

Irène Tassembédo: La Traversée (The Crossing) Prix Clément Tapsoba 2022 (Burkina Faso)

Irène Tassembédo
La Traversée (The Crossing)
Prix Clément Tapsoba 2022 (Burkina Faso)

Irène Tassembédo is the laureate of the Prix Clément Tapsoba 2022, presented on 23 November in Burkina Faso, for her film La Traversée (The Crossing).  It received the Special Jury Mention, in the Perspectives Selection at the 27th edition of FESPACO in 2021.

Irène Tassembédo
La Traversée (The Crossing)
Burkina Faso
Feature - 111min - 2021

Djibi returns to Burkina Faso after working for ten years in Italy—with pockets full and a heavy secret. Having contacted a group of young people from his neighborhood in Ouaga, whose only intention is to emigrate to Europe, he designs a secret project to prepare them for the voyage, which he himself has undertaken. A physically and mentally intensive preparation, quasi-military. Those who enroll in the program, whose profiles and backgrounds portray the social and cultural realities of the current generation of African youth, will see their lives take a new turn as a result of this very unique coaching. Djibi's objective is, in fact, to take each of them on an initiatory journey leading to personal fulfillment, and ultimately reversing the emigration project.

Irène Tassembédo is a choreographer and filmmaker.

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