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.


My photo
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


Search This Blog

01 June 2023

"She is fearless": Ama Ata Aidoo, renowned author and feminist has joined the ancestors

Ama Ata Aidoo, renowned author and feminist has joined the ancestors

...As a writer she is fearless. She’s a poet, short story writer, playwright, novelist and essayist. Her voice is humorous yet searing and she’s one of the first African writers to explore African women’s sexuality. I also admire Ama Ata Aidoo’s courage in tackling themes many African writers avoid: the impact of the slave trade on the relationship between Africa and its Diaspora – a thorny, sensitive theme that reminds us of the cataclysmic betrayal by African leaders of their people.

Ama Ata Aidoo is a writer with a difference: an artist prepared to dip her toes in the turbulent waters of ‘revolutionary’ change to serve her country as Minister of Education. The idea that creativity can be used as a force to lambast, expose and fight corruption and authoritarianism, as well as instigate change through action, is a form of creativity that is fascinating.

Yaba Badoe, director and co-producer of The Art of Ata Ama Aidoo (2014).

The documentary was directed and produced by Yaba Badoe and co-produced by Amina Mama.

30 May 2023

UNESCO-Nara: Projection/Screening 4 films by young African women filmmakers | de jeunes réalisatrices africaines

UNESCO-Nara: Projection/Screening
4 films by young African women filmmakers | de jeunes réalisatrices africaines

Résidence cinématographique UNESCO-Nara : Projection de quatre films de jeunes réalisatrices africaines

UNESCO-Nara Film Residency: Screening of four films by young African women filmmakers

UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France

7 June | juin 2023 - 6:45 pm - 7 June 2023 - 7:30 pm

Projection des courts métrages | Screening of short films
  • Joan Kiragu: The Herbalist | L’Herboriste
  • Awa Gueye: Saaraba
  • Lydia Matata: A Conversation Between Two Artists | Une conversation entre deux artistes
  • Fama Reyane Sow: Finding Peace | Trouver la paix  

29 May 2023

Meet \ Rencontre - Deborah Lukumuena, réalisatrice \ director of \ de “Championne” - ARTE.TV

Deborah Lukumuena: “Championne” (Champion)

Rencontre avec Deborah Lukumuena, réalisatrice de “Championne” - ARTE.TV
Meet Deborah Lukumuena,  director of  “Championne” - ARTE.TV

En français:

Cesar Laureate in 2017 for best female interpretation in a second role in Divines, passes behind the camera for her first film, the short entitled Championne
Translated from French by Beti Ellerson

I am making films because there are certain things that I need to do and see, there is a need for me to be heard in another way. Even if I have already shown it in roles that I have interpreted. To begin with Championne is a way to…it is cathartic. ‘Okay, you have carte blanche, what are you going to say?’  It’s true that the adaptation of Championne is very specific, I follow a YouTubere called Femme ébène (Ebony woman). And one day there is a video called Prise d’otages, (hostage taking), that I discover. She works at tacos and encounters an odd Uber Eats delivery woman who is as it turns out rather wealthy. They begin to talk and the delivery woman tells her that she is an escort-dominatrix.  She discovers a social milieu that she did not know existed.

My film does not endorse but rather is a testimony of a raised consciousness of my and the upcoming generation that the sexuality and all that is related to sex work has become an exchange currency and not necessarily in a manner of victimhood. The technical crew is composed principally of women for several reasons. To already respond to these weighty issues regarding gender parity, but above all for questions of comfort. I had actresses who are crawling in sexualized clothing. I wanted them to be overprotected and shielded within an empathetic gaze. It was very important that the people feel concerned, with their sensitivity, their own difficulties, their lived-experience, they could bring even more to the creation. All of which creates a safe place [said in English] for creativity and for intimacy. 

There is a political issue in the film which is to show what is not habitually seen, this kind of sexuality and these non-normative, atypical bodies. Not only are these bodies not habitually seen, but to film them as such, to give them sexual and sensual value. A lot of people say to me: ‘It is great to be filmed in this way.’ For me it made sense that in the middle of these things outside of the norm, this body inscribes itself. I don’t know if I will direct films on the longterm, but if I do it will be to show what I don’t see. And I don’t see these kinds of bodies, I don’t see them filmed in this way, I don’t see them on the screens.  

28 May 2023

Cannes 2023 : African Women at Cannes | La présence africaine au féminin

Cannes 2023
African Women at Cannes | La présence africaine au féminin


Longs métrages | Features

Rungano Nyoni: Réalisatrice, Scénariste (Zambie)

Maryam Touzani: Scénariste, Réalisatrice (Maroc)

La Cinef et Courts métrages | Shorts

Karidja Touré: Actrice (France)


Competition Longs-métrages | Features

Ramata-Toulaye Sy: Banel & Adama (Sénégal - 2023 - 87min)

Kaouther Ben Hania: Les filles d’Olfa (Tunisia - 2023 - 107min)

PRIX: Oeil d'Or ex-aequo

Un certain regard

Asmae El Moudir: Kadib Abyad | La Mère de tous les mensonges | Mother of All Lies (Morocco - 2023 - 96min)

PRIX: Oeil d'Or ex-aequo

La Cinef

Zineb Wakrim: Ayyur Moon (Morocco - 2022- 13min)

PRIX: 3rd Prix de la Cinef 2023 


Rosine Mbakam: Mambar Pierrette (Cameroun, Belgique - 2023 -  93 minutes)


Dora Bouchoucha (Tunisia) Marraine de La Fabrique Cinéma 2023 de l'Institut français

En 2023, Dora Bouchoucha, marraine de la Fabrique, accompagnera à son tour 10 réalisatrices et réalisateurs dans le développement de leur premier ou second long métrage.

Nada Riyadh: Moonblind (Egypt)

Moonblind est l'histoire d’une liberté naissante : celle du corps, de l'assignation sexuelle et de la reproduction de la violence. L'histoire nous emmène hors de la civilisation, loin de la ville, pour une immersion au plus profond de l’être, après une expérience traumatique. Après avoir été agressée sexuellement, Badr, la jeune protagoniste, vit un nouveau cauchemar. Pour faire face aux schémas d'attachement malsains qu'ils ont connus dans leur enfance, les survivants d'abus sexuels se retrouvent souvent, à l'adolescence, dans des situations similaires qui leur sont familières. Ils recréent leurs pires cauchemars. Moonblind est une étude viscérale des sujets difficiles que sont les agressions sexuelles, le souvenir traumatique et les relations parents-enfants. Le film pose la question suivante : est-il possible de trouver la rédemption après un passé marqué par la violence ?

Charlie Kouka: Le Procès de Leïla (Tunisia)

Le Procès de Leïla est une histoire qui me tient beaucoup à cœur car elle me renvoie au milieu duquel je viens. J’ai grandi à Sidi Bouzid, une petite ville au centre de la Tunisie, cette ville qui a vu naitre la révolution de 2011, mais qui, comme beaucoup d’autres villes d’ailleurs, a été délaissée par les autorités pendant des années. Par conséquent, la marginalité y est devenue la norme et la foi religieuse a pris une grande place dans la vie des gens.

Lorsque j’ai entendu dire que l’Islam était en train de vivre sa période moyenâgeuse, l’image m’a marquée, et la figure de Jeanne d’Arc s’est immédiatement imposée à moi. Que serait la vie de Jeanne d’Arc si elle vivait à notre époque et surtout, si elle était de confession musulmane ? Ainsi est née l’histoire de Leïla. Cette fille qui va prendre la religion pour alliée afin de s’émanciper.


BFI partners with Diversity in Cannes to celebrate Black women filmmakers during the Cannes Film Festival

Tsitsi Dangarembga - Novelist, Playwright and Filmmaker 

24 May 2023

Tsitsi Dangarembga - Novelist, Playwright and Filmmaker - Mentorship Program - Marché du Film - Festival de Cannes

Tsitsi Dangarembga - Novelist, Playwright and Filmmaker
THURSDAY 25 May , 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Marché du Film - Festival de Cannes
Village International - Pantiero - Pavilion no. 215

Project Z.Africa brings international skills to African filmmakers through mentoring with international industry insiders. Mentees who have been paired with international industry talent are contracted to work on its productions. It’s the brainchild of the Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa together with Nyerai Films Plc and the International Images Film Festival for Women.

18 May 2023

BFI partners with Diversity in Cannes to celebrate Black women filmmakers during the Cannes Film Festival

BFI partners with Diversity in Cannes to celebrate Black women filmmakers during the Cannes Film Festival


Image: BFI

A delegation of UK filmmakers will be attending the festival to focus on growing international networks and building new creative and financial partnerships.
17 May 2023
Yvonne Ibazebo, Nadine Marsh-Edwards, Kelley Robins Hicks and Shantelle Rochester
We’re partnering with Diversity in Cannes to present Celebrating Black Women in International Film, a curated programme of events and networking opportunities to build meaningful creative and financial partnerships. As part of the programme, a delegation of four UK Black female filmmakers, who are actively seeking partners for current projects, will go to the Cannes Film Festival to connect with their international peers.
With only one Black female director to have ever qualified for competition in Cannes until this year, the BFI with Diversity in Cannes is creating space for Black women filmmakers to challenge narratives and barriers that see them persistently underrepresented in the industry. The cohort of UK filmmakers travelling to the festival as part of the programme are Yvonne Ibazebo, Nadine Marsh-Edwards, Kelley Robins Hicks and Shantelle Rochester.
With additional support from the British Blacklist and Times Up UK, the programme includes two days of events, which will see Black filmmakers talk through their experiences, achievements and perspectives. Events will explore what it is to be a filmmaker from a historically marginalised background, to interrogate the importance and value of authentic authorship and how our experiences bring richness to stories.
“After an overwhelmingly positive response to a very informal coming together of Black female talent at last year’s festival, it became clear how rare opportunities to celebrate female filmmakers of colour are. It has been a pleasure to shape this programme with our partner Diversity in Cannes, supported by the British Blacklist and Times Up UK; organisations who have been championing historically marginalised communities for so many years. We hope the events, coupled with supporting a group of UK filmmakers to travel to Cannes, offers a chance for international Black female filmmakers to develop creative pathways that serve their own voice and artistic practices, while operating in a structures that often presents them with barriers. Melanie Hoyes, head of inclusion at the BFI
“Black women directors have been grossly underrepresented and have gone unrecognised at the Cannes Film Festival since inception. In 76 years, there's been only two in competition, Mati Diop in 2019 and Ramata-Toulaye Sy this year. While I celebrate and uplift Sy, the Cannes Film Festival still has work to do. However, I have zero interest in fighting the patriarchy, as you know what they say about old dogs and new tricks. Instead, I will use the Diversity in Cannes platform to honour global black women in film at the Cannes Film Festival, indefinitely, and I’m excited to partner with Melanie Hoyes and the BFI to amplify their voices. Yolonda Brinkley, founder of Diversity in Cannes

11 May 2023

Cannes 2023. Ramata-Toulaye Sy: Banel & Adama

Cannes 2023
Ramata-Toulaye Sy
Banel & Adama

En Compétition - Longs Métrages -1er Film

Sénégal - 2023 - 87min

Banel and Adama are fiercely in love. The young married couple lives in a remote village in northern Senegal. For them, nothing else exists. Yet their perfect everlasting love is on a collision course with their community’s customs. Because in this world, there is no room for passion, let alone chaos

Banel et Adama s’aiment. Ils vivent dans un village éloigné au Nord du Sénégal. Du monde, ils ne connaissent que ça, en dehors, rien n’existe. Mais l’amour absolu qui les unit va se heurter aux conventions de la communauté. Car là où ils vivent, il n’y a pas de place pour les passions, et encore moins pour le chaos.

06 May 2023

Festival de Cine Africano FCAT: Black women in the film industry according to Philippa Ndisi-Herrmann and Beatriz Mbula | Las mujeres negras en la industria del cine según Philippa Ndisi-Herrmann y Beatriz Mbula

Festival de Cine Africano FCAT
Black women in the film industry according to Philippa Ndisi-Herrmann and Beatriz Mbula
Las mujeres negras en la industria del cine según Philippa Ndisi-Herrmann y Beatriz Mbula

The “appetizer” for 4 May brought together two afro-descendant women, German-Kenyan filmmaker Philippa Ndisi-Herrmann and actress Beatriz Mbula, both members of the international jury of FCAT

El aperitivo de cine celebrado el jueves día 4 ha contado con la realizadora Philippa Ndisi-Herrmann y la actriz afrodescendiente Beatriz Mbula, ambas miembros del jurado internacional del FCAT

Philippa Ndisi Herrmann

As an individual, as a woman, you think about a lot about things. Men don't hesitate as much when embarking on a project.

You have to have an open mind and bring together relationships through different characters, stories and scripts.

Beatriz Mbula

Beatriz Mbula focuses on the importance of collectivizing the work of actresses and filmmakers, both black and of color, in order to find greater representation. 

Is the viewer prepared to see these characters? In mainstream cinema there are always the same people, if we change and put in a black person, the producers are not always willing to accept this change nor the public to receive it.


El aperitivo de hoy ha recogido la experiencia personal de dos mujeres negras. “Como individuo, como mujer, se piensa mucho las cosas. Los hombres no dudan tanto a la hora de lanzarse a un proyecto”, ha declarado Philippa Ndisi-Hermann. “Hay que abrir la mente y normalizar las relaciones a través de distintos personajes, historias y guiones”, ha añadido.

Por su parte, Beatriz ha puesto el foco en la importancia de colectivizar el trabajo de las actrices y cineastas negras o racializadas, con el fin de buscar una mayor representación. “¿El espectador está preparado para ver a estos personajes? En el cine mainstream siempre están las mismas personas, si cambiamos y ponemos a una persona negra, los productores no están dispuestos a asumir este cambio ni el público a recibirlo”, ha reflexionado. 

05 May 2023

Rosine Mbakam: “Mambar Pierrette” - Cannes 2023 - Quinzaine des cinéastes

Rosine Mbakam
Mambar Pierrette
Cannes 2023 - Quinzaine des cinéastes  

Rosine Mbakam

Mambar Pierrette

Cameroun, Belgique - 2023 -  93 minutes

Image: Tandor Productions

“For me and for my family in Cameroon, cinema was like a world apart where there were only incredible stories, embodied by incredible people. In my film, these incredible people are my family and the stories are their stories.

«Pour moi et pour ma famille au Cameroun, le cinéma était comme un monde à part où il n’y avait que des histoires incroyables, incarnées par des gens incroyables. Dans mon film, ces gens incroyables, c’est ma famille et les histoires sont les leurs» 


Sous la pluie de Douala, Mambar, résignée, vide l’eau rentrée dans sa maison avec l’aide de ses enfants. Arrivée dans son atelier de couture, le même calvaire recommence. À tour de rôle, les clientes défilent dans son atelier avec un seul mot à la bouche : la préparation de la rentrée scolaire. Mambar n’a encore rien acheté pour ses enfants. Ses journées sont longues, l’attente de ses enfants est grande, mais la pluie de Douala laissera-t-elle le soleil briller sur Mambar et ses enfants ? 

"Une réalisatrice qui brouille la frontière entre la fiction et le documentaire avec ce portrait sans pathos d’une mère courage qui affronte la vie avec endurance. Le film dresse un tableau subtil de la situation économique et de la place des femmes au Cameroun, portée par une formidable interprète."


The city of Douala is in trepidation for the start of the new school year. A long line of customers come to Mambar Pierrette, the neighbourhood dressmaker, to have their clothes ready for imminent social events and ceremonies. More than just a seamstress, Pierrette becomes the confidant of her customers, of a generation. But when the rain starts pouring down and threaten to flood her workshop - one of several successive misfortunes - Pierrette will have to stay afloat.

With this portrait, the filmmaker blurs the boundaries of fiction and documentary; without pathos a courageous mother confronts life with fortitude. The film lays out a subtle portrait of the economic situation and women’s place in Cameroon, interpreted by an impressive protagonist.


An excerpt of the interview with France 24. 24/05/2023, Text by David Rich.

France 24: "Mambar Pierrette" is your first feature film, although it features your cousin in a role very close to her reality. Where do you draw the line between documentary and fiction?

Rosine Mbakam: Pierrette's reality is at the center of the film. It was her life that inspired me to write this story. During the filming, the characters seized on the story to bring the scenario to their own reality. Fiction never takes over, it comes to densify and deepen the narrative, to contextualize certain elements. In particular, it makes it possible to clarify that Pierrette's social situation is not only linked to her husband's irresponsibility, to the fact that she does not earn enough money or to the political situation in Cameroon, but also to neocolonialism, which persists, which means that in certain countries there is still a great deal of insecurity.

France 24: The couture salon occupies a central place in the film. Why did you highlight this activity and what does it symbolize?

RM: My film tells the story of Pierrette who is a seamstress in real life. Couture embellishes, it brings people together and the couture salon is a place conducive to an atmosphere of confidentiality. I wanted to highlight the value of this work of preparing and transforming which hardly exists any more in Western society. We go shopping but we have lost this relationship, this involvement with what we wear. The couture salon also symbolizes the relationship between men and women in Cameroon. The men stay at the entrance, at the door, while the women establish themselves within, embodying the space and spread throughout. These opposing positions mark the contrast between a new generation of women who  take more and more responsibility and who want to build their own as opposed to the men who do not accept this reality and find themselves in a vulnerable situation. Pierrette doesn't sew exclusively for women, she works for everyone, it's not a space that excludes. By staying at a distance, the men protect themselves/each other, they avoid posing questions regarding their position as a means to safeguard their power.

04 May 2023

Safi Faye Memorial Talk - 'Women of African Cinema’ - Film at Lincoln Center - May 6 2023

Safi Faye Memorial Talk
'Women of African Cinema’
Film at Lincoln Center
May 6 2023

Safi Faye is best known as the first woman from Sub-Saharan Africa to ever direct a commercial feature film—1976’s ‘Kaddu Beykat’—but the Senegalese pioneer’s legacy and groundbreaking influence extends far beyond that landmark. In honor of Faye’s recent passing earlier this year, this conversation will bring together the directors Nuotama Bodomo, Jessica Beshir, Akosua Adoma Owusu, and Johanna Makabi, to reflect on Faye’s legacy and what it means for feminist African cinema today. The conversation will be moderated by scholar and critic Yasmina Price.

Image: African Film Festival NY

03 May 2023

Euzhan Palcy honorée. Euzhan Palcy: acceptance speech during the medal of recognition ceremony at the National Assembly | Discours d'Euzhan Palcy lors de la remise de la médaille de l'Assemblée Nationale

Euzhan Palcy honorée

Euzhan Palcy: acceptance speech during the medal of recognition ceremony at the National Assembly | Discours d'Euzhan Palcy lors de la remise de la médaille de l'Assemblée Nationale

Wednesday | Mercredi 3 mai 2023


En français: voir vidéo ci-après

A very touching, moving acceptance speech by Euzhan Palcy

Translation from French by Beti Ellerson

She is indeed the pioneer, the trailblazer for afro-descendant women of France, the French Antilles and beyond!

It's a bit heart-warming. I recently had the honor of receiving an honorary Oscar award, that only one other Frenchwoman has received. I’m speaking about a great woman, our dear Agnès Varda. This recognition gives me great pride and pleasure. But it is one thing to be recognized by one's peers in Los Angeles, though a very different thing to be recognized by one's own in France. And while this recognition reverberated in the international press, when I returned to my country there was nothing or very little. My first film Sugar Cane Alley made me the first black woman to receive a Silver Lion in Venice. And the first also to be awarded a César almost 40 years ago.

Do I have a mission when I create? Yes I do, I create for diversity and more precisely diversity in France. For me, to make films is to discover each other, to be recognized by each other, to accept each other, to come together. When we know the other, we're no longer afraid of them and when we're no longer afraid, we are enriched, we grow up, we pass it on. Very early on I learned two things, that cinema can change the world, and from Aimé Césaire my spiritual father, who said in the depths of despair poetry is a miraculous weapon. And in turn, I wanted to, in my own way, make my cinema a miraculous weapon. The road was scattered with stumbling blocks from the start; at the age of 10, shocked by the fact that my brothers and sisters “nègres”—and I know that word offends some of you, but I use it in good spirit—I find it charged with both poetry and history. So my brothers and sisters “nègres” were conspicuous by their absence from the screens—the large ones and the small ones—I was torn between the pleasure and the fascination that was exerted on me by the films I saw and at the same time the persistent wound of this exclusion.

My relationship with cinema, my desire to do it, have been shaped by this paradox, and throughout my practice as a filmmaker, in Martinique, Guadeloupe, Los Angeles, South Africa, Reunion or Paris, this paradox has never left me. I didn't want to make of myself a pure and hard militant filmmaker. I wanted to approach this problem from various angles, whether historical fiction, animated film, comedy or documentary. When I devoted a few years of my life to dissidents, those resistance fighters that Metropolitan France didn't want to recognize. I wanted my tribute to them to go well beyond a simple documentary and it was in this same place that once the film was completed, I managed to bring these very old ladies and these very old gentlemen who at the twilight of their lives finally obtained the recognition from the institutions of the country for which they had fought. In this time of hatred and darkness, to quote Aime Cesaire once again, we need to work together more than ever, and above all I would like to add, to remember one thing, which has always haunted me, we are only fragile voyagers on this earth. I also say that life for us is not a given, otherwise no one would want to die; it is loaned to us, so let's live well, let's try to work together and love each other. So that we can enrich each other. So it's a special day for me since it concretizes this recognition, no longer that of my peers wherever they are from, but from my fellow citizens, and it is for me from this particular desire, that I accept this medal today with such pride. Thank you.

Blog Archive