30 June 2010
28 June 2010
23 June 2010
Each year a three-month residency for scriptwriting and production of the documentary is held in St. Louis, Senegal. Founded on the idea that the participants share a common desire for the cinema, the Residency features three to four young Senegalese filmmakers who work alongside Belgian cinéastes and technicians.
The films produced during the Residency are promoted and broadcast (on television, through DVD distribution and at festivals) in Europe by the GSARA and in Africa by the Cinéma(s) d’Afrique(s) Station in Dakar.
In order to engage with the public, during the three-week Screening Tour in Europe, the resident filmmakers are able to accompany their films in the theaters where they are screened and at festivals.
Among the attendees at the Media Center of Dakar Residency held in 2006, 2007 and 2008, five women participated and produced short films: Maïmouna Guèye: Destins croisés, 2006; Oumy Ndour: Njakhass/Patchwork, 2007; Marie-Louise Sarr: Chaîne alimentaire, 2008 (film not available for viewing); Aicha Thiam: Papa, 2006; Fatou Jupiter Touré: Surtout, souriez, 2006.
21 June 2010
Filmmaker and Reader of Film Practice at the University of Wales-Newport, Florence Ayisi met the “Women Fighters” during a research trip to Zanzibar in 2005. She was especially struck by their enthusiasm, talent, and perseverance. She has this to say about the film:
Zanzibar Soccer Queens is a documentary that presents fresh insights into other lived experiences and realities in Africa, particularly women’s experiences. The stories of the players of Women Fighters present a complex and diverse perspective of untold African Herstories: visions of hope; self-determination; empowerment; solidarity; aspirations and personal identity. These women cross the boundaries of how a woman should be in their society. They are undertaking extraordinary steps to define and determine their ambitions and fate. I was attracted to their courage and efforts to achieve personal goals beyond the cramped borders of gender lines, traditional and cultural expectations that prescribe of how women should dress or behave. (Director’s Statement on Website).
The power behind women’s soccer on the island is its dynamic and charismatic coach, Nassra Juma Mohammed, the first female coach in Zanzibar. In addition to skill building in the sport, she also stresses the importance of women’s development. "What is important to me is that if the players get education they will be able to be employed to get jobs such as secretaries, cashiers , so they can take care of their own lives."
The film offers a fascinating insight into women and sport in this majority Muslim population, especially as it relates to culturally defined roles for women and their bodies.
The Zanzibar Soccer Queens Website provides a wealth of information about the individual "Women Fighters", the background and interest of filmmaker Florence Ayisi, a gallery of photographs, contact information, and a delightful trailer of the film.
Zanzibar Soccer Queens Website
17 June 2010
10 June 2010
Behind the fascination with the Nollywood phenomenon are women who have played a critical role in its evolution into an international “must see”.
Checkmate (1990) by Amaka Igwe
Amaka Igwe, who was trained in theater arts, has produced movies, series and soap operas for television, film and video. In the 1990’s the immensely popular soap opera, Checkmate catapulted her to national renown and is among the standard-setting works for Nollywood productions. Her short film, The Barber’s Wisdom is one of the few shot on celluloid among contemporary Nigerian filmmakers, which attests to the popularity of the home video movement from which Nollywood evolves. In addition to the central role she plays as filmmaker, Igwe is an important stakeholder in the Nigerian film industry. She is founder and organizer of BOBTV the acronym for Best of the Best TV, a film and television program market held annually in Abuja, Nigeria. In addition, it is a venue for meetings, conferences and workshops related to film/video.
Nollywood Lady (2008) featuring Peace Anyiam-Fiberesima by Dorothee Wenner
Peace Anyiam-Fiberesima, a lawyer by training and CEO of the African Film Academy and founder of the African Movie Academy Awards, has a grassroots view of the purpose of Nollywood: to make films for the masses, not the elite. As she points out in the film, This is Nollywood, “what you have to remember about this society is that there are people in Africa who live on one dollar a day and these are the people that really watch these films.”(1) The goal of the African Film Academy is to ensure that there is training and funding for filmmakers in order to produce films so that the world may have a positive view of Africa.(2) Dorothee Wenner’s Nollywood Lady, features Peace Anyiam-Fiberesima as they navigate through Lagos, the capital of this vibrant, dynamic and dramatic moving-image phenomenon.
But before Amaka Igwe and Peace Anyiam-Fiberesima, there was Lola Fani-Kayode, pioneer producer of Mirror in the Sun, one of Nigeria’s most successful television soap operas. In the mid-1980s Amaka Igwe recalls being immersed in the weekly episodes at 8 o’clock each Sunday night.(3) This seminal program was the impetus for her classic series, Checkmate.Notes
(1) Klappe auf in Afrika (Interview clip, Berlinale 2010)(2) Klappe auf in Afrika (Interview clip, Berlinale 2010)
(3) Who Defines Quality - Amaka Igwe (Africans Make Movies)
09 June 2010
04 June 2010
Launching the African Women in Cinema Vlog allowed me to bring together a plethora of video clips sometimes hidden and buried on channels and websites or on venues that were not apparent in a general search. There is a diversity of languages, which in many cases are not subtitled. This polyglotism attests to the extent of the global experiences of African women in cinema. I encourage you to return often as updates are made on a regular basis.