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.

06 May 2016

Ellie Foumbi launches the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for Zenith, a Columbia University Thesis Film (USA)

Ellie Foumbi (Cameroon) launches the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for Zenith, a Columbia University Thesis Film (USA)

Source and Image: Indiegogo


An African American Mennonite, begins her mornings at a local chapel where her adoptive mother (Annie) preaches. She and three other African Americans, including one named Caleb, stand out like sore thumbs amidst the predominantly White congregation. Unlike the rest of the members in church, Zenith is distracted, completely disconnected from her mother’s powerful sermon about the importance of family. After church, Caleb tries to connect with Zenith but she remains cold. On their way home, Zenith and Annie pass a drifter walking along the road, listening to his iPod. Back at the farm, while doing their chores, Annie tells Zenith that she needs to think about settling down. After all, she’s not getting any younger and Caleb will not wait forever. They are soon interrupted by the arrival of the drifter (Angel) they passed on the road. He’s there in response to an ad Annie placed seeking a farm hand. Although he only speaks Spanish, Annie hires him anyway. Zenith’s initial apprehension quickly turns to intrigue, as she and Angel slowly build an unspoken connection over the course of the work day, exacerbating her dilemma over whether she should stay her the safety of her community or explore the outside world.

Bio of Director/Writer:

Ellie Foumbi was born in the Central African nation of Cameroon.  She received strong training in classical French theatre at the French American School of NY.  Last summer, she was awarded the New York Women in Film and Television scholarship for the production of her short film, Avalanche, a psychological horror movie about a young wife’s downward spiral.  Ellie added the role of producer to her resume this year by co-producing two other films, including the 2015 HBO production grant winner, Search Party, starring veteran actress Rosalyn Coleman.  Ellie’s other projects include the short film that she co-wrote and co-directed with Michael Niederman, Biltmore, which stars Laura Gómez of Orange is the New Black.  Her first screenplay, The Color of Paradise, was a finalist for the 2012 Sundance Screenwriting Lab and her short screenplay, A Thing of Beauty, placed in the Top Ten Percent of the 2014 BlueCat Screenplay Competition.  Ellie was selected for a directing exchange at the prestigious La Fémis in Paris, France in participation with “Atelier Acteur mise en scène.” 

Visit the Indiegogo page: Zenith for details about the fundraising efforts and to make a contribution.

04 May 2016

Pocas Pascoal (Angola) : La Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde (Festival de Cannes) 2016

Image: SanoSi-Productions
Pocas Pascoal (Angola) : La Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde (Festival de Cannes) 2016

Source: La Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde
Image: SanoSi-Productions

Pocas Pascoal (Angola) : invited to attend the Festival de Cannes to present and discuss her film project “Girlie”, (2nd feature film).

Pocas Pascoal (Angola): sélectionnées de venir au Festival
de Cannes présenter et défendre son projet “Girlie”, (2ème long métrage).

Synopsis: Girlie

This film explores emotions and the environment, showing one parent’s capacity to deprive the other
of their child and a child’s inability to choose between her parents.

Ema (6) lives with her father, a musician, in Lisbon. One day, during an authorised visit, her mother kidnaps her and takes her back to her home country, Cape Verde. Ema’s father attempts to find them, but her mother keeps running away. As Ema travels closer to the country’s heartland, she must face the solitude and mysteries of this new world.

Le destin d’une enfant, éloignée de son foyer et perdue dans un archipel où sentiments et nature se répondent.

Ema, 6 ans, habite à Lisbonne avec son père musicien. Un jour, lors d’un droit de visite, sa mère Vissoka la kidnappe et l’emmène sur sa terre natale au Cap-Vert. Déracinée, l’enfant est plongée dans un univers mystérieux. Alors que son père redouble d’efforts pour la retrouver, Ema s’égare au cœur de l’île.

La Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde

La Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde is a professional programme helping talented young directors from emerging countries increase their international exposure. Each year this programme, developed by the Institut français, in partnership with France Médias Monde – RFI, France 24, Monte Carlo Doualiya- with the support of The International Organization of La Fancophonie, invites ten directors working on their first or second feature films to attend the Festival de Cannes along with their producers.

La Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde est un programme professionnel développé par l’Institut français pour favoriser l’émergence de la jeune création des pays du sud sur le marché international. Conçu en étroite collaboration avec le Festival de Cannes et le Marché du Film, le programme permet chaque année à une dizaine de réalisateurs sélectionnés accompagnés de leurs producteurs de venir au Festival de Cannes présenter et défendre leurs projets de premier ou deuxième long métrage. 

02 May 2016

The Women of African Descent Film Festival 2016 (New York)

The 15th Annual Women of African Descent Film Festival (WADFF) Brooklyn, New York



The Brooklyn Chapter of The Links announces the 15th Annual Women of African Descent Film Festival (WADFF). WADFF will showcase films focused on Women, their families, neighborhoods, and the global community. Featuring an international roster of films, the Festival will take place on Saturday, 7 May 2016 at LIU Brooklyn, Media Arts Department, Spike Lee Screening Room, 10 am – 6 pm.

Films are produced, written, or directed by a female filmmaker of African descent and have been completed on or after June 1, 2010. Jurors Choice Awards and stipends will be presented to participating filmmakers.

Continuing its legacy of showcasing the talent and accomplishments of artists of African descent, The Women of African Descent Film Festival is celebrating its 15th Anniversary in 2016.

Formed in 1952, The Brooklyn Chapter of The Links is dedicated to the support of educational, civic and cultural activities in Brooklyn. It is a chapter of The Links, Inc. an international, not-for-profit corporation, whose membership consists of 14,000 professional women of color in 282 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. The Brooklyn Chapter works under the guidelines of its national organization in providing services to its Brooklyn Community in five mission areas:  The Arts, Services to Youth, National Trends and Services, International Trends, and Health and Wellness. A focus of the Chapter’s arts programming is to empower women and youth by lending support and encouragement to emerging artists – with a particular focus on filmmakers for the past 15 years.

The foundation for all of the chapter’s programs and services is rooted in the African American tradition of giving and volunteerism. Members share a deep sense of communal responsibility, and for the past 63 years, have been committed to actively initiating and supporting educational, cultural, and civic programs that positively impact the lives of people of African descent residing in Brooklyn.

27 April 2016

Alice Diop: La Permanence (On Call), analysis/analyse by/par Olivier Barlet (Africultures)

On Call by Alice Diop. “Remarkable beings”, analysis by Olivier Barlet | La Permanence, d’Alice Diop. Des êtres singuliers, analyse par Olivier Barlet 

Source : Africultures. Translated from French by Beti Ellerson. 

[English] Français ci-après

In competition at the Cinéma du Réel Film Festival in Paris (March 2016) where it received the Institut français Louis Marcorelles Award, On Call is a film that makes a difference and is necessary as an increasingly fearful Europe faces the influx of refugees and migrants.
In a small doctor's office, a fixed camera is placed on one side or the other of the room, allowing either the practitioner or the patient to be seen. How is it that the viewer remains glued to the screen for more than an hour and a half with such a minimalist approach? Glued, moved, in total empathy with those men and women, their pain, their suffering?
No doubt, it is what Alice Diop felt from the impact of hearing about these dramatic experiences that speak of the terrible evolution of a world where violence has become commonplace.
Initially her feelings, which she aptly conveys to us without pathos but with the meticulousness of her craft, become our own. She is discreetly present, as is her sound engineer, whose hands, at one point, are in view at the edge of the screen in an attempt to put a smile on the face of a baby, whose mother weeps an intimate drama caught in the drama of History. They are not trying to conceal themselves. A patient looks at them, asks them: "Are you still here? Do you go to other hospitals or just this one?" He admires the work of the boom operator: "All day, it's heavy!"
As in a film by Chantal Akerman, time is an asset. A static shot of a wall, a door, a chair and the top of a desk, compels us, in terms of duration, to focus on the details: the dilapidated walls, the oldness of the equipment. We are at the public hospital. This doctor, who has a sense of irony, notes that because of the lack of funds, there is a shortage of prescription pads.
This doctor is one of these modern heroes, anonymous and invisible, who give themselves to their task, with the means available. Assisted by a psychiatrist and a social worker, he maintains the PASS, a basic service with continuous access to health care at Avicenne Hospital in Bobigny. The only one in Seine Saint-Denis that offers consultations without appointment for newly-arrived migrants, often without social security and pending administrative decision on their status in France. When a refugee gets asylum, he or she is happy, though it is rare to hear: "This is a new life, everything will go well now!" And immediately tempered by: "Well, almost."
We spend an hour and a half with the doctor and the stream of patients, some of whom become familiar to us. Concentrated, the doctor listens to their hopes, often concerning a certificate necessary for the next step, or drugs that may distance them a bit from their suffering and their anguish. Entering through this little door, waiting patiently in the austere waiting room, are the effects of the harshness of the world, seen far beyond the door. Marked on their faces and visible in their gazes and silences is the precariousness of their situation in France, often without income or housing, lacking sleep as they are forced to slumber in parks, and the traces of the violence that they have fled. We cannot accommodate all the misery in the world? Perhaps not, but how are we doing our part, we who have historically provoked the largest global division of wealth and power?
In his broken English or Spanish, the doctor communicates somehow with those who have not yet learned French. Neither superiority nor condescension in his relationships. And especially not a belief of what is or should be the Other. In his presence, his comments, his questions, while continuing respectfully without a judgement of otherness, he positions himself as an alter ego, as a fellow human being. When a lady living at Emmaus (1) shows her fingers deformed by osteoarthritis, the doctor responds: "I have the same thing, I'm old also, we're the same age!"

Six months of editing: there is a rhythm, which takes the time to listen, marking the pauses with fades to black, followed suddenly by faces with dark circles under the eyes, an inexhaustible river of pain, other lives, other stories. One senses the dizzying magnitude of the task. The health providers oblige admiration. Two thousand consultations a year. They are not young. They have seen a lot, heard a lot, do not have time to waste on what they know will be fruitless revolts against the administration. No prescription ledger? They manage. No room for a private conversation with the psychiatrist? They make do. In an emergency, though not keen to do so, they prescribe antidepressants, anxiolytics, sedatives. Though an inadequate response, it is the only solution available.

At the end of the film, Alice Diop thanks the patients who accepted her presence. She had explained to them what her approach would be, which was the appropriate thing to do! It was while researching for the magazine Egaux mais pas trop [translation : equal but not too much] (LCP-AN channel) on the process of accessing care for the poor that she discovered Doctor Geeraert’s practice. She returned every Friday for a year.

Highlighted in the film is a quote by Fernando Pessoa: “They spoke to me of people, and of humanity. But I've never seen people, or humanity. I've seen various people, astonishingly dissimilar. Each separated from the next by an unpeopled space.” To see On Call is a therapy against the reflexes of exclusion arising too quickly faced with the constant battering of the audiovisual. It is the opposite experience of the flux of refugees presented on television: every man, every woman is unique, because the physicians respect them and share with them, because a filmmaker poses her camera without preconditions, to listen to them. Simply, as human beings.

(1) Emmaus Communities provide accommodations for homeless people.


En compétition au Festival du cinéma du réel à Paris (mars 2016) où il a obtenu le Prix de l'Institut français Louis Marcorelles, La Permanence est un film qui marque, essentiel dans une Europe qui prend peur devant l'afflux de réfugiés et de migrants.

Un petit cabinet de médecin, une caméra fixe posée d'un côté ou l'autre du bureau, permettant de voir soit le praticien soit le patient. Qu'est-ce qui fait qu'on reste scotché à l'écran plus d'une heure et demie dans un dispositif aussi minimal ? Scotché, ému, en totale empathie avec ces hommes et femmes, leurs blessures, leurs souffrances ? LIRE l’article en intégralité sur 

Published on the African Women in Cinema Blog in partnership with Africultures | Publié sur l'African Women in Cinema Blog en partenariat avec Africultures

25 April 2016

African Women of the Screen at the Digital Turn | Écrans d’Afrique au féminin au tournant numérique by/de Beti Ellerson

African Women of the Screen at the Digital Turn |
Écrans d’Afrique au féminin au tournant numérique 

“African Women of the Screen at the Digital Turn.” Special Report. Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media 10 (Winter 2015–16). Web. ISSN: 2009-4078. Link:

The advent of social media and digital technologies marks a new era in African film production, spectatorship, reception, diffusion, critique and pedagogy. Its impact on the visibility of women and their work is remarkable as these devices are increasingly embraced as tools and strategies for visual exchange and communication. The emergence of an online community of African women of the screen since the 2010s proves to be a game-changer as a network of stakeholders interconnected as colleagues, friends, fans, followers, group members, navigates within a collective virtual space. This paper analyses these trends and tendencies, the engagement of African women in cinema with the strategies and devices of new media and their evolution in screen culture practices. 

« Écrans d’Afrique au féminin au tournant numérique » pp 39-49. IN Cinéma AfriKa 2.0 Nouvelles formes et nouvelles façons de faire du cinéma: Adaptées aux contextes du continent Africain et de l’Océan Indien. Ebook édité par l’Institut français de Madagascar, février 2016. Lien:  

L’avènement des médias sociaux et des technologies numériques proclame une nouvelle ère dans la production, la réception, la diffusion, la critique et la pédagogie. Lorsque les femmes africaines adoptent de plus en plus les nouveaux médias comme un outil d’échange et de communication visuelle, on constate un impact très remarquable sur leur visibilité et leur travail. L’émergence d’une communauté virtuelle depuis l’entrée dans le 21ème siècle, surtout en cette seconde décennie, change la donne. En tant qu’un réseau d’acteurs interconnectés-collègues, amies, fans, fidèles, membres du groupe-naviguant dans un espace virtuel collectif, les possibilités sont énormes. Cet essai a pour objectif d’analyser ces mouvements et ces tendances en examinant l’évolution des femmes africaines dans leurs pratiques culturelles de l’écran et leur engagement avec les outils et les stratégies de la technologie des nouveaux médias.

Women and Media in the Twenty-First Century (Alphaville Journal of Film and Screen Media) Issue 10, 2016

Women and Media in the Twenty-First Century (Alphaville Journal of Film and Screen Media) Issue 10, 2016

by Abigail Keating and Jill Murphy, University College Cork (Issue Editors)

01 The Gendered Politics of Sex Work in Hong Kong Cinema: Herman Yau and Elsa Chan (Yeeshan)’s Whispers and Moans and True Women for Sale
by Gina Marchetti, University of Hong Kong

02 Girlhood, Postfeminism and Contemporary Female Art-House Authorship: The “Nameless Trilogies” of Sofia Coppola and Mia Hansen-Løve 
by Fiona Handyside, University of Exeter

03 Femininity, Ageing and Performativity in the Work of Amy Heckerling
by Frances Smith, University College London

04 Motherhood in Crisis in Lucrecia Martel’s Salta Trilogy
by Fiona Clancy, University College Cork

05 Female Stardom in Contemporary Romanian New Wave Cinema: Unglamour?
by Andrea Virginás, Sapientia University

06 “Nice White Ladies Don’t Go Around Barefoot”: Racing the White Subjects of The Help (Tate Taylor, 2011)
by Marie-Alix Thouaille, University of East Anglia

07 Pocahontas No More: Indigenous Women Standing Up for Each Other in Twenty-First Century Cinema
by Sophie Mayer, Independent Scholar

08 The Feminist Cinema of Joanna Hogg: Melodrama, Female Space, and the Subversion of Phallogocentric Metanarrative
by Ciara Barrett, National University of Ireland, Galway

09 African Women of the Screen at the Digital Turn
by Beti Ellerson, Centre for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema

The Lumière Galaxy: Seven Key Words for the Cinema to Come, by Francesco Casetti (2015)
Reviewer: Niall Flynn, University of Lincoln

Decades Never Start on Time: A Richard Roud Anthology, edited by Michael Temple and Karen Smolens (2014)
Reviewer: Laura Busetta, Sapienza University of Rome

Film & Making Other History: Counterhegemonic Narratives for a Cinema of the Subaltern, by Alejandro Pedregal (2015)
Reviewer: David Brancaleone, Limerick Institute of Technology

Journeys in Argentine and Brazilian Cinema: Road Films in a Global Era, by Natália Pinazza (2014)
Reviewer: Jamie Steele, University of Exeter

TV Museum: Contemporary Art and the Age of Television, by Maeve Connolly (2014)
Reviewer: Erica Levin, Ohio State University

Book Reviews Editor: Marian Hurley

John Di Stefano: Bandiera Nera
Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney, 23 January–21 February 2015 
Reporter: Aleksandr Andreas Wansbrough, University of Sydney 

22 April 2016

22 – 04 – 2016 : International Mother Earth Day | Journée internationale de la Terre nourricière

International Mother Earth Day - 22 April
Journée internationale de la Terre nourricière - 22 avril

2016 Theme: Trees for the Earth
Thème 2016 : Des arbres pour la Terre