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.

19 June 2015

03 June 2015

Festival Cinéma au féminin | Women's Film Festival (CINEF) 2015 - Kinshasa - Programme

L'association des femmes cinéastes de la RD Congo organise la deuxième édition du Cinef le cinéma au féminin – 2-6 June 2015.

The Association of Women Filmmakers of DR Congo organises the second edition of Cinef (cinéma au féminin) – 2-6 juin 2015.


Tuesday, 2 June | Mardi 02 juin
Workshop for the actor and for directing actors for film and television | Atelier d’acting et de direction d’acteur pour le cinéma et la télévision
Conférence sur la carrière de la star Nigériane Omotola JALADE | Presentation on the career of the Nigerian star Omotola JALADE
Inauguration du marché des films Congolais | Opening of the Congolese film market 
Cérémonie d’ouverture - Cinef 2eme édition | Opening Ceremony - Cinef 2nd edition
- Tchibawu
- Des étoiles | Under the Starry Skies

Wednesday, 3 June | Mercredi 03 juin
Meeting with distributors - producers - directors - actors | Rencontre diffuseurs – producteurs – réalisateurs – acteurs 
Congolese directors special screening | Projection spéciale réalisatrices Congolaises
- Quand la féminité est un masque (When feminitity is a mask)
Screening of the film | Projection du film « Putain de vie »
Film Screenings | Projection films
- Marathon
- Last flight to Abuja

Thursday, 4 June | Jeudi 04 juin
Discussion of the production of the film "True to Love" | Conférence sur la production du film « True to love »
Screening films in competition: Documentaries and fiction | Projection films en compétition : Documentaires et fictions
Film Screening | Projection films
- Poussière des femmes (Dust of women)
- L’indésirable (The Undesirable)
- Malaïka

Friday, 5 June | Vendredi 05 juin
Film screenings in competition: “Best Actress” | Projection films en compétition : « Meilleure actrice »
Projections films
- L’instinct criminel (Criminal instinct)
- Bonzenga
- True to love

Saturday, 6 June | Samedi 06 juin
Closing of the Congolese film markets | Fermeture du marchés des films Congolais
Closing evening of the Cinef 2nd edition | Soirée de clôture Cinef 2ème édition
- Bande de filles | Girlhood
- Remise des prix

02 June 2015

Single Rwandan / Celib Rwandais by/de Jacqueline Kalimunda analyse/analysis by/par Viviane Azarian

Single Rwandan / Celib Rwandais by/de Jacqueline Kalimunda analyse/analysis by/par 

In partnership with Africultures. Translation from French by Beti Ellerson. En partenariat avec Africultures. Traduction en anglais par Beti Ellerson.

[Français] LIRE l'article en intégralité sur

While 2014 revived the international media interest in Rwanda, 20 years after the genocide of the country’s Tutsi population, filmmaker Jacqueline Kalimunda prepares for the 2015 release of a documentary, book, and web platform on "love in Rwanda". In a country where hatred reached the paroxysm of horror in 1994, a subject theoretically “ordinary" is nonetheless a profound inquiry. A broadcast is scheduled for June on TV5 Monde and Courrier International, in particular.

With Single Rwandan, about the search for love in Rwanda twenty years after the genocide, Rwandan writer, director and film producer Jacqueline Kalimunda broaches a turning point in transmedia. Single Rwandan / Celib Rwandais, "a documentary with many voices, on multiple screens, tells a story that is not talked about—romantic relationships, and the advent of a new generation that is more comfortable meeting on social media than on the street." The project is organised simultaneously around a documentary film, a web documentary, an art installation and a book. First, the documentary film recounts the everyday situations of a flower shop in the heart of Kigali, a location chosen as an allegory of Rwandan society, oscillating between the search for love and the fascination with death. The filming began on Valentine Day 2014 and continued during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the genocide in April of that same year. The project also includes an art installation "for an engagement with Rwanda from within" and a book, A Rwanda Lover’s Guide, which "traces the itinerary in the form of a traveller’s guide". Finally, the web documentary is designed as an inviting, interactive website which allows one to "meet the Rwandans filmed in their environment speaking about their quest for love."

New technologies and "reappropriation of the self-image"

Jacqueline Kalimunda proposes a new approach to Africa: "Africans often complain that the Western media speaks only of disease and poverty. Well this project, which will be seen throughout the world, has the opportunity to present a new image, that is modern, beautiful and moving."

Indeed, Josef Gugler (1) identifies two major and opposing tendencies: the documentary, which in journalistic fashion reflects the violence plaguing the African continent and, on the contrary, the documentaries often made for television, of the National Geographic type, which paint a picture of exotic natural beauty and of "ethnographic curiosities": landscapes, animals and people, all of which contribute to the construction of an imagined continent. Both trends spread stereotypical representations, the projected image through the eyes of others, of an Africa between savagery and with an "extra touch of soul". Eschewing these images of colonial films to current representations of Africa, African filmmakers aim to appropriate the images, techniques and the media in which they work, in the sense of a subjective representation of the social realities that surround them.

Digital technology facilitates this appropriation process in the creation of a self-image, in the sense that the general media adaptability that it engenders reinforces the expression of new subjectivities and contributes to the archiving of daily life. At least, the idea often advanced by filmmakers and critics of African cinema is that the digital is a tool that facilitates the authentic expression of self, as it allows the development of popular arts, which are produced and consumed by a logic of "cultural proximity", hence, according to the logic of globalisation, these creations inscribe themselves simultaneously within a globalised culture.

By talking about love, Jacqueline Kalimunda intends to question the history of Rwanda and its relationship with others, however, with well-defined references, she inscribes this questioning within a cinematic perspective: "The French New Wave brought a new freedom in the making of films—exterior shooting, freer acting, natural lighting. To film the actual characters of Single Rwandan, who were selected mostly from Internet photographs in which they constructed their own image, I was inspired by the work of the directors of the New Wave with their actors Jeanne Moreau in Lift to the Scaffold, Emmanuelle Riva in Hiroshima mon amour, Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg in Breathless, but also Gus Van Sant in his experimental trilogy, Michael Pitt in Last Days, in Elephant. By spending time with our characters, allowing them to become accustomed to the camera and the crew, we let them play with the camera, engage in a cinematic game with their image that uses both the benefits of a documentary-style cinema and also the techniques that they developed themselves over the Internet. Rwanda, my culture of origin, is now strongly influenced by cinema culture. This approach provides me the possibility to propose a project that I believe reshapes, in a profound way, the usual approach on Rwanda".

Through her interest in individual stories, she seeks above all "to bring people closer together", to emphasize the allegorical potential of the human experience, what we have in common, what we have to share: hence, this anthropological questioning about love and death: "the flower shop, a business that alternates between the celebration of marriage and the commemoration of death, is it not a striking transposition of Rwanda, so beautiful and so morbid?"

The testimony between archive and performance

The testimony that is heard is not solely in the sense of a confirmation but in the sense of a self-writing that complicates the relationship between self-awareness and self-image, between the transmission of a lived experience and the construction of self, between genuine presentation and self-performativity. This involves a critical questioning of the relationship between the self and the other, on the practices of negotiating these relationships, which are in constant flux, always in process.

The transmedia practices of testimony involves the consignment of oral archiving which nevertheless, through internal procedures remains open and non-static—by choosing the interview format, it is the performative dimension of witnessing which is put forward, and through external modalities—since these stories are intended to be part of a chain of testimonies potentially producing other testimonial practices.

These testimony-films enter into a complexity of witnessing (legal evidence / literature / theatre / commemoration ceremonies...) which lies between archive and performance, ultimately between the duty of a fixed memory (experiencing inactivity) and a working memory as a dynamic and open process. This tension between fixity and mutation is perceived in the testimony since it tends at the same time toward conservation and archiving as input (collection of evidence), but also toward performance as a multiform and unfinished corpus.

Playing on the effects of the proliferation of opinions and their arguments, testimony can be understood as a collaborative construction, in process, as performance and archive. With the current growth of Rwandan cinema, one finds such processes at work: archiving of daily life, building a common imagination, reflections on memory and resilience. Beyond the disclosure of extreme situations, the directors of these films aim to also shed light on the capacity to cope of those who suffer.

Hence, in the films made in Rwanda, we assist in a process of reappropriation of voice by the witness who undertakes to move from passive voice - being filmed - to the active voice: in the films, self-expression becomes direct, from within, controlled by the witnesses themselves, posing among other things the question of managing memory and of resilience. In this sense these films also contribute to the construction of an archive, the archive that is linked to repetition and signification, and as Dominique Maingueneau points out, "The very act of conservation, the possibility that the text has been fixed in some way or another, depends on its status and determines the way it circulates".

Interactivity / subjectivity / testimony

The relationship between art and technique should be sought, according to Pietro Montani, precisely where "the globalized technical apparatus, that coincides today more than ever with a machine that produces images of its own legitimacy, which seems to offer original and specific spaces to the exercise of documentation and critical reflection, of deconstruction and testimony."

Through the resources at the disposal of new technologies this testimonial instance discovers the versatility of digital devices and the multiple opportunities of the Internet, whose aim is to serve as a permanent archive and a potentially unlimited public space - a way to deconstruct the self-legitimisation process and give testimony to the rights of the other (victims, ethnic and political minorities, cultural diversity...).

If it is possible to relativize the enthusiasm for the "digital revolution" and the opening of new opportunities, particularly in terms of access to visibility, it is to the extent that what was already likely to be seen is finally visible on the Internet. The fact remains that indeed, the filming capabilities offered by the new technologies permit the proliferation of subjective expressions that are part of what might be called an "archiving of the everyday".

In this proliferation of subjectivities, the "re-appropriation of the self-image" uncovers the possibility of an exciting renewal: self-images are formed within the tension between this proliferation, this eruption of identities and communal space. Which is to say, that self-images, as they aim for the creation of models, reflect both what is unique about us and what we have in common.

In the project Single Rwandan, interactivity is considered fundamental because the user may also contribute based on a recollection or a personal story, and hence, enriches the archive, which is an on-going process. Jacqueline Kalimunda indicates here that part of her work as an auteur is to "encourage the public to participate in the project" by offering personal stories, memories, and feedback, in order "to contribute to the creation of a collective memory of love in Rwanda".

The objective to construct an oeuvre with many voices, according to the specific logic of the testimonial, was already at work in Homeland, in 2006, where ten years after the genocide, the filmmaker filmed her journey in the footsteps of her father, reported missing at the time. The film takes the form of a personal quest punctuated by encounters with survivors that the director interviews. Thus the presence of Jacqueline Kalimunda in the film is both to listen to others and of introspection; responding to history, her open, progressive approach draws on personal questions and also on the voices of witnesses. It is also a film that questions the repetition of history, of tragic events. The director traces the history of Rwanda by drawing a parallel with the experiences of her mother, who was twenty years old during the first violent events of the years 1960-1963; hence underscoring that in each generation massacres occurred. The film remained open with the hope that the third generation could get out of this cycle of violence.

By returning to this line of questioning regarding the future of the new generation posed at the end of Homeland, Single Rwandan is thus inscribed in a temporal continuity.

In the long term this inscribing seems to me essential to the work of Jacqueline Kalimunda, to me it seems to open in-depth questions on the issue of otherness, the construction of self in its relationship to the other.

Indeed, for Jacqueline Kalimunda the central question around which revolves the project Single Rwandan is this: "In the era of new technologies in a society that is just emerging from genocide, how does one love in Rwanda today? How does one recreate the bond of love, the momentum toward the other, which is common to all humanity?". A question that is possible to reveal through several approaches.

Radical otherness

How does one love in a post-genocide society where ties with families and lovers have been destroyed, or the social fabric has been disordered, or where hate and othering discourse have led to a process of alienation and to the construction of a radical otherness in the eyes of the other?

Scholastique Mukasonga shows in her first book, Inyenzi or the Cockroaches, that the survivor who has experienced a separation from humanity—characteristic of the intentions of acts of genocide—has the experience of "other", a stranger to oneself, disoriented and disconnected, unable to recognize oneself through this disfigurement and this radical alteration. The narrator recalls her unexpected success (because of ethnic quotas) on the national secondary school entrance examination and her high school education at Notre Dame de Citeaux in Kigali. She experiences the "humiliation and rejection", from her double position as Tutsi and Inyenzi: the Tutsis in Nyamata, who were "cooped up outside of a habitable Rwanda, perhaps even outside of the human race," p. 77. She tries to determine the nature of the feelings that her Hutu classmates have for her, "distrust, contempt or hatred" questions that highlight the power of propaganda and brainwashing experienced by both sides, and the processes of dehumanization at work.

Love and otherness

The urgency of rebuilding a "national identity" and the political fervour that left its mark on the reconciliation process and a strong call for unity led to some shortcuts: reinforcing it in order to eradicate the logic of radical and destructive otherness. To only authorise this same thought, is to produce a dangerous economy of thought in a positive otherness. That is where I think the project of Jacqueline Kalimunda is of crucial importance: by inscribing the thought of otherness within a diachronic perspective and centring reflection on the question of love as an acceptance of difference, the director gives us the means to think in a profound way about the relationship between self and other, to think of "oneself as another."

In his Praise of Love, Alain Badiou, encourages the continuation of the notion of positive otherness, which embraces a difference that is nurturing. Alain Badiou sees love as a "construction of truth" because the life of a couple, the confrontation with the thoughts of the other, allows a reflection on the world from the standpoint of difference and not of identity: "Love is an existential proposition: to construct a world from a decentred point of view as it relates to my simple instinct of survival or of my best interest."

Conversely, Alain Badiou takes a position of defence; according to him, love must be safeguarded against the threat of a society focused on consumerism and security. Taking precisely the example of the online dating websites, he establishes a double parallel between, on the one hand, a secure society and a desire to reduce and control the risks of romance: "the national identity is still a policy of comfort and security. In order to avoid any risks, a comfortable position is sought against all external threats." And secondly, between consumer society and romance consumerism: "Many of the online dating websites make the claim of risk-free "love", facilitated by screening the partner according to specific criteria. A love that could be defined by its spontaneous, unpredictable aspect is inscribed here within a consumerist framework. I believe, in fact, that liberal and libertarian converge on the idea that love is an unnecessary risk."

How does one love in a society where self-expression and intimacy remain difficult, despite the emergence of dialogue related to practices of witnessing? Between self-performativity, privacy and modesty, how does the speech of the other emerge? Are literature, cinema, and transmedia practices of testimony aided by the re-inscription of the subject in social communication and supported by a renewal of forms of expression of the intimate?

In L'histoire trouée, Catherine Coquio, wonders if the testimonial literature on the genocide should be seen as the emergence of a new genre that disrupts Rwandans relationship with writing, a self-writing that modifies their relationship to literature. She notes that women's speaking out, which assumes a "duty to testify" about the genocide, "disrupts the practice relative to the unspoken, this self-expression must forge its own way between the imperative of modesty and the obscenity of the crime against intimacy committed during the genocide. "

Writers and filmmakers often evoke this "sense of decency" in the modesty specific to Rwandan culture (Mukasanga also reads in this "prudishness" of society, the influence of Christian morality). A sense of restraint in the expression of the intimate that gives form to what J. Riesz called an "aesthetic of modesty, a recollection of facts more than feelings experienced in response to these events. The use of the first person is not only about self-examination, nor the expression of individuality, but through it a sense of solidarity is expressed; the "I" of the speaker takes on a metonymic value." There is a tension between the intimacy of suffering and desire for public transmission, between modesty and shame, and obligation to witness this intimate suffering.

How does one love in a society in full economic development, in the era of new technologies and globalised trade? Could Alain Badiou’s reflection in In Praise of Love be extended, establishing a connection between the economic growth of Rwanda and the development of online dating websites in terms of economic liberalism and love? Is the use of online dating websites linked to a necessity? A feeling of loneliness, or increased isolation in a society that offers fewer possibilities for exchange and sharing, fewer meeting places, fewer family alliances, friendship networks? What types of relationships are sought on these sites: serious or light-hearted?

Or rather, to what extent do social networks, online dating websites with their conversational modes, have a preference for the creation of virtual and real communities? Do these new technologies offer new spaces for meeting, sharing, parity of relationships (male / female relationships, as well as minority sexual practices such as homosexual love)?

These complex questions remain open, but they are addressed and conveyed through the structure of the project Single Rwandan, built around a multimedia system device. The book project about love in Rwanda supplements and extends, diachronically, the reflections on the changes in relational modes of sharing in Rwanda.

(1) Gugler, J., African Film, re-imagining a continent, Bloomington, Indiana Univ. Press, 2003.

Release dates: - the documentary on TV Tours, TV10 (Rwanda and Canal Sat) and TV5 Monde between June and October 2015 - the web documentary on and, between June and October 2015 - installation and the book: November / December 2015.

27 May 2015

Cannes 2015 : Rokia Traore, la voix africaine du jury | the African voix of the jury

Rokia Traore sur les marches à Cannes  | on the steps at Cannes
Cannes 2015 : Rokia Traore, la voix africaine du jury | the African voix of the jury

Source: 18-05-2015

Photo: Rokia Traore sur les marches à Cannes  | on the steps at Cannes © BERTRAND LANGLOIS / AFP

Reportage à Cannes | Report from Cannes: N.Hayter, N.Berthier, C.Beauvalet

Composed of professionals of cinema, the Cannes jury is rarely comprised of singers. With Rokia Traoré, the 68th edition is an interesting exception. The brilliant Malian musician is elated to be part of this rich experience, treating herself to a delightful digression.

Under the American presidency of the Coen brothers, Rokia joins Xavier Dolan, Sienna Miller, Guillermo del Toro, Sophie Marceau, Rossy de Palma et Jake Gyllenhaal, ascending the world famous stairs almost everyday right up until the awarding of the Palm d’Or. But the extravagance and beautiful gowns do not go to her head. “To ascend the red carpet, it’s a great experience, but I also need to have a very simple life,” she stated to France3.


[Translation of narration: Reportage à Cannes | Report from Cannes]

Narrator: A few weeks ago Rokia Traore would never have thought she would be in Cannes in the month of May. The Cote d’Azur she knows well, but this time she is not touring. When she was invited by the Cannes Festival to be part of its prestigious jury she said yes, with much delight.

Rokia Traoré: In general I like artistic expressions, whether through sound, movement, image, they tell us a story. Going to the movie theatre is like going to see an exhibition.

Narrator: And beyond the cinema-- there are the festivities. As a jury member Rokia Traoré ascends the prestigious red-carpeted stairs almost daily and attends as many gatherings. Hence, gowns are indispensable. One for each day, different forms and colours, to try them on is a great pleasure.

Rokia Traoré: This has the form of the boubou, I like this side of it.

Wardrobe coordinator: As soon as I saw Rokia Touré I knew it would be pastel and light colours, I stay away from beige and greige.

Narrator: Caution, this extravagance will not go to Rokia Touré’s head.

Rokia Traoré: To ascend the red carpet, it’s a great experience, but I also need to have a very simple life.

Narrator voice off with image of Rokia Traoré): For instance, to stroll along the shore of the Niger, a few kilometres from Bamako. She will return there after this enchanting pause, of twelve days immersed in the universe of the 7th art.

26 May 2015

BeninDocs 2015: Call for films | Appel à film : Women confronting inequalities…Other perspectives | La femme à l'épreuve des inégalités…Autres Regards

BeninDocs 2015: Call for films | Appel à film : Women confronting inequalities…Other perspectives |  La femme à l'épreuve des inégalités…Autres Regards

Formulaire de candidature | Registration form (in French) :  Date limite | Deadline : 15-09-2015

The Africadoc-Benin Association launches a call for films for the third edition of BeninDocs - International Documentary Film Festival will be held from 18 to 25 November 2015 in the cities of Porto-Novo, Cotonou and Paris. This edition has the theme "WOMEN CONFRONTING INEQUALITY... OTHER PERSPECTIVES" and revisits the worldwide women’s rights struggles, while promoting the contemporary perspectives of young filmmakers.

Please register by downloading the form and regulations at:; Send a message to:

L'association Africadoc-Bénin lance l'appel à film de la troisième édition du BeninDocs - Festival International du Premier Film Documentaire qui va se tenir du 18 au 25 novembre 2015 dans les villes de Porto-Novo, Cotonou et Paris. Cette édition a pour thème "LA FEMME A L'EPREUVE DES INEGALITES…AUTRES REGARDS", et revisite les luttes d'émancipation de la femme dans le monde, tout en privilégiant le regard contemporain des jeunes réalisateurs et réalisatrices.

Merci d'inscrire vos films en téléchargeant le formulaire et le règlement sur : ; Envoyez un mail à

Links | Liens

19 May 2015

ARTE: Trop noire d’etre française ? | Too black to be French? by/de Isabelle Boni-Claverie

ARTE: Trop noire d’etre française ? | Too black to be French? 
by/de Isabelle Boni-Claverie

Un documentaire d’Isabelle Boni-Claverie | A documentary by Isabelle Boni-Claverie

Une coproduction : Arte France, Quark Productions (France 2015, 53 min).

Sur ARTE: Vendredi 3 juillet 2015 à 23:05 | On ARTE: Friday 3 July 2015 at 23h05

Source: Translation from French by Beti Ellerson


Filmmaker Isabelle Boni-Claverie, a black woman who grew up in a privileged environment, has none of the supposed social handicaps that could impede social integration. And yet, she is often an object of discrimination. Has the Republic lied to her? A brazen question illuminated by the analysis of Eric Fassin, Pap Ndiaye and Achille Mbembe regarding the inequalities of our society.

In 2010, offended by the racist comments of Jean-Paul Guerlain on the France 2 telejournal, Isabelle Boni-Claverie organised several demonstrations on the Champs Élysées, negotiated with the LVMH group and obtained a series of measures to promote diversity. However, this incident, which she documents in the film, left her with a bad taste. How is it that today, in France, this is still happening? In response to this question, using a first-person approach, the filmmaker leads an investigation.

She invokes the model story of her grandparents, an interracial couple of the 1930s. Reflecting on her upper-middle-class childhood, she probes the relationship between class and race. Not without humour, in the manner of: “You know you are black when…”, she asks would-be interlocutors to testify before the camera about the exasperations that they experience. Both personal and collective, the film does not hesitate to call existing policies into question.


La réalisatrice Isabelle Boni-Claverie est noire. Elle a grandi dans un milieu privilégié et ne présente aucun des handicaps sociaux supposés freiner son intégration. Pourtant, elle est régulièrement victime de discriminations. La République lui aurait-elle menti ? Une réflexion impertinente éclairée par les analyses d’Eric Fassin, Pap Ndiaye et Achille Mbembe sur les inégalités de notre société.

En 2010, indignée par les propos racistes de Jean-Paul Guerlain au JT de France 2, Isabelle Boni-Claverie monte plusieurs manifestations sur les Champs-Élysées, négocie avec le groupe LVMH et obtient une série de mesures en faveur de la diversité. Cet épisode, qu’elle documente dans le film, lui laisse cependant un goût amer. Comment se fait-il qu’aujourd’hui, en France, on en soit encore là ? Pour répondre à ces questions, la réalisatrice mène une enquête à la première personne.

Elle convoque l’histoire exemplaire du couple mixte formé par ses grands-parents dans les années 30. Elle revient sur son enfance dans la haute bourgeoisie et interroge le rapport entre classe et race. Non sans humour, elle demande à des anonymes de venir témoigner devant la caméra des vexations qu’ils subissent, sur le mode « Tu sais que tu es noir(e) quand... ». Un film à la fois intimiste et sociétal qui n’hésite pas à remettre en cause les politiques en place.

Teaser: in French | En français

Links | Links

16 May 2015

Sudanese Marwa Zein launches the Indiegogo crowdfunding for film project "One Week, Two Days"

Photo: Marwa Zein Website
Marwa Zein launches Indiegogo crowdfunding for the film project "One Week, Two Days"

For more information on the Indiegogo campaign and to make a contribution: 

Marwa Zein had this to say to Beti Ellerson about the film project "One Week, Two Days". 

Relationships, people, fear, time. Is time against love? Our film is about love, time, sharing, communication and anxiety. A film that spans a nine-day period and what may happen to any couple during that time. A film about different points of view that are not discussed because it happens all the time. 

Love scenes are hard to make, and going through intimate details between a man and a woman is very difficult. And what is even more difficult is to find someone who is willing to finance it, especially when it's a short film. But it is not difficult to find people who are interested and willing to help us make the movie. We are proud that almost half of the crew are women. And we are happy that the other half are men: in order to oppress them! We are happy to work together on a film that could be about any couple anywhere in the world. 

About Marwa Zein

Sudanese filmmaker and scriptwriter Marwa Zein was born in Saudi Arabia and lived in Cairo, Egypt. After studying chemical engineering for three years, she decided to pursue her passion for film at the High Institute of Cinema in Cairo, graduating with an honorable mention in 2009.

From 2009 to 2014, Marwa Zein has honed her filmmaking skills at diverse talent campuses, master classes and film workshops: Berlin Talent Campus, Durban Talent Campus, film workshops conducted by Haile Gerima at the Luxor African Film Festival and the Silver Docs AFI Documentary workshop, and international master classes with Tom Tykwer, Jihan El Tahri, Threes Ann and Darine Hotait.

Her film Layl, developed at the Cinephilia Screenwriting Lab for Shorts, received an honorable mention in 2014. Her short film A Game was selected at the 2010 Cannes Short film Corner and has won awards at many festivals including: Sao Paolo International Short Film Festival, Michigan Short Film Festival, Avignon International Short Film Festival, Qartaj Short Film Festival, Ismailia International Short Film Festival.


Nine days between a loving couple from the Middle East, where intimacy and relationships are hard to discuss in real life and in films.

In a sarcastic yet romantic way, the film relates very small though important details that happen between a woman and a man; which is something relatively new to the Arab short film industry.

As filmmakers we are bound by market requirements and rules, and as Arab artists we are always hounded by constant censorship that thwarts our imagination and redefines our words.
         We want to make films based on our own desires: that are true, free and our own!