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  • Dossier 3:African Women in Cinema
  • Beti Ellerson

This dossier honors the history of African women professionals in cinema, through a timeline of important manifestos, communiqués, declarations, statements, and resolutions. What directly follows is an abbreviated timeline that corresponds to the expanded timeline in the full dossier.

1. Introduction by Beti Ellerson

2. Timeline

1974 Sarah Maldoror interview with Film & TV Stockholm on Sambizanga.
1978 Research on Women and the Mass Media in Africa: Cases Studies of Sierra Leone, the Niger and Egypt presented at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
1984 "Women, Communication and Development: What Perspectives for Nairobi 1985?" seminar in Dakar, Senegal, initiated by the Association of African Women for Research and Development (AAWORD).
1989 Vues d'Afrique: Colloque Images de Femmes takes place in Montreal, Canada.
1991 Statement by the African Women Professionals of Cinema, Television and Video at the twelfth edition of FESPACO in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
1992 Women and the Mass Media in Africa | Femmes et Média en Afrique Creation of the Africa Women Filmmakers Trust, Harare Zimbabwe.
1993 Remarks on the Working Group on Women in Cinema, Television and Video at the fifth FEPACI Congress, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
1995 Workshop on "Women's Voices and perspectives in Africa Today," at the fourteeth edition of FESPACO, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
The constitution of the Pan African Union of Women of the Moving Image UPAFI (Union Panafricaine des Femmes de l'Image) is established in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
1996 RECIDAK 96: "When women of the cinema take action, African cinema moves forward."
Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe is founded.
2000 Women of the Sun launched at the Southern African International Film & Television Market, Sithengi, Cape Town.
2004 International Women's Film Festival of Salé (FIFFS) is founded in Salé, Morocco.
2009 Massimadi, Festival of Afro LGBTQ Films and Arts is created in Montreal, Canada.
2010 Queer African Manifesto/Declaration is published from Nairobi, Kenya.
Launch of Les Journées cinématographiques de la femme africaine de l'image (JCFA) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Forum on Women in Film: Nollywood and the Dynamics of Representation held in Nigeria.
Meeting of African Women Filmmakers at Goethe-Institut Johannesburg, South Africa.
Manifesto developed at the Conference of African Women Filmmakers, Johannesburg, South Africa.
2011 Founding of ADAMIC (Association des Dames d'Image du Cameroun), Cameroon.
Speech on "First Decade of the International Images Film Festival for Women" by Tsitsi Dangarembga at the International Images Film Festival (IIFF).
2013 Declaration at the Second African Women in Film Forum, Accra, Ghana.
2014 First edition of the TAZAMA Festival du film des femmes africaines takes places in Brazzaville, Congo.
First edition of Udada Film Festival, the women's film festival, takes place in Kenya.
First edition of the festival Cinema au féminin (CINEF), presented by the Association of Congolese Women. Filmmakers in Kinshasa, Congo.
2016 Sisters Working in Film and Television (SWIFT), created in South Africa.
Report published on the Launch of African Women Filmmakers Hub, Harare, Zimbabwe.
2019 Non-aligned Cinéastes Collective Roundtable at MICA, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
#MêmePasPeur Movement at the twenty-sixth edition of FESPACO, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Women's Reflexive Workshops of Dakar.
Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe (WFOZ) Stakeholders Report 2019.
2020 The Gauteng Film Commission on Women's Month 2020.

[End Page 535]

  • African Women Professionals in Cinema:Manifestos, Communiqués, Declarations, Statements, Resolutions
  • Beti Ellerson

During the nascent period when an African cinema culture was taking shape in the 1960s and 1970s, African women were stakeholders in its development. Emerging during the era of independences, African cinemas positioned themselves oppositionally, grounded in a postcolonial gaze and a "Third Cinema" theoretical framework, countering a half century of cinema history during which Africa was constructed as the other, outside of history making and knowledge production. Hence, this emerging cinema culture, whose social, cultural, political, and economic structures embodied a Pan-African continental voice of African film professionals, had as central objective the production, dissemination, exhibition, and critique of African-centered films. Initiatives emerging from the spirit of the time set the groundwork for the creation of cinema-specific entities, such as film festivals, federations, and film critic associations.



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