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.

31 December 2009

Women’s presence in African Screen | La presence de la femme dans Ecrans d’Afrique - 1991-1998

Women’s presence in African Screen | La presence de la femme dans Ecrans d’Afrique

Ecrans d’Afrique/African Screen was the first pan-African revue of its kind dedicated to cinema, television and audiovisual production in Africa. Created by FEPACI, the Pan-African Federation of Filmmakers, it was in existence from 1991 to 1998.

Écrans d'Afrique / African Screen était la première revue panafricaine du genre consacrée au cinéma, à la télévision et à l’audiovisuel en Afrique. Créé par la FEPACI, la Fédération Panafricaine des Cinéastes, il existait de 1991 à 1998.

[English]
Women were visible both on the covers and in the pages of the revue, from the introductory issue, which gave homage to Burkinabé actress Edith Nikiema with a full-page photograph on the back cover. 

Following are citations of the articles, profiles and newsfeeds highlighting African women in all areas of cinema: filmmakers, editors, actors, producers, make-up artists, and other positions.

[Français]
Les femmes étaient visibles sur les couvertures et dans les pages de la revue dès le numéro introductif qui a rendu hommage à la comédienne burkinabé Edith Nikiema, avec une photo pleine page sur la couverture arrière de la revue.

Ci-dessous sont des citations d’articles, les profils et les informations sur les femmes africaines dans tous les domaines du cinéma: cinéastes, monteuses, comédiennes, productrices, maquilleuses et autres titres.


Ecrans d’Afrique/African Screen N° 0 – 1991 
(Edith Nikiema back cover/couverture arrière)

The introductory issue presents the future format and subject matter |
Le numéro introductif présentant le futur format tout comme le contenu.

Hommage/Tribute to/à Edith Nikiema


Ecrans d’Afrique/African Screen N° 1 – 1992

Nouveaux visages | New Faces:
Fanta Nacro, Burkina Faso-Director, p. 35.

Dossier:
Cinema africain au féminin | Un difficile enfantement/African women in cinema | A difficult childbirth. Summary of the Historical African Women in the Cinema Workshop, FESPACO 1991, par/by Emmanuel Sama – p. 69.


Ecrans d’Afrique/African Screen N° 2 - 1992

At a Glance | Coup d’oeil :
Saikati by/de Anne Mungai (Kenya), p. 29.

Nouveaux visages | New Faces :
Anne-Laure Folly, Togo, director/cinéaste, p. 36.
Maysa Marta, Guinée-Bissau, actress/comédienne, p. 37.
Véronique Dessout, Guadeloupe, director/réalisatrice, p. 38. 

Panorama | Panoramique:
Annette Mbaye d’Erneville, director/directrice of/de Recidak, p. 46.
Euzhan Palcy by/de Véronique Dessout, p. 88.

Dossier :
La nouvelle generation des cinéastes/The New Generation of Nigerian Filmmakers: Funmi Osoba, by/par Françoise Kaboré, p. 70.

Links | Jonctions
Interview with/Entretien avec Oumou Sy, profession costumière / Oumou Sy, profession costume designer by/par Alessandra Speciale, p. 104.

Rubriques
Naissance de la | Birth of the revue Ciné Culture Afrique director/directrice Anne Mbaye d’Erneville, p. 117.


Ecrans d’Afrique/African Screen N° 3 – 1993

Flash | En bref :
African Women in Film and Video - Kenya section, p. 5.

Nouveaux visages | New Faces:
Mouna Fettou, Morocco/Maroc, actress/comédienne, p. 43. 
Nadia El Fani, Tunisia, director/réalisatrice, p. 45.
Links | Jonctions
La "beauté" de Aminata | Aminata's beauty par/by Cheick Kolla Maïga, Aminata Zouré, make-up artist/ maquilleuse, p. 87.


Ecrans d’Afrique/African Screen N° 4 - 1993
(Akosua Busia, Ghana, on the cover/ sur la couverture)

La parole à | Speaking to :
Interview with/Entretien avec Akosua Busia, Ghanaian actress/comediénne, by/par Macy Domingo & Klevor Abo, p. 6.

At first sight | Focus :
Friends de/by Elaine Proctor (South Africa/Afrique du Sud), p. 29.


Ecrans d’Afrique/African Screen N° 5-6 - 1993

La parole à | Speaking to :
Interview with/Entretien avec Izza Genini, Morocco/Maroc, director/réalistrice by/par Thérèse-Marie Deffontaines, p. 8.

Women filmmakers in Morocco | Femmes cineaste au Maroc : Farida Benlyazid, Touda Bouanani, Farida Bourquia, Izza Genini, Imane Mesbahi, by/par Amadou Gaye, p. 10-11.

Portrait | Focus
“Zalika Souley: Star of Niger Films | Star des films nigériens” by/par N'daw, Aly N'Keury, p. 28.

Nouveaux visages | New Faces:
Kalthoum Bornaz, director/réalisatrice, Tunisia/Tunisie, by/par Tahar Chickaoui, p. 39. 
Joyce Makwenda, director/réalisatrice, Zimbabwe, by/par Clément Tapsoba, p. 39. 
Franceline Oubda, director/réalisatrice, Burkina Faso, by/par Clément Tapsoba,p. 40.
Links | Jonctions :
Toni Morrison, Africa in the voice/l’Afrique dans la voix, p. 81.

Ecrans d’Afrique/African Screen N° 7 – 1994
(Naky Sy Savané & Félicité Wouassi, on cover | sur la couverture)

Focus | At first sight :
Home away from home by/de Maureen Blackwood, (GB/Caribbean), by/par Annamaria Gallone, Alessandra Speciale p. 23.

Portrait
A Threefold Trial: African, Female and Actress | La triple galère des femmes, africaines, actresses Portrait of Naky Sy Savane, Côte d’Ivoire & Félicité Wouassi, Cameroon by/par Alessandra Speciale, p. 24.


Ecrans d’Afrique/African Screen N° 8 - 1994
(Moufida Tlatli & Selma Baccar, on cover | sur la couverture)

La parole à | Speaking to:
Moufida Tlatli & Selma Baccar
Stories of Women/Une affaire de femmes
Selma, Nejia, Moufida and the others/et les autres
par/by Tahar Chikhaoui, p. 8-13.

Nouveaux visages | New Faces :
Margaret Fombé Fobé, réalisatrice/filmmaker, Cameroon by/par Clément Tapsoba, p. 27.
Kadiatou Konaté, réalisatrice/filmmaker, Mali by/par Jadot Sezirahiga, p. 28.

Portrait | Focus :
Miriam Patsanza: From Zimbabwe to South Africa: starting all over again | Du Zimbabwe à l’Afrique du Sud: on recommence tout by/par Julia Landau, p. 30.
Toto Bissainthe: The silence of Anacaona | Les silences d’Anacaona by/par Osange Silou, p. 33.

Panorama | Panoramique :
Annette Mbaye d’Erneville, director/directrice of/de Recidak, p. 45

Links | Jonctions :
Kahena Attia, Profession: monteuse | Profession: film editor, Tunisia | Tunisie by/par Françoise Kaboré, p. 67.


Ecrans d’Afrique/African Screen N° 9-10 – 1994
(Mouneissa Maiga, Mali, on the cover | sur la couverture)

Flash | Focus :
La cinquième conférence régionale des femmes, préparatoire de la conference de Beijing | Fifth Women's Regional Conference in preparation for the Beijing Conference, p. 4.

Portrait | Focus :
Farida Benlyazid, p. 20. 
Moufida Tlatli, p. 23.

At first sight/Coup d’oeil by/par Alessandra Speciale, Clément Tapsoba
Retrouver Oulad Moumen by/de Izza Genini, Maroc/France, p. 26.

Nouveaux visages | New Faces:
Viola Shafik, director/réalisatrice, Tunisie by/par Alessandra Speciale, p. 32.
Monique Phoba, director/réalisatrice, DRC, by/par Sambolgo Bangre,p. 33.
Review of/Lu pour vous :
Femmes d'images de l'Afrique francophone by/par Najwa Tlili, by/par Lynn Bettis, p. 73.

Ecrans d’Afrique/African Screen N° 11 – 1995

Flash/En bref:
National Bureau of the Pan African Union of Women in the Image Industry of Gabon, p. 5.

Pan-African Union of Women in the Image Industry reorganises | L’Union Panafricaine des Femmes de l’Image se reorganize., p. 5.
Nouveaux visages / New Faces:
Sarah Bouyain (assistant director/assistante réalisatrice) Burkina Faso, by/par Clément Tapsoba, p. 18.

Portrait | Focus :
D. Elmina Davis who recently died in Ghana, was a member of Ceddo Film and Video, A Black independent cinema group of the 1980s | D. Elmina Davis, récemment decedée au Ghana, faisait partie de Ceddo Film & Video, un des différents groups du cinéma independent noir des années 80.
At a first sight | Focus
The Battle of the Sacred Tree by/de Wanjiru Kinyanjui, Kenya, p. 24. 
Léon G. Damas by/de Sarah Maldoror, Guadeloupe, p. 24..

In depth | Plus en profondeur :
The Female Body, Culture and Space: The Female Body in African Cinema | Le Corps féminin, la culture et l’espace : le corps féminin dans le cinéma africain by/par Beti Ellerson, p. 28-35.

Panorama | Panoramique :
Women in the place of honour | Les femmes à l’honneur (in/dans) Fespaco 95: after the celebrations, what future for African cinema? | Après la fête, quel avenir pour le cinéma africain? By/par Clément Tapsoba, p. 37-42.


Ecrans d’Afrique/African Screen N° 12 – 1995
(Sarah Maldoror, Guadeloupe, on the cover | sur la couverture)

Speaking to | La parole à :
Sarah Maldoror, Guadeloupe, director/réalisatrice by/par Jadot Sezirahiga, p. 6.
Hafsa Z. Koudil, Algerie, director/réalisatrice by/par Cheick Kolla Maiga, p. 12.

Nouveaux visages | New Faces:
Oum Dierryla, Senegal, actress, comédienne by/par Clément Tapsoba, p. 17.
Dommie Yambo Odotte, Kenya, director/réalisatrice, by/par Noufou Ouedraogo, p. 18.
At a Glance/Coup d’oeil :
Ash-shaytan imra'/Le démon au féminin by/de Hafsa Zinai Koudil, Algerie/Algeria, p. 34.
Puk Nini by/de Fanta Nacro, Burkina Faso, p. 59.

Panorama | Panoramique :
Annette Mbaye d’Erneville, director/directrice of/de Recidak, p. 45.


Ecrans d’Afrique/African Screen N° 13-14 – 1996

Flash | Focus :
Chad/Tchad - A Fatwa Against/Une Fatwa prononcée contre Zara Yacoub, p. 7.

New Faces | Nouveaux visages :
Abiba Diarra, Actress/comedienne, Côte d’Ivoire-Mali by/par Sambolgo Bangre, p. 35.
At a Glance | Focus : 
La Danse du feu by/de Selma Baccar, Tunisia/Tunisie, p. 49.
Panorama | Panoramique
Alone: A Film about a Family in Zimbabwe | l’histoire d’une famille au Zimbabwe by/de Tsitsi Dangarembga, by/par Françoise Kaboré and Sakbolé, p. 62.


Ecrans d’Afrique/African Screen N° 15 – 1996
(Safi Faye, Senegal, on the cover | sur la couverture)

Flash | Focus :
South Africa: Women in Cinema | Afrique du Sud : Femme du cinéma, p. 7.

At a first sight | Coup d’oeil : 
Puk Nini by/de Fanta Nacro, Burkina Faso, p. 37.
Panorama | Panoramique : 
Mahen Bonetti : African Film Festival New York, p. 42.
The story of Mossane by Safi Faye | L’histoire de Mossane de Safi Faye, p. 45.
The story of Flame by Ingrid Sinclair |L’histoire de Flame d’Ingrid Sinclair, p. 51.

Dossier :
Asma al Bakri, director/réalisatrice, Egypt by/par Ahmed Atef, p. 61.


Ecrans d’Afrique/African Screen N° 16 - 1996
Speaking to | La parole à : 
Interview/Entretien, Ingrid Sinclair by/par Alessandra Speciale, p. 13-17.

New Faces | Nouveaux visages :
Maybelle Peters, director/réalisatrice, GB/Guyane-Guyana, p. 20. 

At a glance | Coup d’oeil
Film review of Mossane by Senegalese filmmaker, Safi Faye, p. 34. 

Panorama | Panoramique :
Recidak 96: When the Women of Cinema Take Action! | Quand les femmes du cinema se mobilisent! By/par Cheriff Amadou Diop, p. 39.


Ecrans d’Afrique/African Screen N° 17/18 - 1996

Flash | Focus :
Zimbabwe: An Association of Women Filmmakers | Une association des réalisatrices, p. 7.

Portait :
Martine Ilboudo Condé (Guinea/Burkina Faso) : When Women Standup, African Cinema Moves | Quand les femmes se lévent, le cinéma africain bouge, by/par Clément Tapsoba, p. 22.

At a Glance | Coup d’oeil :
Honey and Ashes by/de Nadia Fares, Tunisia/Tunisie, p. 27. 
Everyone's Child by/de Tsitsi Dangarembga, Zimbabwe, p. 27. 

Panorama | Panoramique
Female Scoop in Harare | Scoop féminin à Harare by/par Françoise Kaboré, p. 84.

Trends | Tendance
Aids in the City | Sida dans la cite II. Conversation with/avec Hanny Brigitte Tchelley, producer/productrice, Côte d’Ivoire, by/par Clément Tapsoba, p. 88.


Ecrans d’Afrique/African Screen N° 19 - 1997

Panorama | Panoramique :
The Women of | Les femmes du FESPACO 97: Valérie Kaboré or the filmmaker 'of all trades' | ou la réalisatrice à tout faire by/par Clément Tapsoba, p. 35.

Rubriques :
Recidak 8, p. 75.


Ecrans d’Afrique/African Screen N° 20 - 1997
(Mariam Kaba, Guinea, on the cover | sur la couverture)

Portrait :
Mariam Kaba en positif/Mariam Kaba thinks positive, par/by Anne Khady Sé, p. 36.


Ecrans d’Afrique/African Screen N° 21-22 – 1997
(Shirikiana Aina, USA, on the cover | sur la couverture)

Speaking to | La parole à : 
Do They Remember Us | Se rappellent-ils de nous ? Interview with/Entretien avec Shirikiana Aina, USA, by/par Beti Ellerson, p. 8-12.

Portrait :
Palesa Letlaka-Nkosi, South Africa/Afrique du Sud, by/par Corinne Miglioli, p. 41.

At a first sight | Focus par/by Michel Amarger, Joan Rundo, Alessandra Speciale : 
Pour le plaisir des yeux by Izza Genini, Morocco/Maroc, p. 45. 

Panorama |  Panoramique :
Discovery of a Festival/Découverte d’un festival by/de Wabei Siyolwe (Zambia/Zambie), p. 55.
The Variety of African Cultures | La variété des cultures africaines by/de Wabei Siyolwe (Zambia/Zambie), p. 67.
The Queens of the dancehall | Les reines du dancing by/par June Givanni, p.70.


Ecrans d’Afrique/African Screen N° 23 - 1998
African Gazes | Regards Africains
Bent Familia: Nourid Bouzid’s Tunisian Women | Les Tunisiennes de Nourid Bouzid, by/par Tahar Chikhaoui, p. 52.

Dossier: Slavery and Images | Esclavage et Images
Cult Cinéma : Slavery and cinema in the West Indies | Esclavage et cinema aux Antilles, by/par Osange Silou, p. 78.
Gloria Rolando (Cuba) on Slavery | au sujet d’esclavage by/par William Tanifeani, p. 86.


Ecrans d’Afrique/African Screen N°24 - 1998

Tribute to Djibril Diop Mambety
Djibril and myth : Anta and Linguère, portraits of women | Djibril et le mythe : Anta et Linguère, portraits de femmes by/par Nike Mogranti, p. 54.
Djibril and/et La Petite Vendeuse : L’envol suspend de Djibril | The suspended flight of Djibril by/par Michel Amarger, p. 68. 

Under the Baobab
Ousmane Sembene : The suburbs of women | La banlieue des femmes, by/par Baba Diop, p. 91.
Interview/Entretien with/avec Venus Seye, protagonist/protagoniste of/de Faat Kine by/de Ousmane Sembene by/par Baba Diop, p. 92.

13 December 2009

Entretien avec Monique Mbeka Phoba de Beti Ellerson


(Images d'archive)

SEE THIS POST IN ENGLISH


Monique Mbeka Phoba, cinéaste, poètesse, novelliste, journaliste, critique de films, gestionnaire de projets, originaire de République Démocratique du Congo.


Beaucoup de choses ont évolué au niveau technologique depuis notre entretien en 1997…


Beaucoup de choses ont évolué au niveau technologique et cela influence bien évidemment la pratique de nos métiers. Par exemple, pour mon dernier projet de film que j’ai co-produit avec une équipe de jeunes étudiants en théâtre de Kinshasa, je peux dire que nous nous sommes servi à fond de cet environnement virtualisé qui est le nôtre aujourd’hui. J’avais rencontré ce groupe de jeunes qui souhaitaient faire des films, alors qu’il n’existe pas d’école de cinéma en RDC. Je leur ai proposé d’être mêlé au tournage d’un film, dont le sujet avait été proposé par l’un d’entre eux et, ce faisant, d’apprendre à faire des films, en s’occupant de cette production. La personne qui les a encadrés, Guy Kabeya Muya, a été le co-réalisateur du film avec moi. Ils se sont servis de petites caméras numériques, nous communiquions par Internet et SMS, de sorte que je suivais au jour le jour le tournage et pouvais l’influencer dans un sens ou dans un autre.

Ce suivi virtuel a débouché sur un film co-réalisé par moi-même et Guy Kabeya, sur la première équipe de foot-ball d’Afrique Noire à avoir été à une Coupe du Monde de football en 1974. Nous avons placé une bande-annonce sur Internet et j’ai eu plusieurs manifestations d’intérêt, par toutes sortes de personnes intéressées par un tel film, à la veille de la Coupe du Monde en Afrique du Sud. C’est dire si s’appuyer sur Internet est important aujourd’hui au niveau de la réalisation, de la production et de la promotion. Cela n’était pas le cas, il y a quelques années. Et c’est par le « video-sharing » de cette bande-annonce que les gens sont avertis de l’existence du film, un autre outil de promotion très intéressant.


En tant qu'africaine dans le cinéma quelles sont tes expériences avec d'autres femmes dans le domaine? Une sensibilité féminine existe-t-il? Une spécificité de la femme en termes de critique de film?


Les femmes sont de plus en plus présentes dans le cinéma et je pense que nous avons à coeur de nous épauler l’une l’autre, de nous tenir au courant de nos difficultés. J’ai par exemple été à l’origine de la première rencontre entre Angèle Brenner Diabang et Osvalde Lewat-Hallade, en facilitant leur invitation par INPUT à Taïwan, ce qui a été pour elles une expérience marquante. Et ce sont les deux noms les plus en vue actuellement dans le cinéma féminin africain de la nouvelle génération. Osvalde a cotisé pour le projet de film sur le foot-ball, au moment où j’avais de grosses difficultés financières, ce projet n’ayant pas eu de subvention. Au niveau de la représentation des femmes à l’écran, 3 films emblématiques ont été réalisés les 10 dernières années : « Al’leessi, une actrice africaine », de Rahmatou Keita, « Anna l’enchantée », de Monique Mbeka Phoba et « Yandé Codou Sène, la griotte de Senghor », d’ Angèle Brenner Diabang.


À ces 3 films, j’ajoute le film d’un homme, car je considère que le film « Mère-Bi – La mère », de William Mbaye, témoigne une sensibilité féminine d’un homme, confronté depuis sa tendre enfance à une personnalité d’exception, sa mère, Annette Mbaye d’Erneville, première journaliste radiophonique d’Afrique de l’Ouest, un film qu’il a porté en lui des années durant. Il y a les films des femmes sur les femmes, comme celui de Sandra Boukhani, l'auteur d'un documentaire sur Were-Were Liking, appelé «L'Art d'une prêtresse», mais aussi des femmes sur des contextes politiques, comme ceux de Jihan El Tarhi « L'Afrique en morceaux » sur les conflits dans la région dans les Grands Lacs, « Cuba, une odyssée africaine » sur Che au Congo, « Behind the Rainbow » (Le Pouvoir détruit-il le rêve ?), sur la rivalité historique entre Thabo Mbeki et Jacob Zuma au sein de l'ANC ; d’Osvalde Lewat « Un amour pendant la guerre » et « Une affaire de nègres » ; Anne-Laure Folly-Reimann avec « Les Oubliées » et « Femmes aux yeux ouverts » ou « Femmes du Niger » ; de Nadia El Fani « Ouled Lenine », qui veut dire" les enfants de Lénine". Nadia El Fani évoque l'engagement politique de son père qui était communiste. Ou mes propres films sur des sujets politiques : « Revue en vrac » sur la nouvelle liberté d'expression au Congo, après la fin du parti unique, dans l'ex-Zaïre, début des années 90. Et mon film « Deux petits tours et puis s'en vont... » qui aborde une élection présidentielle an Bénin, en 1996, où on voit l'ancien dictateur Kerekou, qui avait été chassé en 1991, revenir démocratiquement au pouvoir.


C’est-à-dire que la sphère politique est maintenant largement investie par les femmes et qu’elles y sont parfaitement crédibles. Mais, qu’on reconnaît ce regard spécifique des femmes sur des sujets politiques. Des regards qui passent par la famille, l’intimité de la souffrance et du regard sur soi. Est-ce que les femmes cinéastes africaines se parlent ? Selon moi, pas assez. Le mouvement associatif en est encore à se relever d’années végétatives et, dans ce domaine, les femmes n’ont pas fait exception. Cependant, j’ai remarqué qu’entre femmes, il était plus facile de se faire des critiques sur nos films respectifs.


Quelques réflexions sur le cinéma africain en termes de langue et de communication…

Il y a deux réalités concrètes qui nous forcent à être plus réceptifs au fait d’avoir à parler anglais. Les puissantes montantes audiovisuelles que constituent le Nigeria avec Nollywood et l’Afrique du Sud. Beaucoup de Congolais entrent dans ces métiers du cinéma par l’Afrique du Sud, où il y a une grande communauté congolaise. Il y a déjà deux réalisateurs installés en Afrique du Sud, Makela Pululu et Sandra Boukhany, qui sont des anglophones, mais ils parlent couramment français toujours. Mais, l’anglais est leur « everyday » langue. Claude Haffner, d'origine congolaise, travaille plutôt dans l'assistanat de production. Un autre congolais Petna Ndaliko vit dans l’est du Congo et est constamment en relation avec l’Ouganda. À partir du moment où le cinéma et l’audiovisuel se professionnalisent en Afrique, l’anglais sera de plus en plus le passage obligé.


Ton évolution dans le cinéma depuis le début jusqu'à aujourd'hui...


J’ai fait neuf documentaires, quatre au Bénin, quatre au Congo et un en France. J’ai traité de sujets surtout politiques et sociaux. Je pense que les films qui m’ont fait le plus connaître sont : « Anna l’enchantée », sur une jeune chanteuse vivant dans un milieu polygamique, « Sorcière la vie ! » sur la mixture de croyances au Congo Kinshasa, et le dernier « Entre la coupe et l’élection », sur la première équipe d’Afrique Noire à avoir été en coupe du monde en 1974. Actuellement, j’ai repris des études, en faisant une année de maîtrise en scénario et je suis en pleine écriture de deux projets de fiction, un court et un long-métrage. En dehors de ces projets, j’ai édité un recueil de poésies du nom de Yémadja et je prépare un recueil de nouvelles. Je suis certaine que j’écrirai de plus en plus au fil du temps. Pourquoi pas des romans et des essais. J’aimerais beaucoup devenir professeur de cinéma.


J’ai beaucoup aimé ton film « Anna l’enchantée », est-ce que tu peux parler de la conceptualisation du film et sa production ?


J’avais rencontré Anna dans un club de jazz à Cotonou et j’avais été très impressionnée par sa voix. Peu de temps après, j’ai été contactée par une productrice française qui cherchait une réalisatrice béninoise pour une série qui s’appelait : « Girls Around the World » et qui visait à faire le portrait de jeunes filles de 17 ans, venant des quatre coins du monde et qui serait filmées par une réalisatrice de leur pays. Il fallait que cette réalisatrice ait déjà eu une expérience de co-production internationale. Finalement, vivant au Bénin, j’ai été choisie. Et on m’a demandé de penser à une jeune fille de 17 ans, qui pourrait symboliser la situation psychologique et émotionnelle, d’une africaine à la veille de l’an 2000. J’ai repensé alors à cette chanteuse Anna, toute contente d’avoir les moyens de faire un film sur elle. Mais, j’ai réorienté mon scénario. Si je n’avais pas été intégré à la série « Girls Around the World », j’aurai surtout fait un film sur elle, en tant que chanteuse.


Mais, ma commande était de montrer son environnement et son style de vie. Quand j’ai pensé à Anna, j’ignorais complètement qu’elle vivait dans une famille polygamique : cela a été la grande chance du film, de rentrer de façon presque intimiste dans cette famille, à la fois traditionnelle et moderne, qui représentait bien toutes les contradictions de notre contemporanéité africaine. J’ai su tout de suite que je devais me faire du père un allié. Ce monsieur s’est senti respecté par moi. Et, moi, je viens aussi d’une famille polygamique, même si toutes les femmes ne vivaient pas ensemble : nous sommes 13 enfants issus de 4 femmes et j’ai dû toute ma vie gérer ces aspects de notre vie familiale. Et essayé d’aimer mes frères et de les soutenir quelle que soit leur mère. Je pense que mon père a fait en sorte que cela se passe bien entre nous. Cela a dû aider à ce que je me sente vraiment à l’aise dans cette famille et qu’eux se sentent à l’aise avec moi.


Liens


Facebook|Monique Mbeka Phoba

Entretien avec Monique Mbeka Phoba de 1997 (en anglais)

A Conversation with Monique Mbeka Phoba by Beti Ellerson



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Monique Mbeka Phoba, filmmaker, poet, novelist, journalist, film critic and project manager, is from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A lot of things have evolved in terms of technology since our conversation in 1997…

There has been much evolution in terms of technology and this has had quite an influence on how we work. For example, during my last film project that I co-produced with a team of young theatre students in Kinshasa, I must say that we greatly benefited from the virtual environment that is so much part of our world today. I met these youth who wanted to make films, and yet a film school does not exist in DRC. I offered to be part of the production of a film whose subject was proposed by one of them. Thus at the same time that they learned how to make a film they dealt with all the aspects of the production. Guy Kabeya Muya, who did the training, co-produced the film with me. We worked with small digital cameras, and communicated via Internet and SMS, so that I could follow the day-by-day production and give my input as needed.

This kind of virtual interactivity led to a film about the first Black African soccer team in the 1974 World Cup. Guy Kabeya and I put a preview trailer on the Internet and received responses from all sorts of people interested in such a film, especially at the eve of the World Cup to be hosted in South Africa. This demonstrates the important role that the Internet may play in the production and promotion of films, which was not the case some years ago. It was the result of showing the trailer through video sharing that people were aware of the existence of the film—a very effective promotional tool.

Could you talk about African women and the moving image? In your conversations with other African women in cinema, do you perceive an African woman’s “imaginaire”, an experience through African women’s eyes?

Women are increasingly visible in cinema and I think we are intent on supporting each other and keeping each other abreast of any difficulties. For example, I initiated the first meeting between Angèle Brenner Diabang and Osvalde Lewat-Hallade, facilitating their invitation by INPUT in Taiwan, which for them was a powerful experience. And these are the two names most prominent among the new generation of women in African cinema. Osvalde contributed to the soccer film project when I had big financial problems, as this project had not been funded. In terms of the representation of women on screen, three emblematic films were made in the last ten years: Al'leessi an African Actress (2005) by Rahmatou Keita of Niger, my film, Anna l’Enchantée (2000) and Yandé Codou Sène, la griotte de Senghor (2009) by Angele Brenner of Senegal.

To these three movies, I may add one by a man, because I believe that the film Mère-Bi – Mother by William Mbaye, shows a feminine sensibility of a man who from his early childhood lived side by side with the exceptional personality of his mother, Annette Mbaye d'Erneville, the first radio journalist of West Africa—a film that he carried with him for years. There are films by women about women, such as L’Art d'une prêtresse about Werewere Liking by Sandra Boukhani, but also women in political contexts, such as Jihan El Tarhi: L'Afrique en morceaux, about the conflicts in the Great Lakes region , Cuba, une odyssée africaine, about Che in Congo, Behind the Rainbow (Le Pouvoir détruit-il le rêve ?), about the historic rivalry between Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma at the center of the ANC; Osvalde Lewat: Un amour pendant la guerre and Une affaire de nègres; Anne-Laure Folly Reimann: Les Oubliees, Femmes aux yeux ouverts and Femmes de Niger; Nadia el Fani: Ouled Lenine, which means “the children of Lenin”, a film that evokes the political engagement of her father who was a communist. Or my own films with political subject matter: Revue en vrac, about the new freedom of expression in Congo after the end of the one-party system in ex-Zaire at the beginning of the 1990s. And my film, Deux petits tours et puis s'en vont…, which addresses the 1996 presidential election in Benin where the former dictator Kerekou, who had been expelled in 1991, democratically returns to power. These films show that women have invested considerably in the political sphere and they are well respected. But we must recognize this specifically female gaze on political issues. Perspectives that traverse the family, the intimacy of suffering, and show self-reflection. Do African women filmmakers talk to each other? In my opinion, not enough. This movement must recover from years of being in a vegetative state, and in this domain, women are no exception. However, I have noticed that between women, it is easier to critique our respective films.

Some reflections on African cinema in terms of language and communication...

There are two realities that force us to be more receptive to having to speak English; the rise of the powerful Nollywood of Nigeria and the audiovisual industry in South Africa. Many Congolese enter filmmaking via South Africa, where there is a large Congolese community. There are already two directors who have settled in South Africa Makela Pululu and Sandra Boukhany. And while they are Francophone, English is their everyday language. Claude Haffner, of Congolese origin, works as assistant in film productions. Another Congolese Petna Ndaliko lives in eastern Congo and is in constant relationship with Uganda. As cinema and audiovisual industries in Africa professionalize, the use of English is becoming increasingly necessary.

Your evolution into cinema from you debut to the present...

I have made nine documentaries, four in Benin, four in Congo and one in France. I have dealt especially with political and social subjects. I think the films for which I am known best are: Anna l’Echantée, about a young singer living in a polygamous family. Sorcière la vie !, on the mixture of beliefs in Congo-Kinshasa, and the latest film, Entre la coupe et l’élection, about the first black African team to be in the World Cup, in 1974. Most recently, I returned to school, where I completed a Master’s in Scriptwriting and am in the midst of writing two fiction projects—for short and feature film. Besides these projects, I published a book of poems called “Yémadja” and I am preparing a collection of short stories. I'm sure I'll write more and more over time—why not novels and essays as well? And, I would love to become a professor of cinema.

I thoroughly enjoyed your film Anna from Benin, could you talk about the conceptualization of the film and its production.

I met Anna in a jazz club in Cotonou and I was very impressed by her voice. Shortly after, I was contacted by a French producer who was looking for a director in Benin for a series called "Girls Around the World" whose objective was to focus on seventeen-year-old girls from the four corners of the world, and each film would be directed in the respective country. One of the criteria was that the directors have experience in international co-production. Since I lived in Benin, I was chosen. I was asked to think about a seventeen-year-old girl who could symbolize the psychological and emotional context of an African girl on the eve of the year 2000. I recalled the young singer Anna, quite pleased to have the means to make a film about her. But, I shifted my scenario. If I had not been part of the "Girls Around the World” series, I would have made a film specifically about her as a singer.

But the specificities of the project were to show the environment in which she lived. I was completely unaware that Anna lived in a polygamous family. This film gave me the opportunity to enter rather intimately into this family, both traditional and modern, and a very good representative of all the contradictions of contemporary Africa. I knew immediately that the father had to be an ally. This gentleman felt respected by me. I am also from a polygamous family, though all the wives did not live together. We are thirteen children from four wives and all of my life I have had to manage these aspects of our family. I have tried to love my brothers and support them no matter who is their mother. I think my father has made sure that it has gone well between us. It must have helped that I felt really comfortable in this family and they felt comfortable with me.

French to English translation by Beti Ellerson

Liens




30 November 2009

A Call to Action: UN Themes and African Women in Cinema

Themes explored by African women filmmakers often fall under the rubric of consciousness-raising; specific topics intended for the general population or women specifically, with the express purpose of building awareness. In these instances, women filmmakers continue the role that African women in grassroots and non-governmental organizations for development have occupied for a long time. In many cases, international organizations and development groups promote and finance films to develop social consciousness. Moreover, the United Nations has a long history of building awareness on international and local issues by a call to action, by formally observing a relevant theme.

The observance of an “International Day” theme was first made in 1950, “International Week” since 1978, “International Year” since 1959 and the first “International Decade” in 1961. Perhaps one of the most memorable decade observances was “The United Nations Decade for Woman," 1976 to 1985. The Decade ushered in an unprecedented visibility on women around the globe, and notably, African women, when in 1985 during the closing year, the conference was held in Nairobi, Kenya.


As early as the 1980s, even while there were few African women filmmakers, their focus coincided with United Nations themes, and in many cases their films were commissioned and funded by international organizations. Pioneer Safi Faye of Senegal directed Les ames au soleil (Souls Under the Sun). Produced by the United Nations in 1980, the film focuses on health and education. Selbe et tant d'autres (One and So Many Others) made in 1982, centers on the daily village experiences of Selbe, which are shared by many of her neighbors, as she is left to care for the household as her husband works in the city. The film was produced by UNICEF under the series title: "As Women See It". It is no coincidence that a surge of African women filmmakers is visible during this decade, many of the films focusing on issues relating to women.


This visibility continued into the 1990s. As with the three conferences on women held during the Women’s Decade, the high-profile Beijing +10, the 1995 UN Fourth World Conference on Women and the parallel NGO forum attracted a large global gathering of women. Burkinabé filmmakers Martine Condé Ilboudo’s and Valérie Kaboré produced films focusing on the conference, Messages de femmes, messages pour Beijing and Voix unique...Pour Beijing, respectively.


In addition, one may note the impressive body of work by Burkinabé women highlighting diverse issues relating to women, children and current themes such as AIDS. Franceline Oubda was the 1992-1993 laureate of the Boerma Award for her television series, Women and Development, which called attention to the economic, social and cultural development problems from the perspective of rural women of Burkina Faso. The award was presented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Likewise, her film, Femmes de Yatanga explores the initiatives of the Association Six 'S' ("L'Association Six 'S'"), based in Burkina Faso. The Association Six 'S' in French illustrates the first letter of the words, all beginning with 's', which describes the objective of the group--savoir se servir de la saison sèche en savane au Sahel (to know how to make use of the dry season in the savanna of the Sahel). She had this to say about the film:

Despite the rapidly approaching desert, women have developed initiatives to fight against desertification and to survive it. The film Femmes de Yatanga focuses on their activities. For example, we see them using a new method of rearing sheep. They learn to fatten the sheep in a more intensified manner than the traditional practices in Burkina, which use a more extensive feeding system. They also use an anti-erosion method to fight against land erosion. We also see how they employ a technique for germination when there is not sufficient rain. In the documentary, I was able to show the women using these techniques.
In 2000 the UN Millennium Declaration was adopted by 191 member states of the United Nations in an unprecedented global consensus. Eight Millennium Development Goals were prioritized: 1) Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; 2) Achieve universal primary education; 3) Promote gender equality and empower women; 4) Reduce child mortality; 5) Improve maternal health; 6) Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other infectious diseases; 7) Ensure environmental sustainability; 8) Develop a global partnership for development.

Burkinabe Valérie Kaboré received the Millennium Development Goal MDG3 Champion Torch in 2008 for her commitment to achieving gender equity. MDG3 is the acronym for the third Millennium Development Goal. The MDG3 Champion Torch initiative is an important part of Denmark’s Call to Action towards achieving the Millennium Development Goal as it relates to promoting gender equality and empowering women. Exemplary representatives of governments, the private sector, civil society, the media, individuals from North and South, and international organizations are recognized for their efforts toward the MDG3 and for their commitment to “doing something extra” in support of gender equality and women’s empowerment.


Kaboré received the MDG3 Champion Torch
for her successful television series “Ina” and her commitment to girls’ education. Similarly, during our 1997 interview, Valérie Kaboré talked about her series "Nâitre fille en Afrique" (To Be Born a Girl in Africa, 1993), which also focuses on girls and the importance of their education. Her comments highlight her ongoing commitment to girls' rights. She had this to say:


I think, generally speaking, that African women have much to bring to the development of our continent. It is for this reason that we fight more and more so that women may be trained and educated and have at least a minimum amount of instruction. Because to put a woman in school is to teach her how to open the door to life. Even if she does not go to school for a long period of time, she can at least acquire a minimum amount of knowledge to be able to manage her household and communicate values to her children for their future. In general, the development of Africa depends on what we will do for women of our generation and those of the future.
Themes focusing on Women and Health and Culture and the Law as it relates to religious and political fundamentalism proved to be controversial when Zara Mahamat Yacoub, director/producer for the national television of Chad, focused on the the physical and psychological manifestations of female excision in her docu-drama, Dilemme au féminin, (Feminine Dilemma, 1994). Zacoub emphasizes the importance of her role as communicator to reveal practices that she views as harmful; as well as to bring forth the issue toward societal awareness, in an attempt to provide a balanced debate on the various perspectives as it relates to the practice.

A recent observance day, “Street Children Day” on 26 November, initiated by UNESCO, addresses the plight of the world’s street children, abandoned as orphans, victims of war or by poverty-stricken parents. The day marks the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a theme which has been explored in numerous African films. Tanzanian Flora M’mbugu-Schelling’s 1993 docu-drama Shida and Matatizo, commissioned by UNICEF, makes a harsh indictment on the Tanzanian government for not responding to the physical and sexual abuse of street children. Zara Mahamat Yacoub also focuses on the plight of children in her films, Les Enfants de la rue (Street Children, 1995), Les Enfants de la guerre (Children of War, 1996) and l'Enfance confisquée (Childhood Destroyed, 1999). During our interview in 1998, I asked her: "In the context of the theme of the 1997 edition of FESPACO, "Cinema, Childhood, and Youth," there are many films that are being shown that treat the subject of children in diverse situations. Your film, Les enfants de la rue, focused on the theme of children, as well as your most recent film Les enfants de la guerre. Why did you choose this subject?" She replied:

My latest film is Les enfants de la guerre, or what I call "in the oubliette," because the surviving children are the forgotten ones. It is a film that speaks about the traumatism that haunts children who have lived through war. My film does not only reflect the reality of Chad; it also speaks about the children of today, whether they live in Rwanda, Burundi, or Liberia. It speaks of all the situations where there has been war.

What moved me to address this problem in my film is the need to record this phenomenon. Because today when there is a war in a particular part of the world, all eyes are riveted on the country where it takes place. The whole world precipitates to this location; the press, the humanitarian organizations. The world is focused on this country, on the children and women who die. As soon as the war is over, there is not a word spoken about this place and the aftermath of the war. No one even attempts to find out what happened to the survivors.
In a war, it's true there are the dead, but afterwards there are certainly those who escaped, who survived. But no one searches to know how those who remain are continuing to live. In my film, I bring out the trauma suffered by the children who were left on their own, who are still there living with family members, in orphanages or in the streets.

They continue to be haunted by images of the war. However, there is no one who stays behind in an attempt to care in some way or another for these children. These children, whether we admit it or not, are sick. They are sick from all that they have lived through during and after the war. Thus, the reason for my film, Les enfants de la guerre.
Similarly, Wanjiru Kinyanjui of Kenya addresses the rights of children in her two short films for a German TV series "The Rights of Children" (1996-97) which won the "Erich Kästner" award in Germany. She made these comments regarding her work:
In Nairobi, I wrote and directed a film based on the right to attend school plus the right to know both parents. The leading character, Koi, cannot go to school because her mother is only a street hawker and is also single. Koi, inspired by "The Ghost of Children's Rights," tracks down her father and literally blackmails him into paying her school fees. So she kills two birds with one stone. The twelve-minute story is a comedy of sorts. The second film was shot in Kigali and is based on traumatized children. Gatashya, a ten-year-old boy, lost his whole family in the genocide but survived somehow. He meets another orphan boy in the city who introduces him to his orphanage. The personnel at the orphanage try to help him to work out his trauma and get over it.
I asked her to elaborate on the story of Gatashya to which she replied.
…During the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, Tutsis were killed by the hundreds of thousands. Hutu sympathizers were also killed. The genocide did not spare neighbors or close relatives who had got mixed up in the ethnic division. Hundreds of children were orphaned. No one in Rwanda was spared, because many are still traumatized. The survivors all lost many of their kin and friends. A trauma psychologist who works with children told me stories about children watching their fathers and mothers getting chopped up. It is unimaginable! After doing some research, I decided to do the short film on this subject— which is actually too hard for children, but it happened to children! I found it difficult to make a film…which is palatable to children who have not gone through this. But even then, it is still terrible.
On 1 December, the United Nations observes World AIDS Day. It is worth noting filmmakers such as Burkinabé Fanta Nacro who has been at the forefront in using cinema to address the AIDS crisis in Africa, which include the documentary films, En parler ça aide (2002); Vivre positivement (2003) and Never Alone, A Call to Action, No Time to Drop Your Guard, From the Young People Against AIDS: Scenarios from Africa (2003-2004). Le Truc de Konate (Konate's Thing, 1998), a humorous short fiction film by Nacro was very popular with the audiences in Burkina Faso. The film blends traditional skepticism of new ideas, masculine virility and honor, and emerging female consciousness. On a more somber note Tsitsi Dangaremba's feature film Everyone's Child (1995) deals with the daunting consequences for the children who are left to fend for themselves when their parents die from the devastating affects of AIDS. Kenyan Wajuhi Kamau, who works in the Film Production Department of the Educational Media Service of the Minister of Education, emphasizes the effectiveness of video as a means of educating people about issues from AIDS to family planning. Using both the documentary and drama presentations, the objective of the Educational Media Service is to take the results to the people who then see themselves reflected in the images, "when you see yourself, you see your situation, then it is easy to remember and change attitudes and behavior." Zimbabwean Prudence Uriri focuses on issues related to AIDS and health in general. In her role as filmmaker, she sees the importance of opening a dialogue about the problems that people face so that they may be better informed of the situation.


Parts of this text have been extracted from "Visualizing Herstories: An Introduction to African Women Cinema Studies"

Related links of distributors whose collection feature gendered-focus awareness-building films.

La médiathèque des trois mondes
Media for Development International
Women Make Movies

05 November 2009

African Women “Courage Award” Laureates

Since the International Women’s Media Foundation (USA) launched the “Courage Award” in 1990, fifty-six women journalists have joined the list of fearless laureates, working in the diverse media of television, radio, print, and film.

Journalist Agnes Taile from Cameroon shares the International Women’s Media Foundation 2009 "Courage Award" with Jila Banlyaaghoob of Iran and Iryna Khalip of Belarus. As journalist she reports on human rights and freedom of the press.

Past laureates from Africa include: Serkalem Fasil (Ethiopia) 2007; South African-born Gwen Lister (Namibia) and Salima Tlemcani (Algeria) 2004; Sandra Nyaira (Zimbabwe) 2002; Amal Abbas (Sudan) 2001; Agnes Nidorera (Burundi) 2000; Lucy Sichone (Zambia) and Saida Ramadan (Sudan) 1996; Horria Saihi (Algeria) and Chris Anyanwu (Nigeria) 1995; Catherine Gicheru (Kenya) 1992. As we applaud their courage and fortitude, the award also reminds us of the perilous work of media professionals.

I had the pleasure of meeting Algerian Horria Saihi, one of the 1995 "Courage Award" laureates, at the 1997 FESPACO (Panafrican Film Festival of Ouagadougou) during which she presented her film Algérie en femmes. In the interview, she recounted her daunting experiences in the contemporary crisis of the fundamentalist war on culture. She had this to say about winning the "Courage Award":

"In 1995, I was invited by the International Women’s Media Foundation to received the Courage Award. It was heartwarming, really, to find myself in the middle of New York, it was a dream. I actually had tears in my eyes, it was very powerful. I received the prize in the name of the Algerian people. I dedicated the award to all the women. It was an eagle with widespread wings which represented force, but also fragility, because it was made of crystal.


I dedicated the award to two women, the women who have marked my life. One was a very good friend, a colleague and journalist, Rachida Hammadi who was assassinated by terrorist fundamentalists. She was of such fragility. She was not tall, only four feet nine inches, and frail, but of a courageous and implacable will. She was always busy and constantly in the field. You could always hear her saying "I was told that such and such a thing has just happened, we must go there." She never said that she was tired. This woman symbolized this courage for me. It is not me who was awarded this prize, it was Algeria, it was these women who continued to remain standing, who carried Algeria in their two arms.


I dedicated it to another woman who I met in a region that has suffered tremendously, Jijel, which is 500 kilometers from Algiers. It is a zone that has a reputation for being the stronghold of fundamentalists terrorists. There I met a marvelous woman. I say marvelous because, having come from a big city, we only meet intellectual women who are well-read, articulate, who are able to say what they think. But these women, we do not meet outside in the streets. Moreover, the press, the television, the cinema are interested in women who are very present before the camera, who are mediatized by the national and international press.


However, this woman was in the countryside, she cultivated the land, she participated in the national liberation war in the capacity of a fighter. During the last nine months of the war she was pregnant. Thus, she was at the same time fighter and mother. And this woman brought into the world, the day of independence 5 July 1962, a child who she called Abdullah. Abdullah means the child of God, the creation of God. She could have died with the child in her womb, and yet she carried him right up until independence and brought him into the world. This child's mother, who was not literate, wanted to give him a good education--a sort of payback for her--so that he could be intelligent and go to the best schools and universities. And her son was assassinated by the terrorists. This woman took up arms again, not to avenge her son in a feudal manner, but to avenge him by continuing the fight, so that there will never be blood in our country again."

13 October 2009

Chantal Bagilishya: Special Tribute to one of Africa’s treasures in the world of cinema by Seipati Bulane Hopa

Chantal Bagilishya
Special Tribute to one of Africa’s treasures in the world of cinema by Seipati Bulane Hopa, Secretary General of FEPACI, Panafrican Federation of Filmmakers (2006-2013)

Today, my sister is gone, she has journeyed far into the distant horizon – leaving - lingering in my nostalgic memory - questions that may forever remain unanswered - for the long pause we have had - of unspoken words between us - I now heavily regret".

Seipati Bulane Hopa
When I first met Chantal in the eighties, not only was I struck by her beauty and an enchanting smile that lit her face, I was drawn in by her strong character, by the determination and resilience she had in pursuing her gift and passion in film-making. I hold in my memory, the dream she had of being the best in what she did, the desire she had of having all the support she needed in sharing her gift of story telling and the wish she had in being able to achieve it. For all she wanted to be - was to be at her best performance - when working and producing stories that spoke to the values she held dear to her heart.

We were young then, and that time the world was a beckoning, exciting adventure, we saw so much possibility, so much opportunity in making our world of cinema function - function in an effective way - in a way that gave us the courage - the passion - and the love to continue being the conscience keepers we had to be and wanted to be, the teachers we had to be and wanted to be, the learners we had to be and wanted to be, the robust and independent storytellers we had to be and wanted to be . Our hearts were young, full of life and full of verve – we were ready to conquer the world with this big wish list we had.

Today, my sister is gone, she has journeyed far into the distant horizon – leaving - lingering in my nostalgic memory - questions that may forever remain unanswered - for the long pause we have had - of unspoken words between us - I now heavily regret.

I would have loved to know whether her dreams of what she wanted to do had been met, whether the wealth of stories she wanted to tell, had been told. I would have loved to have her views on what she thinks of us now – and on where she thinks we could be or should be in this beloved world of cinema that so possessively entraps and captivates us.

Our mantra of yesterday and today remains the same, we are ever so inclined to say; Africa’s cultural practitioners have a wealth of talent and stories deeply embedded in their minds and hearts - but no real cultural institution or trust account capable enough to sustain and unleash this potent wealth of story - lying latent within the treasure cove of our rich creative cultural landscape

Chantal’s passing and that of others before her should not be in vain. The recent flooding of the library at the FESPACO took us by shock, the damage and loss that is incurred offers a powerful metaphor that evokes and invokes a greater consciousness of creating a future that is founded on pillars of prosperity - for procrastination is known to be opportunity’s natural assassin. We must aspire to that which necessitates measures that compel us toward creating tangible tools that help us create an infrastructure that is robust and responsive in managing African audiovisual cinema institutions.

The continuing loss of Africa’s intellectuals, the continuing loss and devaluation of Africa’s intellectual property can not continue to pass as unfortunate incidents – unfortunate incidents that seem to leave us in despair – feeling helpless and disempowered.

It is through the loss of our talent, the passing on of our most militant of our creative force that we must recharge our creative, intellectual energies, sharpen our creative weapons and compel change by looking at change with a different eye and an approach that compel us to be the change we want to see and be.

We have lived in a scarcity state for far too long, where stories made with the vigilance and conscience of men and women such as Chantal remain obscure. Our mass audience have long been waiting and ready to receive stories and images that are really about us, images that truly are reflective of our spaces, experiences and thoughts. That was Chantal’s dream – to penetrate the minds of that audience. Is it not ironic that in the Southern parts of Africa and even elsewhere, very few film-makers, television viewers and cinema goers hardly know who Chantal Bagilishya is if we dared to ask – whereas we would know of those film-makers and actors that are not from our continent. 

Chantal was a cadre who walked and braved the treacherous rocky path we all are so accustomed to travelling. She played her part and went as far as she could – we need to run the relay race and make her smile in her new spiritual world where she joins other giants on whose shoulders we stand today.

Lala Kahle Ntombi ya ma Afrika - Rest in Peace daughter of Afrika

Wishing the family and friends, courage and strength – let today be a day that celebrates her life – a day that appreciates the gift she was to us all.

Seipati Bulane Hopa
15 October 2009

Source: Fepaci-film.org http://www.fepaci-film.org/Newsletter/Nl01-09-09-9.html (No longer active)

Posted 5 November 2009