Tuesday 15 November 2011

Women and Film in Africa: Overcoming Social Boundaries conference at the University of Westminster

The University of Westminster’s Africa Media Centre is celebrating the achievements of female African filmmakers who have overcome the double oppression of patriarchy and colonialism to produce some of the most original and thought provoking films it is possible to see today.

The Africa Media Centre is bringing together notable female African directors, actors, scriptwriters and academics from all over the globe for a two day conference in London on 19 and 20 November. Filmmakers will share experiences, reflect on the contributions made by pioneering women from the past up to and including the present day and discuss the influence that women have in the television and film industry and on audiences in Africa.

The keynote speakers are as follows:
  • Jihan El-Tahri is an Egyptian-French writer, director and producer of documentary films. Her award-winning films include documentaries filmed in the Congo, Angola, Zambia, Tunisia and other parts of the world, including Saudi Arabia. Her latest film Behind the Rainbow deals with the transition of the ANC from a liberation organization into South Africa’s ruling party.
  • Yaba Badoe is a Ghanaian-British documentary maker, journalist and novelist; she is a visiting scholar at the University of Ghana. Her directing and producing credits include the award-winning documentary The Witches of Gambaga the story of a community of women condemned to live as witches in Northern Ghana.
The two-day programme includes film screenings and over 40 presentations by filmmakers, actors, academics and other contributors from Africa, Europe and America.

Jane Thorburn, co-director of the Africa Media Centre, says:
The immense contributions by female filmmakers are sadly underrepresented, both in industry debates and academic research. This conference represents a great opportunity to learn at first hand how so many African women filmmakers have successfully made films and documentaries despite the additional difficulties of working in Africa.
Topics will include the following themes: the Influence of Feminism on African filmmakers, women in front of and behind the camera in African film, women in the African feature film industry, women in technical roles in film, video and television in Africa, women documentary makers in Africa, gender and the representation of women in African film, audiences for films by African women/female audiences in Africa, case histories of leading African women film makers, women scriptwriters, African women acting in video, film and television, the censorship and the portrayal of African women in film and television, the role of NGOs in commissioning women filmmakers and issue-based films, how African governments have helped or hindered filmmaking by African women.

Event details:
  • Full conference: Standard rate £135. One day rate £95
  • Full conference: Student rate £55.  One day rate £40.
  • You can register here.
  • Fees cover: conference pack, lunch, coffee/tea, a wine reception and administration fees.
  • Please follow the link here or here 

Text (c) The University of Westminster press release