Sisters in African Cinema

Women filmmakers, the women’s movement and feminism in African cinema

Judy Kibinge © FilmInitiativ Köln e.V.

In recent years, women from African countries have started numerous film projects, established production companies and casting agencies and organised film festivals – from the Ivory Coast to Nigeria and all the way to Zimbabwe. In effect, they are doing exactly what the French film director and grande dame of African cinema Sarah Maldoror had in mind when she stated: “Women have to thematise their problems themselves.” More and more women from African countries and the African diaspora are standing in front of and behind the camera. Their films highlight the role of women as they fight against prevailing injustice and violence, demonstrate their commitment to politics, art and culture, and accompany women in their daily lives.
The film project “Sisters in African Cinema” wished to introduce this artistic awakening to a broad audience in Germany. The project created a film series in collaboration with female artists, such as Nadia El Fani, Dyana Gaye and Beti Ellerson, comprised of approximately 20 feature-length, documentary and short films to be shown for the first time at the Cologne festival “Beyond Europe XIV – New Films from Africa”. Following the premiere, the film series went on tour through Germany. In order to present the visions and perspectives of African women, the project also initiated encounters and workshops with female filmmakers, theorists, actors and activists.

Artistic director: Christa Aretz
Curatorial board: Beti Ellerson (US), Dyana Gaye (FR), Nadia El Fani (TN), Judy Nini Kibinge (KE), Nancy Mac Granaky-Quaye (D)

Africa – International programme focus

As part of its new programme focus on Africa, the Federal Cultural Foundation is currently working to promote the exchange between artists and institutions in Germany and African countries.

More about the programme focus Africa


FilmInitiativ Köln e.V.

Heidemannstraße 76a

50825 Köln (external link, opens in a new window)