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A Report On The University of Westminster "Women And Film In Africa" Conference

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by Tambay A. Obenson
December 12, 2011 12:19 PM
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Shadow And Act wasn't present for it, but here's a summary of the Women and Film in Africa Conference that took place a couple of weeks ago at the University of Westminster in London... courtesy of SubtitledOnline.com, via the African Women In Cinema blog.

The conference dealt with the contemporary and historical role played by women in the film, television and video industries in Africa; 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 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; censorship and the portrayal of African women in film and television; the role of NGOs in commissioning women filmmakers and issue-based films; and how African governments have helped or hindered filmmaking by African women.

The Women And Film In Africa event took place on the 19th and 20th November 2011 at the University of Westminster in London, and brought together a select group of academics and filmmakers from across the globe. They all shared the key aims of the conference: to highlight the work of African Women in film, both in front of and behind the camera; to discuss the challenges – and to celebrate the successes.

The first day was bookended by two keynote speeches from Yaba Badoe and Jihan El-Tahri, both female African filmmakers. Badoe captivated the delegates with her hauntingly vivid description of her first visit to the Witches’ Camp in Gambaga, Northern Ghana, which became the subject of her documentary. She also offered an insight into the kinds of difficulties a solo, independent filmmaker faces when trying to turn an all-consuming idea into a documentary, from trying to get permission from obstructive civil servants to film to getting the funding to actually be able to film.

Read the full report HERE, in which you'll also find a review of the award-winning film called The Witches Of Gambaga, (it appears it was screened at the conference, with the filmmaker - Yaba Badoe- present) which we've profiled on this site in recent weeks.

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