The Ladima Foundation – established as a mechanism to support women filmmakers from across the African continent and in an attempt to further gender equality within the industry – will present a variety of programmes in Zanzibar from 7 to 15 July, in partnership with the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), DISCOP Zanzibar and the Africa in Motion Film Festival (AiM).
In order to further its objective of supporting women in a variety of roles within filmmaking, video production and related content development avenues through a range of projects and interventions, the Ladima Foundation will once again present its flagship project, the Adiaha Award for Best Documentary by an African Woman Filmmaker – presented annually at ZIFF.
The Adiaha Award consists of a cash prize and this year the winning film will additionally be awarded the opportunity to be screened at the Africa in Motion Film Festival in Scotland.
Lizelle Bisschoff, the Africa in Motion Film Festival founder, alongside well-known academic and writer Stefanie Van de Peer will be in attendance at ZIFF to present a workshop and selected film screenings under the theme of Africa’s Lost Classics: Histories of African Women in Film. This half-day event will see the screening of two lost classics – for the first time in Africa – that have been subtitled in English, restored and digitised by AiM. The films, Mossane (Safi Faye, Senegal, 1996) and Fatma 75 (Selma Baccar, Tunisia, 1976) have hardly been seen or screened publically. Mossane is the last feature film by pioneering Senegalese filmmaker Safi Faye, and Fatma 75 was the first non-fiction film by a female Tunisian filmmaker – a feminist essay film documenting strong female figures in the history of the country.
“After a highly successful run of screenings of ‘Lost African Film Classics’ across the UK during 2017, we are delighted to extend this to screenings in Africa, and specifically at ZIFF, one of the continent’s best and most high profile film festivals, as part of our partnership with the Ladima Foundation. The two films we are presenting at ZIFF, Tunisian director Selma Baccar’s Fatma 75 and Senegalese director Safi Faye’s Mossane, are both hugely important films by pioneering female directors which have not been seen or screened widely at all. We know that female and black directors are underrepresented in film industries across the world, which makes it all the more crucial that the artistic labour of these filmmakers are recognised, celebrated and preserved. Persuasive and impassioned campaigns such as #OscarsSoWhite, Time’s Up and the work of South Africa’s SWIFT (Sisters Working in Film and Television) have irrevocably demonstrated the need for prioritising diversity and marginalised voices within the film industries. Celebrating the work of female African directors does exactly that,” comments Bisschoff
The Ladima Foundation will also be presenting a programme at the inaugural DISCOP Zanzibar that will take place from 11 to 13 July at the Hotel Verde. The Ladima Foundation will present the Women of Influence Conversation, which will bring together some of the most creative, iconic and culturally relevant women in Africa’s entertainment and media industry.
Additionally, Ladima will be sponsoring five young women in the industry – from East Africa – to attend DISCOP Zanzibar 2018. The Ladima Foundation is also working with the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam on the She Directs workshop series that will see a selection of young East African women filmmakers having the opportunity to hone their craft. These projects reflect the core mission of the Ladima Foundation and its stated key interventions, which include: professional training, educational support, recognition, and networking and community.
Lara Preston, co-founder of the Ladima Foundation comments: “The Ladima Foundation’s programme taking place in July in Zanzibar, in partnership with AIM, ZIFF and DISCOP Zanzibar, is a reflection of our commitment to key areas of intervention including professional development, recognition, mentoring and networking. Our Women of Influence programme at DISCOP Zanzibar will continue at all DISCOP Markets across Africa, creating a pan-African dialogue and community. These programmes are just the start of the many projects and partnerships that we will be initiating across Africa. As we work to actively and sustainably address some of the key issues that are barriers to entry for women in the content production industries, we will ensure that all of our projects have long-term and tangible outcomes.”
By Chanelle Ellaya