Film is one of the industries that has been dominated by men, not only in America but also across the world. A recent U.S documentary on the industry called Half the Picture highlighted the many reasons why women are not ‘welcomed’ into the film world, including sexual harassment and sexism.
It is strange that the first African female filmmaker, Sita Bella, only emerged in 1963. Fortunately, there has been an increasing number of female filmmakers on the continent, who are not only making good films but are also getting recognised for it.
Here are five female filmmakers you should know about:
This South African woman just won the Cheval Noir Jury Prize for Best Director at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal, Canada for her debut motion picture, Number 37.
According to the Jury:
Nosipho Dumisa demonstrates sensitivity and elegance with her debut feature, a Hitchcockian noir transplanted to the gritty slums of Capetown. Displaying an assured level of finesse and precision, the direction allows all elements of the film to breathe, and to shine – even at gunpoint.
Although this is her debut film, she has worked on scripts for commercials, television pilots, reality, lifestyle shows and short films. She is also a producer of South African TV series called Suidooster.
Kahiu is a Kenyan filmmaker famous for her film Rafiki, which became Kenya’s first film to debut at the Cannes Film Festival.
Kahiu has had a number of films under her name including Pumzi, which won awards at Cannes and the Venice film festival. Her other film, From a Whisper, received twelve nominations and won five awards at the African Movie Academy Awards in 2009.
Kahiu has also worked in international films such as The Italian Job and a documentary honouring the late Wangari Maathai. Besides film, Kahiu has also written a children’s book called The Wooden Camel.
She has not only been named as part of the Academy but has also signed a major deal with has signed with The Gotham Group.
As one of Africa’s youngest filmmakers, this Cameroonian came in second at the first edition of the Concours du scenario festival for her film, Heritage. The film tackles the issue of the inability of women to inherit property in Cameroon.
Lomboleni Oshosheni Hiveluah
From Namibia, Hiveluah has worked on films such as Tjitji the Himba Girl, Omeva, Cries at Night and 100 Bucks. Tjitji the Himba girl was selected as part of the official short film at Africa International Film Festival in 2015.
Not only is Jessie a renown filmmaker she is also the founder of Zambia Short Film Festival and Young Cinema in Zambia. She has worked on films such as Goodbye”, “Every Woman Knows”, “Soldier”, “Buried”, “Between Rings” and “Her Nyari”.
In Between Rings, she collaborated with a Finnish filmmaker Sala Sorri to tell the story of Esther Phiri, a retired Zambian boxer.