Film Restorations

An African Women's Trilogy: New Ways of Seeing ‘Old’ Films

Due to recent events and developments in the global film industries, more attention than ever is being paid to women’s roles in cinema. Likewise, the awareness of white privilege within the feminist movement is growing, and so women in African cinema demand their screen time ever more forcefully. Africa in Motion Film Festival, in collaboration with the University of Glasgow and Aya Distribution, has contributed to these new waves in cinema by restoring, subtitling, digitising and screening three essential feminist African films.

With these restorations and by making the films more widely available in the UK, we want to readdress the canon, its white male dominance and euro-centric nature; we bring attention to the role of African women in film histories; and encourage more diversity on UK cinema screens.

selma baccar at filmhouse

In 2018 we continue touring these three films throughout the UK, as they are of such importance that they deserve more attention in the English-speaking world. FATMA 75 by Selma Baccar (Tunisia, 1975) and MOSSANE by Safi Faye (Senegal, 1996) have never existed with English subtitles and had never been screened to audiences in the UK before November 2017. FLAME by Ingrid Sinclair (Zimbabwe, 1996) completes the trilogy as a powerful statement of women’s contributions to independence struggles. This is a very rare opportunity for audiences in the UK to see these films for what they are: pioneering masterpieces that we must no longer miss out on.

“We saw what Scorsese and his World Cinema Foundation were doing, but so far it has been men’s films that have been restored – which is important – yet we wanted to broaden the scope and look at women’s films.”

The films and the festival have been F-Rated, as Africa in Motion has always paid special attention to women’s films: since 2006 particular attention has been paid to an appropriate representation of women in African cinema. Founded in 2011, Aya Distribution aims to provide a wider distribution of African films across the world’s cinemas. Aya distributes pioneering titles that excite curious minds, inspire imagination, and change how people see the world. With a unique catalogue of award-winning features and documentaries, Aya assists African filmmakers to exhibit their work around the world.