FIFF Cotonou is the first Beninese Film Festival which is dedicated to women. The festival will showcase the work of creative and innovative women filmmakers from across the continent. Women filmmakers are invited for the submission of their films for selection in the festival. The deadline for submission is on the 31st of May, 2019. The event is set to hold from September 13 – 17, 2019 in Cotonou, Benin.
The Cotonou International Women’s Film Festival is among the festivals in the Ladima Foundation’s network of women-focused and managed film festivals. Also, it includes the Urusaru International Women’s Film Festival (Rwanda), Celebrating Womanhood Festival (Uganda), and The Udada International Film Festival (Kenya).
The Ladima Foundation is working with these festivals as part of its commitment to support women in the film industry in Africa.
The festival will give opportunities for audiences and filmmakers. Hence, it will enable a new unique, a new breath of life into the Beninese and female cinema. The festival will project films and documentaries directed and/or produced by women. Even more, it will include talks and discussions relating to the films and the theme of 2019.
The debut edition theme will focus on how violence against women is tackled in cinematographic works in general and how it is represented by women in particular. According to the United Nation statistics, 35% of women experience violence at least once in their lives. Daily, women are raped, abused, marginalized and discriminated against. Therefore, it is significant that the film industry tackles this theme to raise public awareness and denounce these acts of violence.
Included in the program is a hectic evening focused on the films of the godmother of the festival, Madame Akissi Delta, who will also be in attendance. Madame Akissi is known for her role in the popular Ivorian series ‘Ma Famile’. Also, the festival will feature a master class on the theme of violence against women in the cinema. Claire Diao, cinema critic, journalist, distributor, and CEO of Awotele will facilitate this master class. She will engage with film professionals and the public on the theme of the VFFF, on how this issue can be solved in the cinema and how film can play its own part in the fight against violence against women.