The Senegalese film “Banel et Adama” opens the twelfth edition of Ellas son Cine on Tuesday, 4 June at the venue Sala Berlanga

For the twelfth consecutive year, Fundación Mujeres por África holds the exhibition Ellas son Cine.  Sala Berlanga hosts, once again, this selection of five films made by African female directors in which it can be unveiled a diverse, current and feminist vision of the African film landscape of the moment.

The exhibition will be inaugurated on Tuesday at 18:30 with the Senegalese film Banel et Adama, a debut film by the young French director of Senegalese origin Ramata-Toulaye Sy, who competed for the Palme d ‘Or at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. The screening will take place at 7:30 p.m. and, after it, there will be a debate led by Senegalese film critic Fatou Kiné Sene, president of the African Federation of Film Critics until last year. Also, Guadalupe Arensburg, curator of Ellas son Cine, will be present.

Banel et Adama is a tragic romance narrated in the form of a lyrical fable in which two young lovers fight for emancipation away from the suffocating demands of their families and their community. Shot entirely in Fula, a language from northern Senegal, Banel et Adama is a visually dazzling film, where photography and color become dramatic elements that vary according to the complex psychology of its characters.

On the following day, Wednesday 5 June, The Bride will be screened, another debut film by another very young director, Myriam U. Birara, a Rwandan born in the former Zaire who, before turning thirty years old, filmed this short feature film in just one week in which a young woman is forced to marry the man who has raped her. Birara introduces a double conflict, one being forced marriages in her country and the other one the post-traumatic memory of the Tutsi genocide. She explores these two conflicts through the story of friendship and mutual support between two women, Eva (the bride) and the cousin of her husband and captor.

Animalia, by Moroccan Sofia Alaoui, will be the film on Thursday 6 June. It is a film that combines different genres, such as science fiction and road movie, with an intimate approach to tackling an alien invasion from the perspective of a pregnant woman trapped in the complexities of her socio-cultural environment. Released at the Sundance Festival and winner of the Jury Prize in the World Film section, Animalia condemns, through its protagonist, the greed of capitalism, classism and disrespect for nature and the planet.

On Thursday, it is the turn of Mambar Pierrette, by Cameroonian filmmaker Rosine Mbakam. With this film, Mbakam shows us fragments of the life of her seamstress cousin in the city of Douala. She does so through conversations with her clients about their domestic problems and their tremendous courage, offering the viewer a portrait of Cameroonian society nowadays. With this fictional film about some members of her family, Rosine Mbakam, along with Pierrette, were present at the Directors’ Fortnight of the Cannes Film Festival in 2023.

The twelfth edition of Ellas son Cine will endon Saturday, 8 June with the Tunisian film Les filles d ‘Olfathat was nominated for the Oscar Award for Best Documentary Film and went through Spanish cinemas last February with the title of Las cuatro hijas.  It is directed by Kouther Ben Hania, a filmmaker who was already present in previous editions with La Belle et la meute (2017) and L’homme qui a vendu sa peau (2020). In Les filles d ‘Olfa, the director captures the consequences of an excessively rigid education, a deeply patriarchal society and religious extremism through the story of Olfa, a mother of four daughters who faces the disappearance of the two eldest.

Ellas son Cine is the main audiovisual project of Fundación Mujeres por África. The aim of the exhibition is to promote knowledge and enjoyment in Spain of the cinema directed by African women. Before celebrating this twelfth edition, Ellas son Cine has screened 62 feature films and 7 short films from 24 different countries.

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