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The Future is Female?! – DOK.fest Munich 2017 Africa Day

By Porcia Mudavanhu

DOK.fest makes a welcome return to the city of Munich film calendar as it celebrates its 32th edition from 3 to 14 May. One highlight of the festival is Africa Day which will be on the 12th of May at the Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München, Kino 1, staring at 14:00hrs.


Africa Day is about conversations at eye level between Africa and Germany. It is about the perceptions of and relations of the two continents and the exchange of ideas. Hosted by Africa, the 4th edition of Africa Day will be celebrated under the theme, THE FUTURE IS FEMALE!? Women´s perspectives in African societies, with focus on three films from and about Africa. The event will end at 21:00hrs with a discussion on the image of women in African societies. On the panel, there are two filmmakers: Heidi Specogna and Dieudo Hamadi. Both are directors of two films about women who have broken the societal constructed barriers and presented alternative roles for African women. Samantha Biffot, the director of the AFRICAN WHO WANTED TO FLY, which will be screened during the festival, and Porcia Mudavanhu from the Zimbabwe International Film Festival, will share personal experiences on how female filmmakers position themselves in male dominated systems and societies where women are not supposed to be outspoken.

The programme will kick start with the award winning documentary L’ARBRE SANS FRUIT, directed by Aicha Macky. Aicha explores the theme of infertility, which is a taboo in her muslim community in Niger. This film is Aicha´s own journey on how African women are subjected to shame because they are in childless marriages. African women are taught from a tender age, not to speak about their family problems in public spaces but women in this film have shown that it is high time to take off the veil and claim their spaces.

Besides suffering in the private realm in their own homes, the second film, which will start at 16:00hrs, shows that in violent conflicts the central function of women often makes them the target of sexual abuse. With her film CAHIER AFRICAIN the Swiss filmmaker Heidi Specogna did a long-term observation in the Central African Republic, a country known for long-term violent conflict. 300 women, girls and men document in a school exercise book with their testimonies what Congolese mercenaries did to them.

The Congolese film MAMA COLONEL directed by Dieudo Hamadi is furthering the theme. The police officer Honorine Munyole – Mama Colonel –  is a robust forty-four-year-old widow and mother of seven young children. More or less on her own, she runs a small police unit dedicated to protecting women who’ve been raped and children who’ve suffered abuse in the war-plagued regions of the Congo. She represents the role of women as household managers, food, health, education and security providers not only for their families but even the society. In most instances all their work is often overlooked and never celebrated.

The event will be held in English. The purchase of one film ticket guarantees one to attend the discussion.

For further information:

Porcia Mudavanhu (1986) studied journalism and mass communication at the Harare Polytechnic College. As a filmmaker she has to date directed two films, both of which deal with women’s issues. Porcia has worked as a programm officer for the organisation Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe and the International Images Film Festival for Women in Harare. Since 2014 she is the festival coordinator for Zimbabwe International Film Festival. From March till May 2017 she was artist in residence of Villa Waldberta and did an internship at DOK.fest/ Africa.


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