Ladima Foundation: Women’s Film Festival Residency

The Ladima Foundation announced the formation of a network of women-focused and managed film and cultural festivals from across Africa. The first major training and development intervention for this network will be taking place later this month in Kigali, Rwanda with an intensive residency program for the staff of these partner festivals.

The network currently includes the Udada International Film Festival in Nairobi Kenya, the Urusaro International Women’s Festival from Rwanda, The Celebrating Womanhood Festival and Conference in Uganda, and Festival International des Films de Femmes de Cotonou (Cotonou International Women’s Film Festival Benin.

An initial training and mentoring session took place in March in Kampala Uganda at the Celebrating Womanhood Festival, part of the Native Voices International event. Edima Otuokon, co-founder of the Ladima Foundation hosted a workshop for female filmmakers invited to the festival on the power of film to empower and uplift women across Africa.

The Ladima Foundation is now excited to announce the first of its formal residency program for all four festival partners that will include the Festival Directors / CEO’s of these film festivals. This training will be taking place from August 13th – 17th in Kigali, Rwanda.

As an important aspect of festival management, programming must create and plan scheduled activities for visitors and participants that optimise visitor experience, increase participation of targeted demographic, whilst still maintaining the cultural integrity, vision and theme of the festival.

Some common issues with female focused festivals across Africa are their inability to:

develop engaging festival programming;
get the required number of film submissions to hold a festival;
publicise and market their event efficiently and effectively;
develop strategic partnerships and relationships; and,
fund most of their activities.

Furthermore, the timing of the female focused festivals often coincides with other more established festivals in Africa, Europe and North America and they have to contend with festivals like Berlinale, Toronto International Film Festival and Cannes that call for African film submissions too.

The residency program aims to increase the artistic, technical and management skills of women’s film festival management teams in Africa. The in-depth and interactive program will provide networking opportunities for women’s film festival CEOs/Directors across Africa to enhance the sharing of best practice and collaboration.

Topics to be covered will include the curation and strategic positioning of festivals, funding, film festival partnerships and linkages, marketing and publicity, proposal writing etc.

The program will be facilitated by a range of experts from within the Ladima Foundation as well as additional support from Maxa Zoller, the Artistic Director of the International Women’s Film Festival of Dortmund/ Cologne, one of Europe’s longest running and most successful women’s film festivals.

The other facilitators include The Ladima Foundation’s Lara Utian (South Africa), who has many years of experience in film festival production, marketing, and publicity management, Edima Otuokon, (Nigeria), a policy and business development expert as well as a film industry expert, and Lydia Idakula Sobogun, (Nigeria), a filmmaker, arts activist and consultant.

This residency program is the first of a number of similar training programs that will be held on an on-going basis in order to further support women filmmakers and festivals across the African continent.