The Ladima Foundation is excited to welcome The Dortmund I Cologne International Women’s Film Festival as a Mentor Festival member in the recently established Ladima Women’s Film Festival Network.

The inclusion of this well-established and respected Germany-based international women’s film festival within the Ladima Film Festival Network, will lead to increased training and networking opportunities for the African festivals, as well as for women filmmakers on the continent.

This partnership with the Ladima Foundation will lead to collaboration between the festival in regards to programming and even possibly the sending of volunteers to assist with the smooth implementation of the festivals in the network.

The Dortmund I Cologne International Women’s Film Festival has also committed, as part of the relationship, to focus on securing more films from African women filmmakers and the Ladima Foundation will assist in this outreach.

Festival Director Dr. Maxa Zoller has this to say of the partnership, “Becoming a Mentor Festival for Ladima Foundation means a lot to us. For over thirty years the Dortmund I Cologne  International Women’s Film Festival has been making space for women directors and their fantastic films, but it is now time to establish long-term international ties. In a world that seems to spin in the wrong direction female (and feminist) filmmakers, producer and cinephiles across the globe are again coming together to make images that move all of us, and not just a selected few. We are excited about this unique opportunity to be part of the Ladima network, to get to know new film festivals and to share with them our passion for cinema.”

All African women filmmakers are encouraged to submit films in the competition categories of Debut Fiction Film and Children and Young Adult Film. We also look for formally innovative Experimental and Documentary Film and Queer Film (out of competition).

The Ladima Film Festival Network of women-focused and managed film and cultural festivals from across Africa that includes the Udada International Film Festival in Nairobi Kenya, The Celebrating Womanhood Festival and Conference in Uganda, and Festival International des Films de Femmes de Cotonou (Cotonou International Women’s Film Festival Benin), was announced earlier this year and has seen a number of milestones and successes to date.

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.

An intensive follow up residency training program for these festivals was held in August in Kigali, Rwanda that focused on strategic planning, curation, and the promotion and marketing of these up-and-coming festivals.

Soon after the training, the highly successful inaugural edition of the FIFF Cotonou took place to rave reviews in Benin. The Ladima Foundation is proud to have been part of the planning of this event and congratulates Festival Director Cornelia Glele for the major success of the event.