Director: Florence Ayisi – Documentary| Language: Swahili with English subtitles
Zanzibar Soccer Dreams, (co-directed with Catalin Brylla, 2016, 63 mins) presents the dawn of an era for women’s football in Zanzibar. This film is a follow-up to the short film Zanzibar Soccer Queens (2007) which focused on the Women Fighters Football Club, a team of strong-willed Muslim women determined to play soccer to better their lives. The impact of the first film helped the women’s resistance to cultural norms being taken beyond the borders of their country, and away from the confines of negative attitudes. When the players visited Potsdam, Germany, in 2009, this created a buzz and attitudes started to change. The once marginalised football “hooligans” are considered ‘cultural Ambassadors’. As one player declares, “Men who used to say you are hooligans, have no more words left”. Muslim schoolgirls can now play soccer as part of their physical education, but despite limited football equipment and facilities, the girls cherish the freedom and the right to play.
+ My Mother: Isange
My Mother: Isange (2005, 7 mins) is a personal and affectionate tribute in memory of Florence Ayisi’s mother. The film director states “I am still searching for her 21 years after she passed away. How can she die? She is my Mother! I was not present at the funeral and the trauma of this makes it difficult for me to accept the loss of a dear and special woman who dearly loved and stood up for her 10 children. She wanted all of us to have the Education she was denied. She was a strong and determined woman who never realised her potential”.
Florence Ayisi will be travelling to Trowbridge to participate in a Q&A session with Cleo Lake, from Sheba Soul Ensemble and Lorena Pino, Film Programmer at Trowbridge Town Hall. It will be an opportunity for members of the audience to ask questions after the screening of her films.
Ayisi is professor of International Documentary Film at the Faculty of Creative Industries, University of South Wales. She has taught at several higher education institutions in the UK including University of Sunderland, Coventry University, University of Glamorgan and University of Wales, Newport. She has made several documentary films in Cameroon and Tanzania. Her broad agenda and vision for producing documentaries is to decolonise images and ideas about Africa from Pan-African and Woman-centred perspectives.