Florence Ayisi known as Florence Ayisi
Certificate in Higher Education (Cert Ed) (1997) – School of Education, University of Sunderland, U.K.
MA in Film Production (1992) Northern School of Film and Television, Leeds Metropolitan University, U.K.
MA in Theatre and Media Production (1989) – The University of Hull, U.K
Diploma in Television Production and Journalism (1987), Television Training Centre, Fulham Studios, London
Bachelor of Arts in English (1986) - Faculty of Modern Letters and Social Sciences – University of Yaoundé, Cameroon, Central Africa.
Florence is Professor of International Documentary Film. She currently teaches film history, theory, analysis, creative documentary film practice, transnational cinemas, cultural representations. She is also an award winning documentary filmmaker. She has made films in Cameroon and Tanzania. Her films have been screened at numerous festivals and on television worldwide. Her first feature-length documentary film, Sisters in Law, (co-directed with Kim Longinotto, 2005), has won numerous prestigious film awards including PRIX ART ET ESSAI at Cannes film festival; Grierson Award for Best Documentary on a Contemporary Issue; Audience Award at International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA); and Peabody Award in USA. It was long-listed for Oscar Nominations in 2006. Her films have been screened on major television channels including Channel 4 Television, More4 TV, Canal+, TV5 Monde Afrique, RFO (France), PBS (USA) and Swedish Television (SVT). Her films have also been screened at numerous films festivals world wide including Cannes film festival, Toronto International film festival, Hawaii International film festival, London Film festival, African Diaspora film festival, Canadian Sport Film Festival, Zanzibar International Film Festival, Reel Sisters of the Diaspora festival, Goteborg International Film Festival, Kenya International film festival, FESPACO, and The Sunny Side of Doc.
Florence has taught film and media studies at several Higher Education institutions in the U.K. for 20 years, including University of Sunderland, Coventry University, University of Glamorgan and the University of Wales, Newport.
Florence has the experience of working with Third Sector Organisations, International Development Agencies and Government Departments. Some of these include The World Bank Group (Cameroon), The National Programme for Participatory Development (PNDP), The Ministry of Arts and Culture (Cameroon), The International Centre for Research and Documentation on African Traditions and Languages, CERDOTOLA Cameroon, The Limbe City Council (Cameroon). She has developed and produced a variety of commissioned audio-visual projects as part of communications development strategies for these organisations.
She has been a Jury Member at the following film festival and media events:
International Documentary Festival Madrid (DOCUMENTAMADRID), Spain
Kenyan International film festival, in Nairobi
Evora International Short Film Festival, FIKE Portugal
Zanzibar International film festival – ZIFF
One World Broadcasting Trust ‘Television Awards’, London
First Films – a Community Arts initiative for Young People in Newport and run by Pilipala Films, and funded by Newport Arts Development.
Teaching, Research, Curriculum Development, Pastoral Care and PhD Supervision
Publications: Public Exhibitions, Film Screenings, Book Chapters and Journal Articles
‘Ayisi, F. (2016) ‘Making Waves on International Women’s Day: Cameroonian Women’s Dynamism’ in Home/Land: Women Citizenship, Photographies (Eds: Marsha Meskimmon and Marion Arnold) – Liverpool University Press – http://liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/products/73646
F. Ayisi (Assistant Editor, 2014) ‘For An African being proud of African Tradition/Pour un Homme africaine fier de sa Tradition Africaine’. This is a Report and Photo-book based on the proceedings and activities of an international conference entitled “CERDOTOLA Communication Days/ CERDOTOLA Journées de Communication". Editor: Professor Charles Binam Bikoi. Published by Editions du CERDOTOLA, 2014
F. Ayisi, C. Brylla. (2014) See Me, Know Me: Cultural Expressions of Cameroonian Women_. Stimulus Respond – Africa. ISSUU. Jack Boulton. No. 25. Autumn 2014.
Ayisi, F. & Brylla, C. (2013). ‘The Politics of Representation and Audience Reception: Alternative Visions of Africa’. Journal article in Research in African Literatures (E-ISSN:1527-2044).
Ayisi, F. (2013) ‘How We Live Today’ – Florence Ayisi in dialogue with Mo White’ – In Women, the Arts and Globalization: Eccentric Experience. Eds: Marsha Meskimmon and Dorothy C. Rowe. (Rethinking Art’s Histories) (ISBN: 978-719-0-8875-9)
F. Ayisi, C. Brylla. (2013) Impact Study of Creative Intervention through Documentary Film Practice – This study documents the individual and community Impact of Zanzibar Soccer Queens (Florence Ayisi, 2007). Data collected through fieldwork presents evidence of the personal benefits and societal impact of the film; the result is a short film and a dedicated website http://zanzibarsoccerdreams.com/home.html
Photographic Exhibition – in Cameroon – October 2013
Visions of African Traditions
Photographic exhibition entitled Visions of African Traditions – as part of a 3-day international conference in Yaoundé, Cameroon – Journées de Communication, organised by the International Centre for Research and Documentation on African Traditions and Languages (CERDOTOLA). The photographs printed onto A1 (841 × 594 mm) boards; 18 of the photographs are now permanently displayed at the CERDOTOLA Head Quarters and its annex office in the capital city of Yaoundé.
1 Zanzibar Soccer Dreams (Florence Ayisi & Catalin Brylla, 2016, 64 mins) -
2 Transforming Lives: PNDP and Rural Development in Cameroon (2014, 35 mins)
3 Handing Down Time – Cameroon (2012, 55 mins)
4 Cameroonian Women in Motion (2012, 10 mins)
5 Art of this Place: Women Artists in Cameroon (2011, 40 mins)
6 Zanzibar Soccer Queens (2007/2008, 87 & 52 mins)
7 Our World in Zanzibar (2007, 35 mins)
8 My Mother: Isange (2005, 7 minutes)
9 Sisters in Law (Florence Ayisi & Kim Longinotto, 2005, 104 mins)
Selected Festival Screenings
Zanzibar Soccer Dreams
Festival Screenings for Zanzibar Soccer Dreams*
1. Canadian Sport Film Festival – Toronto – World Premiere & Closing Night Film – May 2016
2. Zanzibar International Film Festival – (ZIFF), July 2016 – Africa Premiere
3. Official Selection, Lisbon International Film Festival – 2016 Summer Edition
4. Arusha African Film Festival in St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda – November 2016
5. Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series – New York – October 2016
6. TrueDoc Documentary Festival, Ukraine – September 2016
7. Cambridge African Film Festival – CAFF at the Arts Picture House Cambridge – Oct. 2016
8. Watch-Africa: Wales African Film Festival. – Oct & Nov. 2016; Touring across Wales
9. Magic Lantern Cinema, Tywyn (Mid Wales – October 2016
10. Chaplaincy, University of South Wales – Special Screening to Celebrate Black History Month, October 2016
11. Special Screening for the Swansea Ladies Football Club – November 2016
12. The Pickle Factory, Bristol – November 2016 – Screening for Easton Cowboys & Cowgirls Football Clubs
13. King’s College London – 7th November 2016 – Special screening for the British Tanzania Society
14. Africa in Motion, Edinburgh and Glasgow – October & November 2016
15. Silver Theatre and Cultural Center – American Film Institute (AFI) Washington DC – March 2017
Art of this Place: Women Artists in Cameroon
•Art the Moderna Museét, as part of CINEMAFRICA, Stockholm, Sweden, 2011.
• Filmafrikana, Oslo, Norway, 2011
• Images of Black Women film festival, London, 2011
• Kenya International Film Festival, Nairobi, Kenya, Oct/Nov. 2012
• Festival International du Cinéma Indépendant de Bafoussam, Cameroon, March 2013
Cameroonian Women in Motion
• Shoe Shop Cultural and Media Event, Braamfontein, South Africa, May 2012
• Images of Black Women Film Festival, London, May 2013
Handing Down Time – Cameroon (Selected Screenings)
• Kenya International Film Festival, Nairobi, Kenya, Oct/Nov. 2012
• Festival International du Cinéma Indépendant de Bafoussam, Cameroon, March 2013
Zanzibar Soccer Queens (Selected Screenings)
Kino im U Cinema, Dortmund, Germany
SVT – (Swedish Television)
RFO Television, France
TV5 Monde Afrique, France
The Community Channel Television, UK
Goteborg International Film Festival, Sweden
Canadian Sports Film Festival
FESPACO, Burkina Faso
Zanzibar International Film Festival, ZIFF
ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts), London
Women Make Waves Film Festival, Taiwan
Chapter Arts Cinema, Cardiff, Wales
Hawaii International Film Festival, (HIFF)
Films from the South Festival, Oslo, Norway
Cambridge African Film Festival, UK
Regent Park Film Festival, Toronto, Canada
International Women’s Film Festival in Seoul (IWFFIS), South Korea
Africa Diaspora Film Festival, (ADFF), New York, USA
CinemAfrica, Stockholm, Sweden
Africa on Screen Film Festival, South Africa
NatFilm Festival, Denmark
Ankara International Film festival, Turkey
Pink Apple Film festival, Zurich, Switzerland
Women’s film festival in Chennai, India
CINEMARKT Brunnenpassage in Vienna, Austria
Sunny Side of the Doc, France
FilmInitiativ Köln, Germany
Our World in Zanzibar (Selected Screenings)
Chapter Arts Cinema, Cardiff, Wales, U.K.
Cambridge African Film Festival, U.K.
The New Face of Africa Film Series (SLC Film Center), Utah, USA
Zanzibar International Film Festival, (ZIFF)
Selected Film Awards and Screenings for Sisters in Law
Cannes Film Festival – Prix Art et Essai
Peabody Award, USA – for outstanding achievement in Electronic Media
Hawaii International Film Festival, USA – Golden Maile for Best Documentary
International Documentary Festival, Amsterdam (IDFA) – Opening Night Film & Winner Audience Award
Grierson Award, U.K. – Best Documentary on a Contemporary Issue
The Peabody Award, USA – for Outstanding Achievement in Electronic Media
Royal Anthropological Institute Film Festival (UK) – Audience Award
Real Life on Film Festival, Melbourne (Australia) – Best International Documentary
Belfast Film Festival – First Maysles Award
Al-Jazeera TV Festival – Silver Award
Commonwealth Film Festival – Audience Award
Munich Documentary Film Festival – Special Documentary Prize
DocAviv Film Festival, Israel – Best International Film
Bologna Human Rights Film Festival, Italy – Best Long Film
Commonwealth Film Festival, Manchester, UK – Audience Award for Best Documentary Film
Dokfest, Munich, Germany – Winner of “The Special Documentary Award”
Message to Man, St Petersburg, Russia – Golden Centaur, Grand Prix
Broadcast Awards, London – Best Factual Programme
Royal Television Society Awards UK, Winner Best Single Documentary.
Nuremberg Human Rights Film Festival, Germany – Audience Award,
Santa Barbara International Film Festival (USA) – Social Justice Award for Documentary Film
Channel 4 TV, U.K.
London International film festival
Toronto International Film Festival
Palm Springs International Film Festival, USA
Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival
Sisters in Law at the Oscars 2006 – long-listed for Oscar Nominations
Sisters in Law – one of 6 best films selected by documentary Filmmaker Nick Broomfield:
Veteran British documentary filmmaker, selects Sisters in Law on his list of 6 best documentary films. The Times, Saturday June 4, 2011, page 6.
My Mother: Isange (Selected Screenings)
National Museum and Galleries of Wales, Cardiff
Riverfront Cinema, Newport
Real Life Documentary Film Festival, Ghana
Chapter Arts Cinema, Cardiff
Pontardawe Arts Centre, Wales
2015 – Ayisi, F. ‘Women’s Soccer in Zanzibar: Documenting Resistance to Cultural Norms’ – Paper presented at the international conference on “Communication, Postcoloniality, and Social Justice: Decolonizing Imaginations” at Villanova University, Villanova PA, USA – - 26th-29th March 2015.
2014 – Ayisi, F. & Brylla, C. ‘Zanzibar Soccer Queens: Documentary Practice and the Resistance to Cultural Norms’. Paper presented at the 3rd annual Conference – Centre for the Study of Football and its Communities (CSFC) – Manchester Metropolitan University – Conference on “Football and Communities of Resistance” -12th June 2014
2013 – Ayisi, F. & Brylla, C. ‘Representing and Transforming Real Lives through Documentary Film’. International Development Dialogue Day Symposium on Evidence Based Development, organised by Network for Development Researchers in Wales – NDR) – Llandrindod Wells, UK. May 2013
2012 – Ayisi, F. ‘See Me, Know Me: Faces of Cameroonian Women’. Paper given at
International Conference, Home/Land: Women, Citizenship and Photographies.
Loughborough University. July 2012
2011 – Ayisi, F. ‘Challenging Ideas and Assumptions about Life in Africa’. Paper given at symposium organised by the Network for Development Researchers, Wales – NDR, Llandrindod Wells, UK May 2011
Ayisi, F. & Brylla, C. ‘A Cognitive-hermeneutical approach to Audience Reception of
Sisters in Law, in Cameroon.’ Paper given at International Conference, Women and
Film in Africa: Overcoming Social Barriers, University of Westminster.
2010 – Guest Speaker at AFRICA DAY Event in Dublin – Africa Centre’s Annual Lecture (May 2010)
- ‘Sports as a Catalyst for Development in Africa.’
Ayisi, F. ‘The Politics of Representation: Alternatives Visions of Africa’. A paper presented at an International conference, (In)Visibility in African Cultures, University of Oxford. September 2010
WIRAD – Welsh Institute of Research in Art and Design – Member
CIRI – Creative Industry Research Institute – University of South Wales – Member
MeCCSA – Media, Communications and Cultural Studies Association -Member
EDN: European Documentary Network – Member
WAA – Women’s Arts Association, Wales, U.K. – Member
NDR Wales – Member – Network of Development Researchers in Wales, U.K.
Directors U.K. – Film and Television Industry professional body – Member
The International Centre for Research and Documentation on African Traditions and Languages_, (_CERDOTOLA), Cameroon.
Public Administration International (PAI) – London, U.K.
*Ayisi’s research is mainly creative practice through photographic communications. Her research work is concretely located within the broad agenda of ‘decolonising representations’ about African people and their cultures. Her research explores and examines representational issues and questions of visibility through refocusing the photographic lens to establish photographic gazes and counter narratives where the subjects have ‘agency’ and a ‘voice’. Her research interests and projects are theoretically informed and driven by post-colonial discourses, transnationalism, documentary practice, Feminism, representation, ethnographic film, African Cinema, diasporic darratives and audience experiences of film.
Areas of Expertise
Visual Ethnographic Research, Cultural Representations, Development Communication, Digital Technologies and Community Development, Media Education & Training, Photographic Communications – documentary practices.
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