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28/04/2005

'Sisters In Law' to get world premiere at Cannes

A film by a lecturer at the University of Wales, Newport has been selected to have its world premiere at the celebrated Cannes Film Festival in May.
Florence Ayisi’s feature-length documentary film, ‘Sisters In Law’, was shot over three months at a courthouse in Kumba, a small town in Cameroon, and shows a variety of people bringing their cases before the judge. The film, which Florence co-directed with Kim Longinotto, has already had a successful screening in London in March.
“Sisters in Law is about strong and positive images of women in Cameroon,” explained Florence, who is programme leader on the film and video course at the International Film School Wales (IFSW). “To have it selected for screening in Cannes is a fantastic honour. This is great for the women who gave us their time and allowed us to film their stories. We are hoping that some of the women in the film will be in Cannes for the premiere.”
The film explores the work of two women in the Cameroonian Judiciary, Vera Ngassa, the State Prosecutor, and Beatrice Ntuba, the judge in the magistrate’s court, and follows four court cases involving women and young girls.
“Sisters in Law shows women's courage, strength and determination to break away from their violent lives with the support of their sisters in the judicial system,” said Florence.
“I am constantly frustrated by the fact that Africa is consistently portrayed as a place of perpetual misery and despair. This film presents a different reality in contemporary Africa, a perspective that moves beyond the negative stereotypes.
“It is my hope that Sisters in Law will make people think differently about Africa because it presents a rare viewpoint that is absent from Western media.”
Incredibly moving and at times disturbing, the film encompasses courage and hope as it follows the stories of a six-year-old girl who has run away from an abusive aunt and a woman who has taken her husband to court in order to end their brutal marriage.
(SP)
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