"Cinema is liberating because when you make a film, whether it’s a documentary or a work of fiction, you have a message to convey."
In Burkina Faso, filmmaker Adjaratou Lompo uses her craft to give women a voice.
Adjaratou Lompo, a filmmaker with RTB, Burkina Faso’s TV and radio broadcasting company worked in editing and production before progressing into directing.
"Cinema is liberating because when you make a film, whether it’s a documentary or a work of fiction, you have a message to convey. And it’s very important for a woman to pass on her ideas. And you manage, through your film, to raise the awareness of thousands and thousands of people. I think it’s a noble profession. And that’s why we’re encouraging young women to take up a career in cinema because, if we want to get our views across to society, this is how we will need to do it." says Adjaratou.
Adjaratou is mindful of the prejudices that women have faced when entering the field of cinematography and wanted to pay homage to those before her who – despite challenges – succeeded in filmmaking. Her film, Les Amazones du cinéma africain (‘The Amazons of African Cinema’), pays tribute to African women working in cinema.
To reach young women who dreamed of embarking on a career in cinema, Adjaratou used a local festival as a platform to inspire and encourage girls to fulfill their ambition to create films.
The power of cinema for change
For Adjaratou, cinema is a vital tool in changing harmful cultural practices – and it is also a vehicle for the transmission of culture. ‘We will continue to raise people’s awareness until there’s no more talk of FGM … of anything that could prevent women from achieving their full potential,’ she adds.
This passionate filmmaker is determined to keep using her craft to give Burkinabe women a voice, and help free women from the stereotypical roles and oppressive practices imposed upon them.
She is also committed to demonstrating how African cinema – Burkinabe cinema in particular – can become a viable career path for aspirant young female filmmakers, who will be able to contribute to their country’s development through their vocation.
"I believe that our films should first be seen in our own cinemas. Because these films are aimed first and foremost at our own people"
With her firm belief in the power of cinema to uplift women, change local attitudes and shift cultural norms, Adjaratou is charting a new course in film – and for girls – and giving new meaning to what it means to be a film star.