Ousmane Sembène, known as the father of African cinema, is one of the key figures of world cinema, and one of the most important African cultural figures of the 20th century, and yet his works—still relevant today—remain unknown to many.

Aya Distribution is presenting a UK-wide programme of Ousmane Sembène’s work alongside the documentary Sembène!, capturing the life of this prolific and essential filmmaker, supported by the BFI with National Lottery funding as part of its audience development work to bring the best international films and filmmakers to audiences across the UK. Of of the films being screened is Moolaade originally released in 2005, this raises the issue of female genital mutilation. FORWARD who launched the film in the UK with Ousmane Sembene in 2005 will be collaborating with Aya Distribution on this season by delivering after screening discussions about the issue across the UK.

FORWARD worked with Ousmane Sembene to develop a facilitatiors guide for Moolaade and this was used in their programme’s across Africa reaching communities affected by FGM, Ousmane was very adamanet that FORWARD use the film in any way necessary to highlight the need to end the harmful practice.

Full list of screenings can be found here.

The season will take place between October and December 2016 under the title Rebel With a Camera: The Cinema of Ousmane Sembène. The season will include the new and highly acclaimed documentary Sembène! (Cannes, Sundance, BFI London, Telluride film festivals), which documents the important contribution Ousmane Sembène made to African and world cinema, using this to contextualise Sembène’s work. The film will be released across the UK alongside three of Sembène’s seminal films explored in the documentary: Xala, Moolaadé and Black Girl, each of which was in itself a key and groundbreaking work of world cinema.

Selected screenings of Moolaadé will also be followed by discussions with FORWARD on the topic of female genital mutilation. So far we have been in Sheffield, Edinburgh, London screening of Sembene! with fild Director Samba Gadjigo and Ousmane Sembene’s son- Alain Sembene and coming up we will be doing after screening discussions on the following dates:

Tuesday 18th October – Nottingham Broadway Cinema

Saturday 22nd October – London Picturehouse West End Cinema

Sunday 23rd October – London Ritzy

“Whether it’s DeMille, Hitchcock, the Senegalese filmmaker Sembène … we’re all walking in their footsteps every day.” – Martin Scorsese, 2012 Golden Globes

For more information on the series see here.