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Festival Awards

Adiaha Women’s Documentary Award

The Ladima Foundation is excited to be able to present the Adiaha Award for Best Documentary Film by an African woman at this year’s 23rd Encounters South African International Documentary Festival. The Award is a way to both recognise and incentivise women from across the continent to tell their stories through the powerful medium of documentary film. Previous winners have included Samantha Biffot for The African Who Wanted to Fly, and Philippa Ndisi-Herrmann for New Moon. The winner of the 2021 Award will receive $2000 towards their next production and an invitation to attend the Dortmund Cologne International Women’s Film Festival 2022 in Germany, where their film will be screened.

A winner will be selected from the five eligible films for this year by an all-woman jury of film practitioners from across Africa including Theresa Hill (Manager, STEPS, South Africa), Cornelia Glele (journalist, filmmaker and blogger, Benin) and Shameela Seedat (Fulbright scholar and filmmaker, South Africa)




THERESA HILLTheresa Hill is manager at STEPS, a media for social change non-profit organisation.  She has worked on the award-winning Steps for the FutureWhy Democracy? and Why Poverty? projects over the last 20 years. She is the acquisitions manager for the free-to-view Afridocs online documentary platform. She is a Ladima Foundation board member and has participated in various film festival juries and selection panels.




Shameela Seedat is a former Fulbright scholar who worked in law for over 10 years before turning to filmmaking. Her first feature-length documentary WHISPERING TRUTH TO POWER won multiple local and international awards, including the special jury prize at Hot Docs, the African Studies Association Film Award and a bronze stallion at Fespaco. Her second feature length documentary AFRICAN MOOT is currently in post-production. Shameela has also directed several programs for local and international television stations, as well as a series of ten short films on social justice activists in South Africa . She was the 2019 Film Resident Activist at the Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education, and served on the documentary film jury at the Sydney Film Festival in 2018 and on the Documentary Film Association (DFA) Citizen Journalists Jury in 2020. Shameela has published widely on law and social justice in various journals, newspapers and book chapters.




Cornélia is a Beninese journalist, filmmaker and blogger. She founded the blog Ecranbenin in 2017 dedicated to African cinema that offers reviews, news articles and interviews with filmmakers. Ecranbenin has covered the Sotigui Awards in Burkina Faso, FESPACO, the Agadir migration festival in Morocco, and the Berlinale in Germany. In April 2019, she was on the jury of the Mooov film festival in Belgium. She is the director of three short documentaries :”the drums of silence”, “the child of the country” and “White-black and happy” which sheds light on albinism. The latter film won the award for best documentary film at First Short Yaoundé 2018 (Cameroon) and was selected in major festivals such as the Zanzibar International Film Festival (Tanzania) and Africlap Toulouse (France) and presented at the opening of the evening devoted to Benin cinema at the There Global Festival of New york (USA). In addition to her master’s studies in cinema directing. Cornélia is feminist. With feminist filmmakers, Cornélia initiated the Cotonou International Women’s Film Festival. The first edition was held from September 2019 in Benin. Cornélia is Durban Talent alumni.

The eligible films are:

Dance Me To the End of Time | South Africa | Melanie Chait

Faya Dayi | USA / Ethiopia / Qatar | Jesicca Beshir

I, Mary | South Africa | Aliki Saragas-Georgiou

She Had a Dream | Reunion / Comoros / South Africa | Raja Amari

The Golden Wolf of Balolé | France / Burkino Faso | Aïcha Chloé Boro

Zinder | France / Niger / Germany | Aicha Macky

Join us for the live event on Sunday, 20 June when the winner will be announced – details to be confirmed.

About The Ladima Foundation

The Ladima Foundation is a Pan-African non-profit organisation founded with the aim of contributing to correcting the major imbalances within the film, TV and content industries. Through a number of initiatives, The Ladima Foundation supports, trains, and mentors women in a variety of roles within the film, TV, and content spaces.

Through partnerships and collaborations in various countries, as well as through Pan-African networks and interventions, the Ladima Foundation is committed to developing training, networking, and related opportunities for women professionals who demonstrate their seriousness and commitment to their craft.

The Ladima Foundation focuses on a number of key initiatives such as training via the Ladima Academy, festival development via The Ladima Foundation African Women Film Festivals Network, recognition through the Adiaha Award in Documentary Film, and networking via the online database and community of the A-List.