The history of the appearance of cinema in Tunisia is related to the date of birth of cinema, the first public show for the brothers “LOUMIAR” was on December 28, 1895, while the first Tunisian cinema photography was completed in 1896 and the first show of 1897, but the cinema production remained marginalized until independence. As the number of Tunisian films to the beginning of the sixties does not exceed “the fingers of one hand”.
As shown by the history of international cinema, women have long been marginalized within the Tunisian cinema and have received only some technical centers such as the writer of the edition or montage of the picture, but the most important decision centers in the implementation of the film, directing and production, remained out of reach.
This was also the case for international cinema, although the first director of “Alice Cai” appeared in France in 1896 in the film “fairy cabbage”, and continues to this day despite the important development in reducing the gap. In France, the directors represent only 20 percent of the total Occupation. In the United States is even worse when it reaches 10 percent (2016) and the percentage is reduced at distribution, where the percent of showing movies of directors is only seven percent of the total films.
In Tunisia, the state began supporting cinema from the mid-sixteen through the establishment of the cinema magazine, the establishment of the Gammarth Company and sending Carthage Cinema Days.
Despite the paucity of films produced, women were present, even marginally, with the net of Fércio and her documentary film “Al-Shashia” (1966) and Salma Bakkar and Saadia Ghalala in the short film of the Tunisian federation of Amateur Filmmakers ‘Al Estifaka’ (1967) and Fatima Sakandarani and her experiences on television.
But the completion of the long documentary documentary film Selma Bakkar “Fatima 75” (1978) can be regarded as the birthplace of Tunisian women’s cinema. Salma Bakkar was the first producer (1989) after the establishment of the film establishment “Stabak” and has continued to produce and produce films to this day (habiba msika, khachkhach, Al-jaida).
opening the door to other women were working as techniques in the editing and help the output to explore the experience of the directors such as Ben Mabrouk and Kalthoum Barnaz and Moufida Tlatli, the first Tunisian woman got the Golden Tanit for the Carthage Cinema Days for the film “Silence of Palaces” (1994).
Tunisian filmmakers began to take their place at the international level and in international festivals. (Toxic to Najia Ben Mabrouk in 1982, she won an award at the Berlin Festival, the silence of the palaces participated in the “Look” of the Cannes Film Festival.
This founding generation followed a second generation, including Nadia ElFani and Najwa Talili.
But the biggest explosion emerged after the establishment of public and private cinema schools from 2000 to gradually increase the number of directors in general and women’s filmakers in particular to appear on the scene Raja Amari, Kawthar ben Hania, Sarah Abidi and Nadia Twiguer and Sana Al-Shamkhi, Najwa Salama and Latifa Aldoghari.
After the revolution of 2011, the number of filmmakers doubled with the emergence of a new generation such as Shiraz Bouzidi, Laila Bouzid, Hind Boujmaa, Nadia Mezni Hfaiedh, Ines Ben Othman and others.
Tunisian women stormed into all fields and proved from one day to the last their capabilities in productivity, management and creativity in all sectors, including the arts, including cinema, to find her in the Carthage Film Festival in 2017 with seven films out of ten Tunisian films in official competitions and programming 12 films of filmmakers’ session 2018. We also note that 54 percent of documentaries produced in the same year were directed by women.
Today, the number of filmmakers is increasing almost daily, with multiple references and approaches. Although they maintain the feminine dimension that characterized most of the films of Tunisian filmmakers, they have made it possible to address new topics of Tunisian women’s films boldly in the presentation, enable cinematic tools and search for corresponding aesthetics.