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Gambia’s first anti-FGM film premiers on Saturday!
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Gambia’s first anti-FGM film premiers on Saturday!

BLEEDING BLADE, the first Gambian feature film on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) will be premiered on Saturday, 30th September 2017 in Kanifing at the headquarters of GAMCOPTRAP - The Gambia’s leading civil society organization advocating the end to FGM.

The film will then go on screening tour across all communities in and out of the country where FGM is of concern.

The cast includes Awa Ceesay, Sheikh Tijan Sonko, Mariama Nyang, Ndey K Joof and others who are all part of the “Team Sankanu, Pioneers of New Gambia Cinema CINEKAMBIYA” film collective.

BLEEDING BLADE is written, produced and distributed by Prince Bubacarr Aminata Sankanu.  The film is shot in Gambia College Brikama Campus, Jiboro, Attaya Cafe and Tintinto and directed by Bakary S. Sonko.

It is about the young Gambian girl Sira (played by Ma Awa Barry) and her sacrifice against FGM in her community.

The producer, Prince Sankanu says he is redirecting the narrative because professional film-makers have been missing in the Gambian FGM debates.

“We have seen countless documentaries and reports about Gambian FGM activities. Journalists, religious leaders, politicians, artistes/singers, security personnel, legal practitioners and community leaders have all been involved and funded in the anti-FGM work but we are yet to see professional cinematic sensitization work on the fight against FGM from the perspectives of the affected young women generation. My self-funded film is about generic women empowerment” Sankanu explains and points  out that his pioneering Gambian anti-FGM film will add value to the on-going sensitization campaign as the practice is now underground.”

Prince Sankanu, who is inspired by Sembene Ousmane, the father of African cinema's MOODALE (2004) film on FGM reveals that he has set himself a target of seeing at least 10 Gambian films made during the course of 2017 as part of his new wave of Gambia filmmaking.

“During the reception I organized on the Role of Film-makers in New Gambia at the Rock Garden Apartments in Kerr Serring on 24th  February 2017, I set myself a target of having 10 new Gambia films ready for the 3rd  edition of our premier annual Cinekambiya International Film Festival (CIFF) between the 25th  and 30th  December 2017. I am humbled that apart from the five (5) that I directly produced, others comrades of the New Gambia cinema have pushed the number above the benchmark of 10 features. The annual PAN AFRICAN SCREENS AWARD component of the film festival will take place on the 30th December 2017 to recognize excellence in filmmaking,” he explained.

On the marketing challenges of Gambian films, Sankanu said: “We don’t have the huge economies of scale like Nigeria and Ghana to flood the markets with movies but we have a unique Gambian culture that we can package for global consumption and we will create the niche market. Our CineKambiya Film Industry is here to stay”.

The Germany-Based film maker thanked President Adama Barrow and Vice President Aja Fatoumatta Tambajang for emphasising culture and Gambianization on the mission of the Gambia National Think Tank (GNTT).


Prince Sankanu, a Germany-based Gambian film and media expert who hails from Sotuma Sere in Jimara district, Upper River Region, said he is responding to the call of President Adam Barrow for competent Diaspora Gambians with transferable skills to return home and apply their expertise for the development of our motherland.

Prince Bubacarr Aminata Sankanu holds, among other qualifications, a Master of Letters in Film Studies: Theory and Practice from the University of Stirling in Scotland, UK and a Diploma in Digital Film and Animation from the SAE Institute in Germany. His Sanxaanu Kaggoro Film Kaffo (SANXAAFI) production house, is the first Gambia-registered film development organization to become member of the Federation of Pan African Filmmakers (FEPACI). The oldest and leading continental collective bargaining group for the audio-visual industries in Africa.

Besides BLEEDING BLADE, other films made by Prince Sankanu in 2017 include PAIN OF SORROW (premiered on 21 March 2017), HISIRINWALLE (ungratefulness), a Sarahulleh language film to be premiered on Monday, 02 October 2017 at the Alliance Française de Banjul, KUU BUKA LABANG (no condition is permanent), a Mandinka language film to be premiered on Friday, 06 October 2017 at the Semega Janneh Hall in Tallinding Buffer Zoneand IT IS MEANT TO BE, a Gambian English language film to be premiered in December 2017.

For those interested in attending the premier of the FGM film “BLEEDING BLADE” on Saturday,30th  September 2017, the venue, GAMCOTRAP is located opposite the Sheikh Zayed Regional Eye Clinic in  Kanifing.


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