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"'s up to us to create our values. If others ignore us, should we ignore ourselves? Of course not. In the dark, even if others don't see me, I see myself and I shine."
Ousmane Sembène - Father of African Cinema
Long Bio
Florence Ayisi is professor of International Documentary Film at the Faculty of Business and Creative Industries, University of South Wales (USW), U.K. She teaches diverse aspects of documentary film theory and practice. She has taught film and media studies for over 28 years at several Higher Education Institutions in the U.K.

Ayisi is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker with extensive experience of producing documentary films in national and international contexts. who She has produced several documentary films in Cameroon, Tanzania and in the U.K. including Sisters in Law, her first feature documentary (co-directed with Kim Longinotto, 2005). This documentaery has won over 30 prestigious film awards, screened in over 200 festivals, and it was shortlisted for an Academy Award nomination (Oscars) in 2006.

Ayisi’s vision for her documentary filmmaking in the academy is to expand revisionist dialogues around decolonising perspectives and representational issues relating to race. Her creative work is framed within Pan-African, woman-centred, transnational and postcolonial discourses. Her films offer rare perspectives, discerning insights and stories where marginalised groups in Africa and African Diaspora subjects have agency and voice, with a broad agenda for a decolonised and inclusive research scholarship, knowledge production and dissemination.

Ayisi was a Co-Investigator on a multi-disciplinary UK Research and Innovation project, Co-POWeR, exploring the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Families and Communities in the U.K. - from February 2021 to January 2023. The Co-POWeR project is led by a team of Black Female professors from nine (9) U.K. universities. Some of the research findings have been evidenced in several documentary films, which were co-created with research participants in diverse BAME communities.
One of the, Co-POWeR documentaries, Plant Power, was selected and programmed at the 30th New York African Film Festival in May 2023. Plant Power has also been screened in St. Paul’s in Bristol where the film was shot on location.
Ayisi has receved several prestigious awards for her documentary filmmaking at film festivals in diverse national and international contexts.*
In 2022, she received award certificates and a trophy from the State of Carlifornia Senate, the Congressional District of California and the Silicon Valley African Film Festival for The Bronze Men of Cameroon in recognition of her “outstanding achievement in using film as a vehicle for Community Engagement and Education” and for “enriching the American Cultural landscape” with her “passion and creativity.”
In 2018, she was presented with the ICON Award during the Africa Week celebrations at the University of West of England, Bristol. The award recognises the "exceptional contributions by individuals in promoting Pan-Africanism on a personal, national and global scale.”
In 2017, Zanzibar Soccer Dreams was shortlisted for the prestigious AHRC Research in Film Awards; International Development Award – Mobilising Global Voices category. Ayisi’s films have significantly contributed to women’s empowerment, transforming societal attitudes and policy change, particularly in Zanzibar.

Her 2020 documentary, The Bronze Men of Cameroon has been screened widely at several national and international film festivals in the USA, Canada, Europe, Wales, and in Africa, and won several awards. Her other films include Marie Madeleine: A Female Chief (2018), Zanzibar Soccer Dreams (co-directed with Catalin Brylla, 2016), Handing Down Time - Cameroon (2012), Zanzibar Soccer Queens, Women Artists in Cameroon (2011), My Mother: Isange (2007), Our World in Zanzibar, (2007). These films have been screened at numerous film festivals and on Television world-wide.
Ayisi has written extensively about her practice research, especially on questions and issues around representation and (in)visibility relating to African Women in book chapters and journal articles. These include ‘The Politics of Representation and Audience Reception: Alternative Visions of Africa’ (Co-written with Catalin Brylla, 2013), ‘How We Live Today…’ Florence Ayisi in dialogue with Mo White’, in Women, the Arts and Globalization: Eccentric Experience (2013), ‘Making Waves on International Women’s Day: Cameroonian Women’s Dynamism’, in Home/Land: Women Citizenship, Photographies (2016) and ‘See Me, Know Me: Cultural Expressions of Cameroonian Women’ (2014)
Ayisi has extensive experience of working with Third sector organisations; she has collaborated with numerous Community Organisations, and Government departments within the broad context of Communication for Development (ICT 4 Development) in Cameroon, Tanzania, Germany and the U.K. These include the Cameroon Ministry of Arts and Culture, The World Bank Group in Cameroon, the National Programme for Participatory Development (PNDP), The Women Fighters Football Club in Zanzibar, Berlin-Brandenburgische Auslandsgesellschaft (BBAG) e.V., Germany, Sheba Soul Ensemble (Bristol/Wales), St. Joseph’s Boxing Gym (Newport), Priory Road Luncheon Club (Southampton), Tiger Bay Amateur Boxing Club (Cardiff), The Bristol Rain Forest.
Ayisi’s documentary film practice contributes to the thriving research culture and adds to the scope of international research activities in the Faculty of Business and Creative Industries at USW.
Ayisi is currently undertaking postproduction activities on several documentary films that were co-created and produced with diverse research participants from BAME communities as part of the UK Research and Innovation funded project, Co-POWeR, = these films present rare insights of personal and community stories highlighting the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic = positive narratives, stories of despair and tragedy, hope, and community solidarity, wellbeing and resilience in times of crises.
I'm interested in
Performance Art
Planting, Growing
Sound Art
Spoken Word
Thinking, Philosophy
Visual Art, Fine Art
Natural Medicine
Digital Arts
Dance, Movement
Mentoring, Supporting
Film & Video
Folk Culture
Health, Wellbeing