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Aicha Macky, the director who tackles the ills of Nigerien society with her camera

Aicha Macky is a documentary director and producer who uses cinema as a weapon to combat the problems that plague Nigerien and African society. Her documentary film “The fruitless tree”, produced in 2016 and dealing with the taboo issue of infertility in Niger, won more than 70 international awards.

Aicha Macky doesn’t produce films for fun. Her documentaries are a way for her to tackle taboo issues that plague Nigerien society. With a degree in Sociology from the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences in Niamey and a Master’s degree in audiovisual from the IFTCO in Niamey, the Nigerien woman skilfully handles her two hats. Described as a “sociorealist”, a combination of sociologist and director, Aicha Macky uses cinema as a channel to deal with social issues, allowing her to address all social categories.

While still a student, she started producing films. Her first short film was made in 2011 under the title “Me and my thinness”. A film that she produced as part of her internship at the African Documentary Film Forum and which deals with the perception of the thin body and the link that society makes with Aids. Through this first documentary film, which was successful, the director reflected on the female body in Senegal and Niger and the question of women’s emancipation. In 2013, she produced a second film, « Knowing how to make the bed », in which she  deals with the lack of dialogue between mothers and daughters in Niger on sexual education. The 26-minute documentary film was presented in 2015 at the Angers Film Festival.

Activist for society

It was in 2016, after her training, that Aicha Macky made her first feature film. Entitled “the fruitless tree”, the 52-minute documentary film, an autobiography, deals with the struggle of an infertile woman. Presented at the 16th edition of Cinémas d’Afrique, the documentary film was widely acclaimed by critics and screened at various film festivals around the world. The film won more than 70 international awards, including the Documentary Award at the Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2016; the Young African Leaders Initiative Alumni Award in 2016; the Best Documentary Award at the Salé Women’s Festival in Morocco in 2016; or the Best African Documentary Award at the Mashariki African Film Festival in 2017 in Rwanda.

In 2021, she produced her 2nd feature documentary “Zinder”, the result of 8 years of work, including 2 years of negotiation to get the agreement of the gang members. The 82-minute documentary deals with the phenomenon of gangs causing trouble in her hometown, Zinder. It takes a closer look at the daily life of young people in search of their bearings, divided between gangs, family, resourcefulness, and the desire to escape the cycle of violence in which they are immersed.

It has been presented and awarded at various festivals, including the Saint Louis Documentary Film Festival in Senegal, the Amiens International Film Festival in France, the Fespaco-Panafrican Film and Television Festival in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) where it won 3 prizes, the International Francophone Film Festival in Namur (Belgium)…

In addition to being a director, Aicha Macky is a teacher at the Institute for Training in Information and Communication Techniques in Niamey. She works to make cinema careers accessible to women. She also trains young people in CVE (How to counter violent extremism).