From Strength to Strength | Hawanatu Bangura - Information & Cultural Exchange

From Strength to Strength | Hawanatu Bangura

Hawanatu Bangura is an Afro Australian writer, director and producer. We’ve always enjoyed following along as Hawanatu embarks on new and exciting film projects, so after taking out Best Director at this year’s Made in the West Film Festival, and the huge successes that Afro Sistahs has been seeing, we thought it was about time we checked back in with her.
What has the process been like working in a collective like Afro Sistahs? Has it been different from your other Directorial roles?
It has been a wonderful experience working in collective with other female creatives. I’m usually working alone to develop the story and script then approaching people to come on board to work on it. I really enjoy collaborating with other Afro Australian women who are from diverse creative background bringing a wealth of skills, knowledge and experiences.As we build on our craft we also nurture each other career growth. My Directorial role still remains the same, which is to bring the story and vision alive on screen.


What are some standout moments for you about the process of making Afro Sistahs?
It has been a unique process developing the web series and concurrently establishing the collective. I have many highlights and looking back what stood out to me was initial stage of birthing the Afro Sistahs concept. I remember when we started we were working from blank canvas and through our weekly meeting ideas started to blossom into a beautiful story. It is those light bulb moment when an idea organically evolves into a story that I find very special. I also really enjoyed the process of naming the series and branding aspect which included our beautiful logo and tagline.
Other standout experiences include collaborating with the production team such as production designers/costume Wanyika & Niwa from 2 Sydney Stylists, cinematographer Meg White, composer Vuli, our editor Vanna (RIP) and all the people behind the scenes who contributed in many ways to bring our teaser videos to fruition.

Do you feel that Afro Sistahs has given you an opportunity to build and/or explore different Directorial skills?
It has given me the opportunity to explore comedy narrative, which is first for me. 

What’s next for Afro Sistahs?
After  the success of the teasers, which gave the public a taste of what we have in store,  our goal is to  serve up the first season of the Afro Sistahs web series. We are seeking finances to fund to the development and production of the series in 2019.

What projects are you currently working on?
This year I directed two other projects, including Inner Demons, a short documentary produced by Last Frame Productions for the Screen Australia Doco180 initiative. This film explores eating disorder from an intimate and cultural lens. The second project I co-directed with Lillian Paterson is a short documentary called Lives in Action, which is produced by Bus Stop Films and explores 
six Australians challenging the intersecting barriers of disability and ethnicity.

Words by Hawanatu Bangura
Photo courtesy of Afro Sistahs

Stay up to date with Afro Sistahs via their website and Facebook Page. See more of Hawanatu’s film work here:


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