Sarah Bouyain

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Sarah Bouyain (born 1968) is a French-Burkinabé writer and film director. Her first full-length film, The Place in Between, was released in 2010.


Bouyain was born in Reims, Marne, France. Her mother, who was French, and her father, who was half Burkinabé and half French, met in France while he was studying there.[1]

Having originally studied mathematics, Bouyain later shifted her attention to cinematography,[2] studying at the Louis Lumière School of Cinematography. She went on to work as a camerawomen for several films, and eventually directed several of her own.[3] In 2000, she created the documentary film Les enfants du Blanc.[4]

She wrote her book Metisse façon in 2003 after researching her African heritage in Burkina Faso. She learned of the history of Upper Volta (as Burkina Faso was known in colonial times) and of children who were born to African women and French soldiers only to be forced to leave their mothers to live in orphanages. The characters in Metisse façon are based on these children.[5]

Bouyain has also written articles, mainly on the theme of mixed-race and exile, for Africultures, Presence Africaine and CODESRIA.[6]

Her first feature-length film is Notre Étrangère ("The Place In Between"; 2010), which The Hollywood Reporter called " A nicely observed docudrama about a biracial young French woman who goes back to her roots."[7] The plot of the movie is based on a mixed race woman named Amy who moves back to Burkina Faso. The movie was co-written by Gaelle Mace and it premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival.[8] Boyain claimed that the film took seven years to make in total. She said she did not watch many african films prior to making it.[9]

Bouyain was one of the speakers at the African Women in Film Forum held in Accra, Ghana between 23 and 25 September 2013.[10]




  • Métisse façon (short stories; 2003)


  1. ^ "Sarah Bouyain – Entretien avec Jean-Louis Ughetto". (in French). La chambre d’échos. October 2002. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-06-16. 
  2. ^ "Métisse façon, recueil de nouvelles de Sarah Bouyain". (in French). La chambre d’échos. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-06-16. 
  3. ^ "Sarah BOUYAIN". Les cinémas d'Afrique (in French). TV5MONDE. Retrieved 2007-06-16. 
  4. ^ Ellerson, Beti (2016). "African Women and the Documentary: Storytelling, Visualizing History, from the Personal to the Political". Black Camera. 8 (1): 223–239. 
  5. ^ Aron, Ariane (June 2003). "Métisse Façon-Un recueil de nouvelles de Sarah Bouyain". Amina (in French). 398. p. 66. Retrieved 2007-06-11. 
  6. ^ "Sarah Bouyain: Notre étrangère/The Place in Between", African Women in Cinema, 28 February 2011. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  7. ^ Michael Rechtshaffen, "The Place in Between -- Film Review", The Hollywood Reporter, September 28, 2010.
  8. ^ Nelmes, Jill; Selbo, Jule (2015). Women Screenwriters: An International Guide. Springer. p. 8. ISBN 1137312378. 
  9. ^ «Un film, c’est fragile»: Rencontre avec Sarah Bouyain, réalisatrice Touki Montreal, Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  10. ^ ARTivists – “Anything created by an African woman is an act of activism” (Part 1) ThisIsAfrica, Retrieved 2016-11-02.

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