Aïcha Macky

I never look for themes that are far from me, when right next to me there are veils that deserve to be lifted.

Aïcha Macky is a documentary filmmaker. With two shorts and two feature films to her credit, this young Nigerian filmmaker distils a committed body of work, advocating in particular for the emancipation of women in sub-Saharan Africa. Her work has been recognised by international critics.

Updated on 08/07/2021

2 min

Aïcha Macky was born in 1982 in Zinder. Her interest in culture began early. From primary school to university, she was notably involved in theatre, paving the way for her artistic career. After a master's degree in sociology, she fell in love with cinema, for its quality as a democratic medium, able to address the entire population, including the illiterate.

Driven by the desire to put her sensitivity to social issues on stage, she attended the African Documentary Film Forum (FAFD) in Niamey, receiving a grant that allowed her to continue her studies. She then enrolled at Gaston Berger University in Saint-Louis, Senegal, where she obtained a Master's degree in Audiovisual and Creative Documentary, followed by a second Master's degree in Creative Documentary Direction. Her first short films (Moi et ma maigreur, 2011, Savoir Faire le Lit, 2013) were produced during this course.

Aïcha Macky is particularly interested in women's bodies and emancipation, with the aim of educating, raising awareness of social problems and initiating dialogue for potential change. In 2016, she directed herself in her documentary L'arbre Sans Fruit, which explores the taboo topic of infertility in Niger.

The sociological scope of her work is also reflected in her fieldwork. As an established cultural entrepreneur, she has worked as an ambassador for the Oasis Niger initiative, committed to the empowerment of women and girls. In 2021, she became the lead trainer for the YALI Film School Fellowship, a project initiated by Accountability Lab Niger. She invites women to undertake, create, learn and form a community.

Aïcha Macky's talent was quickly gained attention on the international scene, notably with L'arbre sans fruit, which received unanimous acclaim from the critics: the film has toured the world and won more than 70 international awards.

In 2021, she unveiled Zinder, her second feature film. Filmed over several years in her home town, it's a powerful portrait of a neighbourhood of outcasts and their wounds, psychological scars, resilience and hope. Zinder was screened at the Visions du Réel festival and was selected for several international competitions.

At the same time, Aïcha Macky is a member of the International Committee for African Cinematographic Heritage (CPCA). She wishes to make cultural infrastructures accessible to all, and campaigns for the promotion of Nigerian cinema and art in general, directly with the local population.

Trailer | Zinder | Aicha Macky
Trailer | Zinder | Aicha Macky
  • 2016


    Grand Prize for Documentary at the Africa Movie Academy Awards for L'Arbre Sans Fruit.

  • 2018


    Named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres of the French Republic, then Chevalier des Palmes Académiques of the Republic of Niger.

  • 2018


    Designated Ambassador of the Oasis initiative in Niamey.

  • 2021


    Release of the film Zinder.

The Institut français and the artist

Zinder, by Aïcha Macky, benefited from the support of La Fabrique Cinema. This programme promotes the emergence of young creation from Southern countries on the international market.

Find out more about La Fabrique Cinéma programme


The Fruitless Tree has been screened internationally by the Institut français. The Institut français, together with the Cinémathèque Afrique, offers a catalogue of over 1,600 African films from 1960 to the present day.

Learn more about the Cinémathèque Afrique 


L'institut français, LAB