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Habibata Ouarme and Jim Donovan’s KOROMOUSSO: Big Sister (NFB) launching at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival. World premiere in Toronto and international premiere in London.


February 9, 2023 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

The feature-length documentary KOROMOUSSO: Big Sister, co-directed by Habibata Ouarme and Jim Donovan and produced by the NFB, will have its world premiere at the Toronto edition of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, held from March 8 to 19, 2023, and its international premiere at the festival’s London edition, taking place March 16 to 26, 2023. The filmmakers will attend both screenings. Filled with candor, hope and courage, the film features a group of African-Canadian women who break cultural taboos surrounding female sexuality, support each other in overcoming the trauma of female genital mutilation, and take back ownership of their bodies.

Quick Facts

KOROMOUSSO: Big Sister by Habibata Ouarme and Jim Donovan (75 min) – PREMIERE
Produced by Denis McCready and Christine Aubé for the NFB’s Quebec, Canadian Francophonie and Acadian Documentary Studio
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/koromousso

  • World premiere in Toronto: Thursday, March 9, 7 p.m. at Hot Docs Cinema
  • International premiere in London: Thursday, March 23, 6:30 p.m.
  • About the film
    In this documentary, co-director Habibata Ouarme introduces us to some of her radiant, endearing friends who, like herself, come from a culture where female genital mutilation (FGM) is a common practice. By interweaving different personal accounts, KOROMOUSSO: Big Sister explores the phenomenon of FGM from the perspective of those who’ve experienced it. In their quest for individual and collective healing, the film’s main characters support each other in a journey that helps them to overcome the trauma of female genital mutilation and rebuild their self-esteem. With great sensitivity, the film examines the shame felt by women who’ve been subjected to FGM and now live in Canada, a country largely unresponsive to their experience because while it has banned the practice, it does not offer the reconstructive surgery that could lead to better sexual health.
  • About the filmmakers 

    Habibata Ouarme
    Habibata Ouarme is an emerging Canadian filmmaker with family roots in Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. She recently received a Canada Council for the Arts grant for her next project, 1001 couronnes pour ma tête, a historical and cultural exploration of African and Afrodescendant headdresses. The film also recently received production funding from Telefilm Canada. Habibata sits on the board of RAFIQ, a non-profit organization assisting immigrant and racialized women in Quebec. KOROMOUSSO: Big Sister is her first feature-length documentary.Jim Donovan
    A bilingual filmmaker who works across the country, Jim Donovan has directed drama series and films for Pixcom, Attraction Images, Gaumont, Universal TV, CTV, TV5 and CBC, including Le clanLe siègeInstant StarCrackedHeartland and 19 minutes: l’exploit Piché. His film 3 Seasons won a Borsos Award for Best Canadian Feature Film at the 2008 Whistler Film Festival. In 2013, he won a Canadian Screen Award for best director for the series Flashpoint: A Day in the Life and, in 2020, he received a CSA for best TV movie for Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey. His films have been selected to screen at many international festivals.

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French version here | Version française ici.

Media Relations

  • About the NFB

    Founded in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a one-of-a-kind producer, co-producer and distributor of distinctive, engaging, relevant and innovative documentary and animated films. As a talent incubator, it is one of the world’s leading creative centres. The NFB has enabled Canadians to tell and hear each other’s stories for over eight decades, and its films are a reliable and accessible educational resource. The NFB is also recognized around the world for its expertise in preservation and conservation, and for its rich and vibrant collection of works, which form a pillar of Canada’s cultural heritage. To date, the NFB has produced more than 14,000 works, 6,500 of which can be streamed free of charge at nfb.ca. The NFB and its productions and co-productions have earned over 7,000 awards, including 11 Oscars and an Honorary Academy Award for overall excellence in cinema.