FESPACO: African Film Festival: In Ouagadougou, the largest film festival on the African continent opened its doors this Saturday, February 25, 2023 in the Sports Palace in the district Ouaga 2000.
FESPACO: African Film Festival
Ten thousand visitors are expected at this 28th edition of the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO). The official opening ceremony was attended by the Prime Ministers of Burkina Faso and Mali who gave the launch of the activities of the biennial.
This is the first Fespaco since the military took power in Burkina in two coups in 2022, the first in January, the second in September. Some 10,000 festival-goers are expected, according to Haby Ouattara, coordinator of Fespaco, which is held every two years.
“We are pleasantly surprised, it encourages us and it comforts us,” she adds, while acknowledging that the security situation is on everyone’s mind. According to Ms. Ouattara, the fragility of the country related to jihadist attacks “has influenced the organization of the festival,” including the security arrangements, which she does not wish to detail. The theme of this 28th edition – “African cinema and culture of peace” – was chosen accordingly, to stick to “current events”, she says.
This year, 170 works have been selected in the official competition, including fifteen feature films competing for the Golden Stallion of Yennenga, a trophy and a prize worth 20 million CFA francs (about 30,000 euros). The jury will be chaired by the Tunisian producer Dora Bouchoucha. Several films have “terrorism” as their main subject, such as “L’envoyée de Dieu” by Nigerian Amina Abdoulaye Mamani and “Epines du Sahel” by Burkinabe Boubakar Diallo. “Creators are always influenced by what they see,” says Haby Ouattara.
Mali, Niger and Togo to be honored
Mali is one of the three countries, with Niger and Togo, that Burkina Faso has courted to be honored at the 28th great mass of African cinema that begins this Saturday, February 25, 2023 in Ouagadougou. According to the president of the national organizing committee of Fespaco, Fidèle Tamini, this country of immense cultural and cinematographic wealth was the first country to confirm its intention to be the guest of honor. Nothing more surprising, to hear the delegate general of Fespaco, Alex Moussa Sawadogo.
“Burkina and Mali are among the few countries to have won the Golden Stallion of Yennenga twice. When we talk about the cartography of African cinema, we have always cited Mali and Burkina. These two countries have contributed so much to the cinema of Africa and the world with personalities like Souleymane Cissé (twice Etalon d’or in 1979 and 1983), Cheick Oumar Sissoko, current director of the Pan-African Federation of Filmmakers (Etalon d’or in 1995). At the level of Burkina, we have Idrissa Ouédraogo (Etalon d’or in 1991) Gaston Kaboré (Etalon d’or in 1997), and for the new generation, Apolline Traoré and Michel Zongo “, recalls Alex Moussa Sawadogo, visibly pleased with this participation of Mali.
In Ouagadougou, the largest film festival on the African continent opened its doors this Saturday, February 25, 2023 in the Sports Palace in the district Ouaga 2000.