23 February 2019

Africa: Pan-African Film Festival Kicks Off

Photo: The New Times
A fan celebrates at the opening of the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou 2019.

Burkina Faso will from this Saturday to March 2 host the Pan-African Festival of Cinema and Television of Ouagadougou (Fespaco), one of the biggest African film festivals. This edition of the cultures of Africa and the diaspora also coincides with the 50th anniversary of the festival (Fespaco) and 20 feature films will be competing. The list of 20 films (feature film) in official competition, was unveiled by the organisers.

Fespaco which takes place every two years in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso will this year be held under the theme: "Confronting our memory and forging the future of a pan-African cinema in its essence, its economy and its diversity."

On this theme, the organising committee stressed that it is about "putting African cinema and African filmmakers at the centre of our concerns.

And to come to the fundamentals, to bring cinema and filmmakers to the outskirts of the city of Ouagadougou. To this end, a partnership has been formed with the Association of Digital Moving Cinema (CNA).

The General Delegate of Fespaco, Ardiouma Soma, in January at the headquarters of UNESCO in Paris unveiled, the list of 20 films (feature film fiction) in official competition adding that this was aimed at showing how the preliminary work took place with the difficulties encountered in the choices.

"We found that the majority of the films that were submitted to us were of quality.

"This is what brings us to present this selection a little late because, the work was really difficult to make the choice of films.

"We cannot show in a week all the quality films we have received. "

For this Fespaco 26th edition, the committee also discussed the innovation involved in the film selection process and decided to implement the recommendations of the international workshop held in November and December 2017.

This innovation made it possible to have a selection of approximately 165 films in 7 categories covering the field of fiction, documentary, TV series, African film schools and animation films including the 20 films, fiction feature film for the Yennega Gold Standard. Of these 20 films, three come from Burkina Faso.

"And we have selected 21 feature documentary feature films that, for the first time, will also compete for the Yennega Gold Standard in their category," said Soma, who said they are quality films representing all regions of Africa.

Burkina Faso's Minister of Culture, Abdoul Karim Sango, said he was reassured that security arrangements were made for the 26th edition of the Fespaco: "We know that this is a big concern but we want to reassure you that Burkina Faso is recognised for its expertise in organising major events.

This special edition of Fespaco will not depart from tradition.

You will come in peace, you will stay in security and you will join your respective countries in serenity ".

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