In Burkina Faso, seventeen films in competition for the Fespaco Grand Prix

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The place of filmmakers in Ouagadougou, in March 2017.

Seventeen films will compete for the grand prize of the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (Fespaco), the biggest meeting of African cinema which will take place from October 16 to 23 in the capital of Burkina Faso, the organizers announced Thursday, September 9.

Initially scheduled for February 27 to March 6, the 2021 edition of Fespaco was postponed to October due to the coronavirus pandemic, a second wave of which hit the country.

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Out of 1,132 films registered, 17 were selected in the fictional feature film category, to compete for the supreme award, the Yénnenga Gold Standard, declared during a presentation ceremony of the selected works, the delegate. General of Fespaco, Alex Moussa Sawadogo.

The directors of the seventeen films in the running come from fifteen countries of the continent, with two Egyptians and a Burkinabé in particular. The others are from Senegal, Angola, Cameroon, Nigeria, Tanzania, Somalia, Côte d’Ivoire, Chad, Rwanda, Morocco, Namibia, Lesotho and Tunisia. Finally, a Haitian film was also selected.

Twenty-seventh edition

This edition is a “Challenge to show, despite the health situation, that the continent continues to create, to dream, to be able to resist all the evils which undermine our societies”, said Sawadogo. Twenty-nine short films (fiction and documentaries), including five from Burkina Faso and four from Senegal and seventeen TV series were also selected for the official selection.

Fespaco, the main cinema event in Africa, is held every two years in Ouagadougou. Each edition sees films of all formats compete for the Gold Standard. Since 1969, the date of its creation, it has brought together tens of thousands of spectators and actors from the world of the seventh art in Ouagadougou.

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For this 27e edition, the “African and diaspora cinemas: new perspectives, new challenges”, will be in the spotlight. The Gold Standard is to be awarded on October 23 by an international jury, chaired by the Mauritanian director and producer, Abderrahmane Sissako, winner of the César for best film for Timbuktu in 2015.

In a country undermined by jihadist attacks, the Burkinabé government assured that an effort would be made particularly to ensure the safety of the demonstration in Ouagadougou.

The World with AFP