Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso- After an eight-month delay, the biggest African film festival is back.

The 27th Ouagadougou Pan-African Film and Television Festival (FESPACO) officially opened in the capital of Burkina Faso on Saturday and will last until October 23. The film festival is held every two years, starting in 1969, and it is a rare opportunity for African storytellers to showcase their works on the global stage.

This popular event, originally scheduled to take place from February 27 to March 6, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Burkina Faso has also fallen into a relationship with ISIL and Al-Qaida and Local militants are associated with armed groups during the Six Years War.

Alex Moussa Sawadogo, director of FESPACO, said that despite various challenges, the festival can still be held as scheduled this year, which proves the strength of the festival.

“Many film festivals on the African continent and around the world have been cancelled, but as a pilgrimage site for professional films… we have accepted the challenge,” he said.

“We have been able to give creators, professionals and film lovers a chance to gather and celebrate before the end of the year,” Sawadogo added, however, he acknowledged that taking care of sanitation facilities has taken up their budget.

On the set of Les Trois Lascars [Courtesy of Boubacar Diallo]

In the official selection, there will be 17 feature films competing for the festival’s highest award, Yennenga’s Golden Horse.

These include Boubacar Diallo’s “The Three Lascars”, a comedy about three male characters and their mistresses (or tchizas, in Burkina Faso). As we all know) the story of a secret weekend hike on the outskirts of Ouagadougou.

At the same time, they told their wives that they were attending a seminar in neighboring Ivory Coast. When the plane they were supposed to take crashed, they were caught in a dilemma and wanted to know how to get out of the predicament.

Diallo explained that the film was inspired after he heard about the real plane crash in the news.

The Burkina Faso director said: “This is a tragic event that gave birth to comedy, the African imitation of married life and the theme of tchiza.”

Diallo said that FESPACO “is a showcase of African films. For me, this is a springboard for my film’s notorious reputation.”

Stills from Rock the Naaba [Courtesy of Manivelle Productions]

This festival also celebrates documentaries.

Directed by Parate Yameogo and Jean-Claude Frisque Jacob Salem-Rock Nappa, A short documentary about the story of Jacob Salem, is a page of the Naaba, the politically dominant nation of Burkina Faso.

Salem played the Kola, a West African instrument similar to a pipa, for the king, but fell in love with rock music and was kicked out of the court.

The meeting with a Swiss musician named Andre Courbat put Salem on the international stage and helped him regain the favor of Nabba.

“What interests me is the marriage between the two cultures of Burkina Faso and Switzerland. And the added value of Burkina Faso culture in the music created by Jacob,” Yamiogo told Peninsula TV station.

His co-director Frisk pointed out that famous film festivals are also an important part of the commercial aspects of the African film industry.

The final preparations for the festival take place in the FESPACO building in Ouagadougou [Henry Wilkins/Al Jazeera]

“FESPACO is a showcase and barometer of African films. It is also an opportunity for social interaction and professional meetings. Despite the difficult environment, it is also an excellent opportunity for Burkina Faso to improve its quality. [film] Production,” he said, referring to pandemics and insecurity.

This year, FESPACO will also host for the first time the African International Film and Television Market (MICA), which has existed for about 20 years. MICA is an important market for international distributors to purchase African films for screening outside the African continent.

Burkina Faso’s Minister of Culture, Art and Tourism, Elise Foniyama Ilboudo Thiombiano, stated that maintaining the film festival in the face of adversity is vital to the country and the entire African continent.

“FESPACO is very important to Burkina because it has been 50 years since Burkina Faso thought of it and created it through sweat and blood to maintain it,” she said.

“If you are given a flashlight, you must ensure that the flashlight can shine outside of you and survive.”


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