New Internationalist

The African cinema lion roars!

June 2007

FESPACO (Festival panafricain du cinéma et de la télévision de Ouagadougou) is an annual source of tremendous local pride in Burkina Faso, reports Pambazuka News. The largest cultural event on the continent, and the premier pan-African film festival worldwide, it is held in the Burkinabè capital of Ouagadougou at the end of February every year. Ouaga, a bustling, moped-saturated, smouldering capital city is a paradise for lovers of African cinema. The city is awash with moviegoers for the ten days of the festival, soaking up African images and stories that will rarely be seen beyond the continent in five air-conditioned, technically well-equipped cinemas.

The 2007 Grand Prize Winners were: Ezra, directed by Newton Aduaka, the heartbreaking story of a child soldier on trial who suffers memory loss and the realization that he may have murdered his parents; and Les Saignantes, directed by Jean-Pierre Bekolo, a visually stunning story of corruption, sexuality and supernatural power all taking place in Yaoundé in 2025. Not coming to a cinema near you!

This column was published in the June 2007 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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