FESPACO on professionalization of African film

March 2005 -

Every two years, the Festival Panafricain du Cinema et la Television de Ouagadougou (FESPACO) is held in Burkina-Faso. On 26 February 2005 the festival’s nineteenth edition started. The organization expects a total of five thousand spectators. The festival lasts until 5 March and is themed 'Training and professionalization of the African film industry'.

'There are no film academies in West-Africa so hardly any new filmmakers are trained,' says Sonde Hamadou of FESPACO. The goal is to organise debates in which plans are devised for establishing such an academy.

There are many films to admire, mainly from French-speaking African countries. Dani Kouyate from Burkina-Faso with Ouaga Saga is the likely winner of the Étalon d'or de Yennenga, one of the four awards that will be granted.

African film is being appreciated internationally. South-African Marc Dornford-May won the Gold Bear award at the renowned festival in Berlin in February for best film with U-Carmen e-Khayelitsha. At the San Sebastian festival in 2004, the Montblanc Award went to Fanta Nacro from Burkina-Faso, for the scenario of La Nuit de la Vérité. Yesterday by Darrell Roodt from South-Africa was even nominated for an Oscar.