The 28th edition of FESPACO (Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou) opened on Saturday 25 February at the Palais des Sports in Ouaga 2000 in the Burkinabe capital. Placed under the theme: “Cinemas of Africa and Culture of Peace”, this edition brings together thousands of film actors from various backgrounds.
This 28th edition was launched by the Prime Ministers of Burkina Faso, Apollinaire Joachimson Kyelem de Tambèla, and Mali, Choguel Kokalla Maïga. Mali is the guest of honour at FESPACO 2023.
“This is a great mark of friendship and a testimony of the honour done to Mali,” said the Malian Prime Minister, adding that “Mali and Burkina Faso are two brotherly countries linked by history, geography and culture.
As for the head of the Burkinabe government, he drew attention to the fact that cinema should “raise awareness of the tragedies of the African people, but also to give a glimmer of hope to nations in crisis”.
The festival, which runs from 25 February to 4 March, takes place in a context marked by a security crisis in the Sahel in general and in Burkina Faso and Mali in particular. Several films therefore focus on jihadist violence, such as L’Envoyée de Dieu by Nigerian director Amina Abdoulaye Mamani, Épines du Sahel by Burkinabè director Boubakar Diallo, and Sira by Burkinabè director Apolline Traoré. All these achievements address the issue of the fight against terrorism in the Sahel.
This is why the Malian statesman confided that his country’s participation is a matter of solidarity with Burkina Faso; both countries are facing terrorism. “Our fight for dignity remains the priority of both Presidents. Our armed and security forces must be the backbone. No other army will do this fight instead of the national forces,” he said.
A total of 170 films will be screened in the competition, divided into eleven categories, compared to the 1,200 films that were initially submitted to the organisers. In this batch, fifteen feature films are competing for the prestigious “Etalon d’Or de Yennenga” prize, which is rewarded with a trophy and a prize of 20 million CFA francs (30 000 euros).
The second prize of the competition is the “Etalon d’Argent de Yennenga”, awarded with a trophy and a prize of 10 million CFA francs (15 299,39 Euro). And the third prize, the “Etalon de Bronze de Yennenga” is awarded with a trophy and 5 million CFA francs (7,649.78 Euro).