Pan-African Fespaco film festival opens in Burkina Faso

Monday February 25 2013



Africa's biggest film festival Fespaco opened its 23rd edition in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou Sunday, with 101 films vying for the top Etalon d'Or prize.

Nearly 170 films from all over the continent will be shown during the week-long bi-annual festival which ends on March 2.

Opening the festival Sunday night was "Yema", a tale of the life of a mother who suspects jihad to be infiltrating her family, the main character is played by the Algerian director Djamila Sahraoui.

All of the juries for the different categories will be presided this year by women, with the jury for the Etalon d'Or headed by French cinema legend Euzhan Palcy.

According to Fespaco organiser Michel Ouedraogo, "women have carried African cinema both behind and in front of the camera but Africa has not given them anything back."

"We have to give women greater visibility and a bigger role in promoting African cinema," he said.

This year's theme focuses on African cinema and politics while the 2013 guest of honour is Gabon, which will present a seven-film retrospective of its cinema.

A number of stars are expected to attend the event as well as the president of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

The 2011 Etalon d'Or was won by Moroccan director Mohamed Mouftakir for his film "Pegasus".