Film festivals are important events for cinema since they bring exposure to filmmakers, support the local industry and community, and allow people in cinema to network with other professionals. There are a small number of film festivals in Africa such as those in Durban, Carthage, and Cairo. Part 3 will focus on the Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO), one of the most important film festivals in the African Diaspora.
FESPACO 1997/2011 – FESPACO (Festival panafricain du cinéma et de la télévision de Ouagadougou), or Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou, is held every two years in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. It is the biggest film festival on the African continent. FESPACO began in 1969 and has evolved into an internationally recognized event that includes many countries from Africa and the rest of the world. FESPACO’s aim is to “contribute to the expansion and development of African cinema as means of expression, education and awareness-raising.”
FESPACO has four main focuses: highlighting African film and television, publicizing the local film industry, bringing non-profit screenings to rural villages, and promoting African cinema in the international community. The festival takes place in late February for about two weeks and gives out special prizes at the end of the event. The top prize is called the Étalon de Yenenga which has been awarded to several well-known films such as Tilai (1990) and Buud Yam (1997).