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Good Start For 2023 FESPACO
The 28th edition of Festival of Pan African Cinema in Ouagadougou, otherwise called FESPACO, began yesterday with the official opening ceremony and screening of Bravo Burkina, a film by Nigerian born filmmaker Wale Oyejide. The festival, which runs till March 4, will have 15 feature films take part in the competition for the festival top prize-Yennenga Golden Stallion. Tunisian producer, Dora Bouchoucha, was named as President of FESPACO main competition jury. Bouchoucha will head the jury that will name the winner of the top prize out of the 15 feature films in competition.
However, a total of 170 films will compete for honours in the 11 categories of the festival, including feature film fiction, short film, documentary, TV series, school films and animated films. With Cinema of Africa and culture of peace as theme, the selected films for this edition of FESPACO according to the general delegate of the festival, Alex Moussa Sawadogo illustrate the diversity and creativity of African professionals in the 7e art. Interestingly, this edition is taking place in a country that has experienced two coups in 2022 and which has been destabilized by recurring attacks by jihadist groups since 2015.
However, the general delegate has assured filmmakers and guest of adequate security. “We are in touch with the Burkinabe authorities and we have been assured of adequate security,” Sawadogo said. The 15 films selected to run for the top prize are Mami Wata by CJ ‘Fiery’ Obasi (Nigeria); Maputo Nakuzandza by Ariadine Zampaulo (Mozambique); Our lady of the Chinese Shop by Ery Claver (Angola); Shimoni by Angela Wamaï (Kenya); Simin Zetwal/Regarde les étoiles by David Constantin (Mauritius); The Blue Caftan/Le bleu du Caftan by Maryam Touzani (Morocco); Planting Planters by Dingha Eystein Young (Cameroun); My father, the devil by Ellie Foumb (Cameroun); Ashkal by Youssef Chebbi (Tunisia); Under the fig trees by Erige Sehiri (Tunisia); Sira by Appoline Traoré (Burkina Faso); Abu Saddam by Nadine Khan (Egypt); Bantú Mama by Ivan Herrera (Dominican Republic); The Last Queen by Damien Ounouri (Algeria) and Xalé, The Wounds of Childhood by Moussa Séné Absa (Senegal). Founded in 1969, FESPACO is held every two years in Ouagadougou.
Berlinale Film Festival Ends Today
Afetr a celebratory start on February 16, the 10 daylong Berlin International Film Festival will close today with an award night. The 2023 Berlinale opened with a lively audience and it continued with packed full cinemas, glamorous red carpets and numerous prominent guests attending. The highlight of this edition is the award of the Honorary Golden Bear to US director Steven Spielberg. In front of a standing ovation of an audience of 1,600, Spielberg accepted the prestigious award after a laudatory speech given by U2 singer Bono at the Berlinale Palast.
Already before entering the hall, there had been a standing ovation lasting several minutes. “We’re very pleased to see that the cinemas are at full capacity, that audiences are once again able to experience cinema together and that the festival is once again a place for exciting experiences, inspiring encounters and vivacious exchange,” commented the festival directors Mariëtte Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian. Also, there was strong support for promising feature film projects as four cash prizes and one in-kind prize were awarded to selected feature film projects at the Berlinale Co-Production Market which closed on February 22.
The Eurimages Co-Production Development Award, endowed with 20,000 Euros, went to the producers of Avalon PC from Spain for their project Iván & Hadoum (director: Ian de la Rosa). The award is presented by the European film fund Eurimages to promote the development of the project. The jury members this year were director and Georgian Eurimages representative Nino Kirtadzé, world sales agent Marcin Łuczaj (Poland, New Europe Film Sales) and producer Mariela Besuievsky (Spain, Tornasol Media). This time around, an additional prize with the same endowment was donated by Eurimages to support a particularly promising Ukrainian project: the Eurimages Special Co-Production Development Award. It went to the Ukrainian company 2Brave Productions, headed by producers Olha Beskhmelnytsina and Natalia Libet, for the project The Blindsight by Ruslan Batytskyigla.
AMAA Entries Extended Till June
Organisers of the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) have extended the call for entries for the 2023 edition to June 30, 2023. The organisers also stated that the nominations for this year’s AMAA would be announced in August 2023, while only films produced and released between January 2022 and May 30, 2023 may be submitted. According to the organisers, all the supporting materials listed on the submission forms must accompany each completed entry for 2023 entries. Also, all film indicating year of copyright should be submitted via film freeway.
AMAA awards major categories of feature length, short films and animation. The Academy also awards the category for Best Africa Film in the Diaspora and Best Diaspora Short Film Awards. The 19th edition of the AMAAs will be held in October in Lagos in partnership with the Lagos State Government and will be televised globally. Information on AMAA can be sourced at http://www.ama-awards.com.