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FESPACO 2013 : Preparations for an Excellent Festival of African Cinema
an article by Alassane KERE for Le Faso (abridged)

The organizing committee of the 23th edition of FESPACO unveiled Thursday, January 10, 2013 at the House of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) in Brussels, the list of films in the competition. The organizers have also reassured festival partners about the security of the biennial event.

click on photo to enlarge

101 films from 35 countries, this is the official competition at FESPACO 2013 - a selection made by a team of professionals headed by the artistic deputy of the festival, Ardiouma Soma. An innovation this year will put women in the spotlight. All panels of different categories (fiction feature film, digital video fiction, fiction short film, documentary, etc.) will be chaired by women. For this reason, at the presentation of the event on Thursday, January 10, the Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Affairs and Human Development in ACP, Michèle Dominique Raymond, hailed it as a major cultural event which "promotes visibility and development of the film industry. " She added that for the promotion of culture, the commitment of governments is required for the success of the 23th edition of this festival of African cinema.

Through the theme "African Cinema and Public Policy in Africa", the organizers intend to generate possible solutions to the various problems related to African cinema: low production, scarcity of subsidies, closing of cinema halls, piracy, etc.. The goal is to "free African cinema from these problems, activating levers of public resources such as legislation, funding, governance, the development of national policies, the implementation of agreements and signed conventions and a range of incentives towards involvement of the private sector. " In the opinion of the Ambassador of Burkina Faso to the Kingdom of Belgium, Frédéric Korsaga Assumption, the theme of this 23th edition of FESPACO is relevant since it will take place in a difficult economic and financial context. But he is convinced that cinema can provide some solutions to the current crisis by providing employment. . .

For the special prize for the peace and security of the African Union (AU), the ACP and the EU will award a special prize worth 2,500 euros (more than 1.6 million FCFA) at FESPACO 2013. Selected films received several grants from these two institutions. Among which we can mention Bayiri Saint Pierre Yameogo, the great Kilapy Zeze Gamboa, Republic of the Children of Flora Gomez, and Virgin Margarida of Licinio Azevedo. Considering the conflicts on the continent, notably in Mali, the special prize of the AU, in the amount of 8,000,000 FCFA, will be one of the most coveted prizes. It aims to "inspire, reward and honor, through the FESPACO, the best African film productions that promote a culture of peace, revealing peace initiatives as well as traditional mechanisms of conflict prevention, management and resolution of conflicts or exalting current efforts in the realization of the ideal of a peaceful Africa in a world of peace."

(Click here for a French version of this article)


Question(s) related to this article:

Film festivals that promote a culture of peace, Do you know of others?

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Latest reader comment:

Chicago, IL, USA has an annual Peace on Earth Film Festival.

This report was posted on January 22, 2013.