Burkina faso is currently enduring some of its toughest times yet —its deep rooted political woes only bested by its insecurity problems with the jihadist insurgency in its northern regions.Yet hope remains and for the first time in a while the News headlines finally reads a positive title, the west African nation in due need for some positive publicity, and Africa’s largest film festival “FESPACO” has just provided that much needed light and rightfully merited, revealing to the world and Africa not all is negative in Burkina Faso.
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Africa’s largest film festival “FESPACO” kicked off Saturday with over 15,000 people, including Nigerian cinema stars expected to make an attendance. Festival director, Alex Moussa Sawadogo did little to hide his excitement, speaking to the press he said;
“It’s a form of resilience and resistance for the Burkinabe, for the filmmakers, More importantly, we can meet at a critical time of Burkina history as this year’s theme Culture of Peace is very important because today the issue of peace is not only political or military, but it concerns everybody, the artists, the filmmakers, the producers”
100 movies from 35 African countries and the diaspora, were shortlisted to compete. Among them is “Sira” which is considered a front-runner in this year’s competition. The piece by Burkinabe director Apolline Traore, tells the tale of a woman’s struggle for survival after being kidnapped by jihadis in the Sahel.
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Government officials say they have ramped up security for this year’s edition and will ensure the safety of festival attendees. Since its launch in 1969, biennial film festival FESPACO has never been canceled. Many hope FESPACO will help boost domestic unity and strengthen ties with other countries, at a time when anti-French sentiment is on the rise in Burkina Faso.
The Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou will run through March 4th.