Africa’s largest film festival begins

Africa, Oct 17:

Africa’s largest film festival kicks off Saturday in Burkina Faso amid both the COVID-19 pandemic and a growing jihadi insurgency in the West African nation that has killed thousands of people and displaced more than 1 million in recent years.

Alex Moussa Sawadogo, head of the Pan-African Film and TV Festival of Ouagadougou said organizers wanted to go ahead with the event known by its French acronym, FESPACO in spite of the challenges to show Burkina Faso can still inspire imagination through cinema.

“This event will be a FESPACO of resistance because it is taking place under harsh security and health conditions, he told The Associated Press in an interview in the capital, Ouagadougou.

Sawadogo said the number of venues has been reduced this year.

The weeklong festival showcases works by African filmmakers and works produced on the continent. Out of nearly 1,200 films submitted, 282 have been selected to compete, some of which have already been shown at places like Cannes and the Toronto Film Festival.

Participants say they hope FESPACO will be a breath of fresh air for a suffering nation. Boubakar Diallo, a film director and two-time FESPACO winner, will debut his comedy, The 3 Lascars, about three friends going on a trip with their mistresses.

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