FESPACO, Africa’s biggest film festival, begins with pomp and colour

The 27th edition of the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) has started in Burkina Faso’s capital with 239 films from 50 countries shortlisted in competition.

The films emanated from out of the 1,132 entries submitted across six categories.

Thousands thronged the Palais des Sports complex in the Ouaga 2000 district to witness the start of the film festival, which runs from 16 to 23 October.

Some 17 feature-length films will battle it out for the grand prize, the Golden Stallion of Yennenga, named after a beast in Burkinabé mythology.

Their directors come from Egypt, Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Ivory Coast, Lesotho, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, Tanzania, Tunisia and Haiti.

The grand prize winner will be selected by an international jury headed by Mauritanian filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako, who won France’s coveted César for best film in 2015 – Timbuktu.

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