FESPACO 2023:Festival-goers Welcome the Holding of the Event

Following the memorable opening of the 28th edition of FESPACO on 25th February 2023 in Ouagadougou, we approached a few festival-goers, present in Burkina on this occasion. Pierre Domont is a Belgian, participating in FESPACO for the 18th time. According to him, organising a festival like FESPACO despite organisational challenges is a strong message as this shows the world that we don’t give up, that we are willing to fight, that the country will keep on fighting and culture is a good means of fighting.
For LIZA FOUDA from Cameroon, working for the Black Screen Festival and participating in FESPACO for the second time, art is highlighted at FESPACO, and you don’t feel full as everything is so beautiful, so well done and this is what motivates people to come to FESPACO


Frustration is a source of combativeness! Frustrated to see their screens invaded by foreign films, many people of Africa stood up for their liberation. This was the case 54 years ago in Burkina Faso where film enthusiasts said “no to the neo-colonial intruder of the big screen”. The challenge of such a refusal being simply to reverse this manipulative and dominating tendency of images from elsewhere.
Standing together by taking the lead in the liberation struggle was the watchword. The creative vision of FESPACO was thus born in the people’s minds. Built on a foundation of resilience, commitment and
determination, FESPACO has gone through the decades, albeit not without challenges, winning the hearts of filmmakers, politicians and people passionate about images produced by the great and little Africa!
In the face of current challenges namely the security, health and humanitarian crises, the legacy of activism, combativeness and tenacity remains. In the end, FESPACO itself is based on such values. Let’s
be clear, the regularity and durability of the African Film Biennial rests definitely on this axiological base. The festival is also reinforced by its integrity, a powerful ingredient of credibility vis-à-vis the Government of Burkina Faso, bilateral and multilateral partners.
In the storm where many festivals rise and fall, only those that can remain focus on their values can stand. Through the theme “African Cinema and Culture of Peace”, FESPACO 2023 follows the same logic with regard to the content of African film productions.

The ACP/EU Programme partners
had their round table

Since Saturday 25 February 2023, the 28th edition of the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou is in full swing in the Burkinabe capital. In this framework, the partners of the ACP/EU Audiovisual Coproduction programme in Africa and the Film Fund in Africa held their round table. Discussions during the round table focused on the financing of African cinema. With Pedro Pimenta
as moderator, the exchanges also touched on such issues as the availability of the fund, difficulties in accessing it and eligibility requirements. It also emerged from the exchanges that the fund has been created by the partners as a contribution to bringing African cinema closer to its audience. Although difficulties still exist in the financing mechanisms, stakeholders have noted generally satisfactory results.

Celebrities Days

The celebrities of African and Diaspora cinema once again met during an event where they were spotlighted. The Ouagadougou Town Hall welcomed stars from various backgrounds. Cocktail reception, artistic performances, speeches and above all the awarding of distinctions marked the event. According to promoter Georgette Paré, this fourth edition of the Celebrities Days was an opportunity for the Organizing Committee to pay tribute to women in the film industry. The guest of honour, the special
guest, and the patron were respectively Fatoumata Diawara, Hon. Aïchata Haïdara Cissé from Mali, and Alimata Salamberé, former Minister for Culture of Burkina Faso. Many guest stars including Appoline Traoré, Mouna N’Diaye, Fanta Régina Nacro, Assétou Koné and many others also attended the event. Women were simply honoured.

The Yennenga and heritage workshops

”African Film and Audio-visual Archives” is the theme for the workshops on sharing experiences and practices held in the framework of the 28th edition of FESPACO. The opening ceremony took place on Monday 27 February 2023 in the premises of ISTIC in the presence of Minister for Culture Rimtalba Jean Emmanuel OUEDRAOGO. Mr Ousmane Boundaoné is the chair of these academic workshops during which about 20 young people from a dozen countries will receive training through two main programmes:

The Yennenga Post-Production (a platform to support film professionals in their various

The Coproduction market (a platform of business opportunities in the film industry). As far as the programme for the heritage workshops is concerned, the chair Moustapha Sawadogo said this will include both theory and practice. This programme aims to teach, develop and sustain methods for
archiving audio-visual works.

FESPACO 2023: a delegation from ECOWAS visits the MICA

A delegation from ECOWAS, one of the partners of the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO), visited the African International Film and Audio-visual Market (MICA), where it has a stand. This was on 26 February 2023.

ECOWAS has supported FESPACO since 1993 For the 28th edition of the African Film Biennial, we wanted to renew our support. This visit aims to encourage the Burkinabe authorities in their decision to maintain this edition, despite the difficult context that the country is going through. This is what the head of the
delegation, Prof. Fatou SOW SARR, Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs of the ECOWAS Commission, accompanied by the ECOWAS Resident Representative in Burkina Faso told us.

For her, FESPACO has become a worldwide event to which the whole world is converging. “We are therefore happy to see that despite the situation, there is full attendance. Whenever the Festival has been held, Burkina Faso has always kept the flame alive. And we are convinced that it will be the same for this 28th edition.
It should be noted that the four prizes awarded at the 27th edition, including Best Director, worth CFA francs 10 million; Integration Prize, worth CFA francs 15 million; Special Prize for Youngest Cinema School Director (CFA francs 2,000,000); and Special Prize for Youngest Actor (CFA francs 1,000,000), will be renewed this year.

THE OPENING FILM: “Bravo, Burkina!”

‘’I opted for the title “Bravo, Burkina!” so that wherever you hear “Bravo”, you think of Burkina’’, said Nigerian filmmaker Walé Oyéjidé.

“Bravo, Burkina!”, an out-of-competition film features a young boy from Burkina Faso named Aimé, leaving his village for Italy to work. Disillusioned later on and haunted by his childhood memories and saddened, he goes back home. However, this was without reckoning with the irreversibility of time. He finds his mother without his father who left her after a long period of hope to see him again. As he thought of seeing his childhood girlfriend again, he realises that the latter is in a couple’s life with a child.
Everything is almost melting away around the young man. Nevertheless, he decides to stay home, believing that there is no place like home. Such a courage earned him and whole Burkina, “Bravo, Burkina!”. 64 minutes were enough for Walé Oyéjidé to show the contrast between an illusory, sad and devastating life of a young immigrant and original life, human and built on dignity.