Monday, February 23, 2009

SA to have a strong representation at FESPACO

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) in partnership with South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and M-Net will officially participate at the 21st edition of the Pan-African Film and Television Festival (FESPACO).
Established in 1969, the festival, under the theme of “African Cinema: Tourism and Cultural Heritage” takes place from 28 February to 07 March 2009.

The three partners will host a South African Pavillion, where participants and delegates who wish to do business with South Africa can acquire information in television and film. “We are proud to once again partner with both the SABC and M-Net, as we are constantly looking to strengthen South Africa’s presence at this important African festival which also showcases the latest releases in African cinema and television.

South Africa is part and parcel of the development of cinema in the continent, and therefore an important link in the chain that promotes development and co-production. As we celebrate 40 years of FESPACO, we need to reflect on the legacy left by those who came before us, like Ousmane Sembene, Djibril Mambete and others”, said Eddie Mbalo, NFVF CEO.

South Africa was first represented at FESPACO in 2003 when the NFVF remarkably positioned South African film within the official programme of the festival. This year, the country will be highly represented in the official competition where films by South Africa’s esteemed filmmakers will be featured. Some of these films have been honoured and have won awards at festivals, including the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), Kwamashu Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival and Cannes International Film Festival. The NFVF will also host various South African documentary screenings daily at the festival, showcasing the best of the nation’s talent.

Every session of FESPACO includes the official competition, a highlight of this the biennial event of African cinema. The official competition is exclusively reserved for African and Diaspora Films. The competition is open for Feature films, Short films and Documentaries. The Diaspora competition is reserved for Feature films made by filmmakers from the Diaspora. Prizes for these competitions include amounts up to 2 000 000 F CFA. South African films that qualified to feature in the official competition are:

Feature Films:
Triomf - Michael Raeburn
Nothing But The Truth – John Kani
Jerusalema – Ralph Ziman
White Wedding – Jann Turner

Fiction TV/Video:
Gugu No Andile – Minky Schlesinger
The Last Supper – Ritendra Naran

Courting Justice – Jane Lipman
The Manuscripts of Timbuktu – Zola Maseko

Series & Sitcoms TV/Video
When We Were Black

FESPACO will this year pay tribute to Ousmane Sembene, doyen of African film and pioneer of FESPACO, who passed away on 9 June 2007. He was one of the pioneers of African movie industry and a regular of FESPACO having attended nearly all the Festival's editions without a break from 1969 to 2005. Sembene made more than twenty films including 9 features, and always believed in and defended Africa’s cinema all over the world. Sembene endeavoured to promote FESPACO and to unite filmmakers across the continent and the development of African cinema.

To celebrate its 40th anniversary properly, FESPACO has invited eminent filmmakers, academics, writers, artists and communicators from all over the world. All of the film industry trades will be represented, from fashion, to music, and even politicians will join to celebrate cinema in Africa.

FESPACO remains a major and favourite platform for meeting and networking for film industry practitioners in Africa and globally.

Courtesy of

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'll be there sourcing films to license for airlines and am also writing an article for two publications on the event.
Please contact me if you're keen on publicising your content or want to meet up in BF.

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