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ECOWAS boosts Ouagadougou African film festival


ECOWAS has increased its support to the the Ouagadougou Pan-African Cinema and Television Festival (FESPACO) by instituting a second Award at the just-ended 24th edition of the continental cultural event in the Burkinabe capital.
The new CFAF 10 million-Award for the best female film director was won by Dyana Gueye of Senegal for her work “Des Etoiles, which tells parallel stories of two African women, one returning from the United States to Senegal to attend the funeral services of her ex-husband, and the other, leaving Senegal to meet her husband who has migrated to Italy.
Burkinabe filmmaker Sékou Traoré clinched the Integration Award with a cash prize of CFAF 15 million instituted by ECOWAS in 1993. His winning film “L’oeil du cyclone,” depicts a young lawyer assigned to defend a rebel accused of war crimes in an African country.
With a total cash prize of CFAF 25 million, ECOWAS stands out among the 12 donors of the 15 Special Prizes awarded at FESPACO 2015, which ended on 7th March.
ECOWAS’ dynamic stand at the festival ground also entertained many visitors, including pupils, students and dignitaries, who sought to know more about the regional organization.
Leading a delegation, including the Commissioner for Education, Science and Culture, Jean-Pierre Ezin and the Director of Education and Culture, Prof. Abdoulaye Maga, the President of the ECOWAS Commission H.E. Kadré Désiré met with the FESPACO organizers including the Executive Director, Mr. Ardiouma Soma and pledged the ECOWAS’ continued support to the popular cultural event.
ECOWAS instituted the two awards to support and encourage creativity in the region, promote cultural exchanges, strengthen cooperation with filmmakers, and promote integration in line with the spirit of transformation to an ECOWAS of people.
The theme for FESPACO 2015 edition is: African Cinema, production and distribution in a digital age underlining the emphasis placed on technological evolution in response to the concerns of film-making professionals, especially the need to incorporate works from Africans in the diaspora.
The Yennanga Golden Stallion Grand prize worth CFAF 20 million went to Moroccan filmmaker Hicham Ayouch for his film “Fièvres,” on a 13-year old impulsive teenager who decides to move in with his father, whom he does not know very well, and who, himself, still lives with his own parents.

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