Saturday, March 05, 2005

African Film & Television Festival - FESPACO 2005

African Film & Television Festival - FESPACO 2005
Graphic design by Nur Eldine


I did a little piece on the Pan African Film and Television Festival (FESPACO) the other day that was tagged onto the end of a posting about the OSCARS 2005. As I was cruising the Africa sector of the Blogosphere today (a sector which includes a heap of excellent, non-African, I don’t give a d--- what color you are, blog authors by the way) I noticed that the FESPACO festival in Burkina Faso is getting a lot of coverage. I have already written that Owukori at the Black Looks blog did a real nice review on the festival and I noticed that Ethan Zuckerman picked up on it a few days back as well on his blog.

To be honest I have never heard of the FESPACO festival until this month, but when it comes to cinema and film festivals I just don’t take enough time to enjoy them as much as I would like. Actually if it were not for my (adopted) 13-year old nephew Adama asking me to see the latest (action) films with him here in Germany (auf Deutsch, naturlich), the last film I would have seen on my own would probably be titled “The Inferno - Cavemen Discover Fire!” starring Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble.

Anyway the FESPACO festival is a really hot and a very important bi-annual event for the filmmaking industry in Africa and for African filmmakers living and working outside of the continet. Therefore I am including some additional links to online resources about FESPACO 2005 for my readers. There must be a better way to get the films in front of international audiences without having to rely on the cinema industry and studio moguls in the U.S.A. and Europe. By the time these Bozos wake up and get on board the filmmaking train in Africa we’ll all be dead and gone.

FESPACO official website
FESPACO Paul Robeson Award website
BBC World Service
FESPACO 2005 special feature
Google News on FESPACO 2005 film festival
CSM article “Wanted at Africa’s biggest film festival” by Mike Crawley


"...and the winner of this year's Stallion of Yennenga grand prize is (a hush falls over the audience): DRUM by South African film director Zola Maseko!". A big congratulations to all of the contenders for this year's prizes, and especially to the South Africans who made such a strong showing this year and walked off with the goods. Hey, US$20,000.00 bucks grand prize money is a start, O.K.? Excellent, the first non-Francophone country award winner since 1989.

Now how do the international audiences around the world who would love to see many of the films in this great festival get their hands on the product? Is Danny Glover going to take care of the film distribution? I am delighted that he chose to attend and support the FESPACO film festival, but where were all of his rich and famous friends from Hollywood and New York?

You know in today's world success in business belongs to the fast and the fearless, or was that the fleet and the furious? Nonetheless, the answer to Africa's film distribution woes might be found in this article hidden deep in the Technology section of Reuters news titled "African films go digital to buck the system".

Black River Eagle: "Tonto, give me the telephone number to the CEO of Blockbuster. Nah wait a minute, get me the CEO of Walmart instead and pronto. I can smell a few greenbacks gonna get made here. And get our lawyer on the phone too to stop those guys in ...."

1 comment:

TheMalau said...

Well, hopefully not totally dead yet!
Thanks for this interesting post, and for your comments on mine. I would live to chat/talk/email/whatever. Just drop me a line (if you go on my site, you'll se my email in the side bar. Use the Yahoo one).