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FESPACO (article first published : 2003-02-21)

Some 13 South African films will be screened at FESPACO, Africa's longest running and globally renowned festival. Taking place in the West African capital city of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou, the 18th edition of the festival runs from February 22 to March 1.

Six of the 13 films have been selected for official competition at FESPACO. These include: Amandla (Lee Hirsch), Waiting For Valdez (Dumisani Phakathi), God is African (Akin Omotoso), A Drink in the Passage (Zola Maseko), Down Under (Neil Sonnekus) and Promised Land (Jason Xenopoulos).

The other seven films will be shown as part of a retrospective entitled, Focus on South Africa at the festival. Titles to be shown include: Fools (Ramadan Suleman), Paljas (Katinka Heyns), Mr Bones (Grey Hofmeyr), Raya (Zulfah Otto-Sallies), Ubuntu's Wounds (Sechaba Morojele), A Reasonable Man (Gavin Hood) and Jump The Gun (Les Blair).

Over 2000 filmmakers, producers, distributors and media from attend FESPACO across the globe. Established over 30 years ago, FESPACO is recognised as a premier film event in Africa.

As well as the films being screened, this year's festival marks a significant South African participation. For the first time, the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) are coordinating a consolidated presence in the form of a business exhibition stand and a number of other activities. The NFVF is mandated by Government to facilitate access to international film industry platforms, foster international relations with industry players and promote South Africa as a key role player in the African filmscape.

The South African exhibition stand will be located at the Splendide Hotel in Ouagadougou. All South African festivalgoers will have free access to business services and screening facilities. The stand will also serve as information and networking service for the industry.

Two films: Waiting for Valdez and A Drink in the Passage have been selected to open a special focus on South Africa incorporated as part of the FESPACO Official Festival Programme on February 24. The winners will be announced at the FESPACO closing awards ceremony on March 1.




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