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Ofeibea Quist-ArctonOfeibea Quist-Arcton: and Artbeat Presenter
Favourite film: Heritage Africa

I remember thinking Heritage Africa should have been half its length, but the storyline was topical: Africans should be proud to be themselves and there were some good laughs and wonderful lines, with a particularly stunning and moving performance by Alexandra Duah.  

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Africa's Premier Film Festival

FESPACO 2001 has now finished but the festival was hailed as a great success. BBC's Artbeat team have a special edition covering the major events and gossip from the festival.
 Listen to the highlights of FESPACO 2001
  The week of FESPACO in pictures

FESPACO: Best film announced!
Clip from the winning film   The award of Yennenga's Stallion went to "Ali Zaoua" by Moroccan director Ayouch Nabil. This tender story set in Morocco attracted a quiet but appreciative audience when it was screened in Ouagadougou last week. Nabil's film is a sensitive portrayal of the camaraderie among street children. It centres on the death of one child and the preparations friends make for the funeral.
  Prize-giving in pictures
 Click to hear more
Local Boy wins Special Prize
Dani Kouyate   Almost causing a stampede at the festival, "Sya, The Dream of the Python" was directed by Burkina Faso's Dani Kouyat√©. In the film, the Python God has to be placated for the well being of the town. To satisfy him the most beautiful woman in the town, Sya, is to be sacrificed. However, Sya, upon hearing of her destiny, escapes.
Audio Available Click to hear more
Life in Ouaga
Strawberry seller   Next to cinema going and moped riding, Ouagdougou's third speciality is eating strawberries. There's not many places in Africa where you can buy strawberries, let alone buy them all year around. Walk down almost any street in Ouagadougou and you will see young women carrying strawberry platters on their heads.
More about Ouaga
  FESPACO in pictures
News and Gossip
Great gesture: The latest film of veteran Senegalese film director, Ousmane Sembene, has met with huge applause. But "Faat Kine" was not entered in the competition. It's thought Sembene doesn't want to upstage new talent. Although he's been around a long time, this grandfather of African films has tackled a modern theme: women defying male tradition and supremacy. It spans three generations of women.

Chad loses out: Like all big occasions, FESPACO has had its share of misunderstandings and confusion. The first Chadian film ever to be shortlisted in the competition now stands no chance of winning the big prize, the Yennenga Stallion - because its director, Issa Coleo, is stuck in Chad along with his film. Three other shortlisted film-makers have still to turn up.

Plane confusion: Problems with Air Afrique flights have hit a further 35 or so film makers who wanted to attend Fespaco. Most people planned to fly with their films as luggage rather than incur expensive freight charges by forwarding them ahead. One director, Senegal's Mansour Sora Wade, had to make his trip from Niger to Ouagadougou by car.

Creating a stir:
Three films captured the hearts of cinema-goers:
There was another virtual stampede at the second screening of "Sya, le Reve du Python" (The Dream of the Python) on Wednesday. The film is directed by 39-year-old local boy Dani Kouyaté.
5,000 people turned up outside the cinema.
Cheick Omar Sissoko met with rapturous applause for his film, "Battu". Tipped to win the top prize, the Yennenga Stallion (Etalon de Yennenga), the film has a cast of hundreds of beggars. By the way the title "Battu" means 'begging bowl' in Wolof, and 'beaten' in French.
In the comedy camp, a film by Congo's Camille Moueka, "Voyage a Ouaga" had the audiences laughing all the way. The film charts the journey of a hapless French man through West Africa, when his wife wants him home.

Business opportunity: This, the biggest festival of African cinema in the world, is also the key market place for African film industry. BBC's Jim Corrigall, in Ouagadougou, assesses the chances of African films attracting a wider audience around the world:
Click to read more

The BBC Team on the Ground

Catherine Fellows and Ofeibea Quist-Arcton with delegates at Fespaco
Artbeat Producer, Catherine Fellows and Presenter, Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, discuss the films with delegates in sunny Ouagadougou