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Laid back in Ouaga


The Oscars have come and gone.

Jaime Foxx's "Ray" beat Don Cheadle's Paul Rusesabagina, and the South African AIDS drama "Yesterday" lost out to the "Sea Inside" from Spain.

Farai Sevenzo
Farai Sevenzo

To have two films of African concern at the cradle of vanity that is the Hollywood Oscars has fillmakers at Fespaco dreaming with caution.

They know this could be a passing phase of conscience stricken stardom, and Hollywood is a fickle beast.

In Ougadougou, the business of watching African films continues to delight, and the delight of being in Ougadougou in the searing heat is evident everywhere I look.

Big ideas


There is a massive swimming pool dominating the Hotel Independence, and it is full as long as the sun is up.

It's now getting increasingly difficult to tell the filmmakers from Ouaga's own citizens, in the evening the hotel is very crowded, and a new band seems to play every night and the food is amazing.

So last night I'm having my post presenter beer and a man from Nigeria thrusts a dvd into my hand.

Big ideas here, ambitious schemes
Farai Sevenzo

"It's a bit porn but it's a good film". And no it is not on any official list and I haven't had time to watch it.

Jihan is a female documentary fillmaker born in Egypt and living in Paris, she is pitching a new idea to Arte TV in Paris, she wants to do a feature length film on Cuba and Africa in the Cold War.

Big ideas here, ambitious schemes.

Laid back Ouaga


Teddy Matera won best screenplay at the Sithengi Film Festival for his comedy "Max and Mona", screening later in the week.

Last night he had us in stitches on the Burkinabe condition.

"They are so laid back it's dangerous. They could fall asleep as they walk."

That explains the slow service at the restaurants then. "But if you don't pay, watch how they run after you."

Small meeting with a potential funder.

She loves the script, who do I want in the cast?

laid back ouaga
Wild wild west Ouaga, where everything is laid back

I drip out some names - Don Cheadle, Harvey Keitel, maybe Sam Jackson, and that Senegalese woman in that other film, maybe Terrence Stamps as well, but only in cameo roles, the leads are all unknown Africans.

She beams her reality check - "Harvey? You want Harvey for 3 or 4 days, right? It will set your budget back a few millions, he's not cheap."

But maybe he has a conscience, I plead. And so does his bank balance no doubt.

It's open air cinema tonight, I'm going off to see how the laid back Burkinabes are taking to the cinematic invasion of their Ougadougou.
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