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A scene from the winning film in 1972, Le Wazzou Polygame by Oumarou Ganda of Niger.
Fespaco's first winner in 1972 was Le Wazzou Polygame from Niger

The History of FESPACO

Over the last 34 years, the citizens of Burkina Faso have welcomed visitors from across the continent and beyond.

The festival started in 1969 through the efforts of a few serious film enthusiasts in Ouagadougou.

It inspired ordinary citizens and film makers alike and FESPACO became an institution by governmental decree on 7 January 1972.

In that year the first official winner of the best film award was Le Wazzou Polygame by Oumarou Ganda of Niger.

Since then the best film award has been won by directors from Cameroon, Morocco, Mali, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Ghana and DR Congo.

From 1985 onwards the Festival adopted different themes for the event, starting with “the cinema, people, and liberation”. This year’s theme is “the actor in the creation and promotion of African films”.

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