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traditional burkinabe masks

The History of Fespaco

 

Over the last 36 years, the citizens of Burkina Faso have welcomed visitors from across the continent and beyond.

The festival has inspired ordinary citizens and film-makers alike since Fespaco became an institution - by governmental decree - on 7 January 1972.

That year saw the first official best film award go to Le Wazzou Polygame, directed 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, DR Congo and Mauritania.

From 1985 onwards, the Festival adopted different themes. The first was "the cinema, people, and liberation" - this year's is "training and professional stakes."

The festival has rarely courted undue controversy, but last year Ivorian movie fans boycotted the event.

The source of their anger was the exclusion of the film Roues Libre, directed by Sidiki Sijiri Bakaba.

But this time around they are expected to be there in their numbers.
 
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