ECOWAS introduces prize for promotion of regional integration at FESPACO

ECOWAS LogoECOWAS will present a special prize and trophy for the best film on regional integration or citizen creativity at the ongoing 23rd Edition of the Ouagadougou Pan-African Cinema and Television Festival (FESPACO), which opened on 23rd February 2013.

The prize worth some 10,000 US dollars will be presented by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo, at the closing ceremony of the biennial African Cinema festival on the 2nd of March 2013 in the Burkinabe capital.

The African Union (AU) is also presenting a special prize for peace and security, worth eight million FCFA, to reward the best African cinema production, that promotes the culture of peace and non-violence on the continent.

The two prizes underscore the importance of regional integration, peace and security as prerequisites for development and prosperity in Africa,

The opening ceremony of the event which attracted some 30,000 spectators at the 4th August Stadium, was chaired Prime Minister, Beyon Luc Adolphe Tiao, who represented President of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaore.

Also in attedndance were other top Government officials and heads of national institutions as well as the Burkina Faso?s First Lady Mrs. Chantal Compaoré, her Gabonese counterpart, Mrs Sylvia Bongo-Ondimba and UNESCO Director-General Mrs. Irina Bokoya.

While welcoming film makers, producers and enthusiasts , the Mayor of Ouagadougou, Mr. Simon Compaoré, recalled that the town has staged the biennial African festival since 1969, with the current edition under the theme « African Cinema and Public Policy in Africa. »

The Burkinabe Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mr. Baba Hama, said the theme represented a call on African decision-makers to consider socio-economic dimensions in their policy choices and the continent?s development agenda.

Some 101 films have been entered for prizes in seven categories, with 20 of the films competing for the coveted Yennenga prize,.

The last FESPACO Edition was won by Moroccan film maker Mohamed Muftakir, with his maiden film «Pégase».

One of the innovations of the current edition, is the special recognition of women with all the panels of judges chaired by women.

FESPACO is an international cultural event and platform for exchange by African filmmakers and producers as well as a tool for development and preservation of African cinema as a medium of expression, education and sensitization.

Source: Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) – Press Release – 4 March 2013