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FESPACO: More than a film festival

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  1. Introduction.
  2. History of Festival Panafricain du Cinema de Ouagadougou.
  3. FESPACO's adaption to the new parameters of the audiovisual business.
  4. FESPACO in Africa.
  5. Unity and inspiration through FESPACO.
  6. Achievements in Burkina.
  7. Conclusion.

With the revolution of filmmaking has come the need to bring films and filmmakers together. The creation of film festivals provides a place where filmmakers can showcase their films. Thousands of film festivals have formed around the world over the past decades. Some are larger and more prestigious; some are smaller and less known. Film festivals range in the types of films they host. Some festivals are specifically for comedy and some for horror. Some film festivals are open for any person of any country to enter. Film festivals provide excellent opportunities for unknown and independent filmmakers to become known. In a world where Hollywood and mainstream cinema dominates the market, film festivals provide a chance for independent filmmakers to publicize their work and possibly sell their films for distribution. However, are film festivals just a place where filmmakers try to sell their movies? Or can they do more?

[...] Overall, FESPACO is not only a film festival. It is an institution. An institution that aims to inform, unite, and inspire. While it may take place in Burkina Faso, it welcomes and serves all of Africa and their films. Filmmakers are encouraged to come out, speak, share, and unite. It is the festival's objective that makes it one of the most powerful in the world. Filmmakers can represent their countries and create awareness and inspire both social and political change. [...]

[...] Also starting in 1985 the festival adopted a new theme for each event. The theme for the 1985 festival was ?cinema and people liberation.? The theme for the 1991 festival was ?cinema and economical development? and the 1997 festival was "cinema, childhood and youth.? FESPACO's website gives the statement that the general themes sessions have been chosen while taking into account the worries of Africa and the role that African cinema should play in the awareness of African people. In this way, the theme should be understood as a reflection on major worries of our period and not as competition criteria. [...]

[...] When a film wins an award at the festival it's a victory for the filmmaker as well as his country of origin. While the number of countries involved in the festival has increased since its foundation in 1969, it would be incredible to see more countries take part. Alongside its goal to unite, FESPACO aims to inspire. Africa is a young country when it comes to filmmaking. Filmmaking in Africa began to popularize, perhaps as a response to misrepresentations of Africa by Western films. [...]

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