Join Keith Shiri, film curator and founder/director of Africa at the Pictures, for a special screening of documentary Ouaga, capitale du cinéma (2000), straight from Il Cinema Ritrovato's celebration of the 50th anniversary of FESPACO, one of the most important Pan-African film festivals in the world.
Created in 1969 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, dubbed the ‘capital of African cinema, FESPACO has become one of the most culturally relevant and unifying events in Africa as well as the place where cinema grew to be a powerful means of expression and consciousness-raising. Between 1983 and 1987, Ouagadougou, the home city of FESPACO, became the scene of an exciting cinema utopia.
At the instigation of the young president Thomas Sankara, the festival became a symbol of the cultural renaissance of a whole continent. The assassination of Sankara stifled the hopes of millions of young Africans, but the dynamism of FESPACO and African cinema did not stop. Often accused of having betrayed the original spirit of the festival and of becoming mere entertainment, FESPACO recently introduced a programme dedicated to classics in 2019; a clear message about its commitment to Africa's cinematographic heritage. Mohamed Challouf's documentary is a great tribute to the festival with recollections from legendary African filmmmakers such as Ousmane Sembène and Souleymane Cissé as well as a new generation representing the future of African cinema.
This documentary comes direct from partner festival Il Cinema Ritrovato's 33rd edition. It is part of Cinema Libero, curated by Festival Co-director Cecilia Cenciarelli, celebrating the 50th anniversary of FESPACO. Also look out for a trio of shorts by Moustapha Alassane including two brand new restorations. With thanks to Cineteca Di Bologna.